Indoor track a prep for spring
With temperatures dipping into single digits this winter, most people opted to stay indoors, and for a number of Whitehall track and field athletes, that option also includes some healthy competition as they look ahead to the spring season.
Through February, the Zephyrs had five indoor meets under their belts. Starting with the William H. Emrey Christmas City Relays on Dec. 27, the Zephs have competed in the Robert J. Burdette Indoor Classic at Lehigh University on Dec. 30, the Lebanon Valley High School Invitational on Jan. 10, the Albright College High Scholl Invitational on Feb. 13, and the Kutztown Invitational on Feb. 14.
Whitehall head track and field coach James Sebesta said that about 40 kids were involved in the indoor season, and their participation yielded plenty of strong performances at each event.
The Christmas City Relays held at the Philip Rauch Field House featured 65 schools with Whitehall making in their mark in the distance races. While they were strong in the mile and two mile, they also had some standout performances in other events.
In the 60 meter dash, Decontee Krayee finished 21st with a time of 8.42.
Additionally, Gabe Lamm was seventh in the 3,000 meters, crossing the line in 9:36.14. Elliot Miller finished eighth in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 10-6, while Calvin Schneck placed 13th in the mile at 4:50.69, and Andrew Hawk finished 14th in the 800 meters, hitting the tape in 2:14.21
The Burdette Classic at Lehigh Whitehall followed, and once again the Zephs were looking to their 4x800 team to spearhead the team as they embark on a new season.
They finished 11th in the event, but Sebesta said their time of 9:10.11 was misleading since one runner was required to run an extra lap due to an officiating error, preventing them from finishing much higher. The team features Andrew Frisch, Calvin Schneck, Elliot Miller, Gabe Lamm and Andrew Hawk, with the Zephs using a combination of four of those runners this indoor season.
The breakout performance was turned in my Miller who doubles in the pole vault. He cleared the bar at 12-0, good for fifth place in the event. Sebesta said that was impressive considering Miller's inability to get outside much this year to practice.
Also at the Burdette Classic, Krayee finished 14th in the 60 meter dash, crossing the line in 8.46.
They continued a busy winter with the Lebanon Valley meet, with Lamm locking down second place in the 3,000, finishing in 9:30.28.
Miller continued his busy indoor season competing in the 400 meters, finishing 19th with a time of 58.05. In the same event, David Labib finished 34th, crossing the line in 1:00.23.
Schneck had a strong showing in the 1,600, finishing in 16th with a time of 5:02.54.
Whitehall finished fourth in the 4x400 relay as Labib, Miller, Schneck and Frisch crossed the line in 3:59.90. They finished two spots higher in the 4x800, with Schneck, Hawk, Lamm and Frisch breaking the tape in 8:57.04.
Finally, Miller was 13th in the pole vault at 13-0.
The girls were led by Krayee who's been among the leaders all season. She finished ninth in the 60 meters, crossing the line in 7.93. Krayee also ran the 200, finishing in 29.45, good for 15th place. Additionally, Anna Gallina was 65th (36.71) and Kay Solderitch was 66th (36.88).
In the 3,000 meters, Heather Busch cracked the top five, finishing in 12:03.67, good for fifth, while Hannah Gill finished 28th in the 1,600 meters at 6:28.15.
Camila Medina was 25th in the 55 meter hurdles at 12.23, and Hayley Fenstermaker was 20th in the tripe jump at 24-9.50.
In the shot put, Vanessa Hadeed was 23rd with a 26-0.50 toss, while Judaha Amoroso was 27th with a 23-9 throw.
At Albright College in Reading, the Zephs once again got a strong performance in the sprints from Krayee who finished second in 55 meter dash, crossing the line in 7.83. She was also second in the 400, finishing in 1:07.84.
In the boys 55 meters, Moody Mitchell came in 13th (7.49), followed by teammate Mikhail Charles at 14 ( 7.53) and Jerome Wah in 18th (7.73).
In the 3,200 meters, Heather Busch was third with a time of 13:57.20, while in the same event for the boys, Gabe Lamm won the event, finishing in 10:12.17.
In the boys 400 meters, Labib finished 11th in 1:02.36, while Charles Mensah was 17th at 1:06.60.
The boys 800 saw Frisch finish in fourth with a time of 2:14.00, while Gavin Wood was 12th at 2:30.36.
The girls 200 meters found a trio of Zephs clustered together as Kay Solder itch (31.75) finished ninth, Camila Medina (31.77) finished 10th, and Jessica Kroboth (32.03) finished 11th in the race.
In the girls mile, Gill was 5th at 6:23.81, while Schneck was second for the boys (4:54.74) and Lamm was fourth (4:53.85).
The girls shot put saw back-to-back Zephs with Hadeed earning third with a 25-11 toss, while Amoroso was fourth with a 23-11.50 throw.
Fenstermaker was seventh in the girls triple jump with a 25-02 leap, and was 16th in the long jump with a 10-06 mark.
At the Kutztown meet this past weekend, the team was once again paced by their distance runners. Sebesta said that Schneck won the 800 meters with a time of 2:05. They also placed third in the distance medley with Hawk, Frisch, Miller and Schneck getting the honors.
Finally, Hadeed set a personal best in the shot put with a 27-10 mark.
Sebesta said that the indoor season provided a lot of strong performances. While there may have not been any dominant performances, the indoor season was defined by a lot of hard work by everyone, he said.
Miller has been consistently vaulting between 11 and 12 feet, while Lamm and Schneck have been among the leaders in the distance races.
For the girls, Krayee has been emerging as a top sprinter, while Emily Brand has been progressing among her peers in the distance races.
"I've been real happy with the effort from all the kids who've been going to the meets," said Sebesta. "Overall, we've had some solid performances."