Whitehall-Coplay Press

Saturday, August 18, 2018
400 relay golden again 400 relay golden again

400 relay golden again

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

As members of the Whitehall’s girls 4x100 relay team gathered to await their gold medals at last week’s district meet, a celebratory dance ensued, one in which didn’t have a name yet.

“We just made it up in the locker room,” said Rebecca Ganthier. “It doesn’t have a name. We just made it up. Whitehall pride.”

It’s something that originated as they tried to hype themselves up to get ready for the meet.

“It just came out,” said Ganthier.

While that impromptu dance may not have an official name, the foursome can officially be called record breakers--again.

For the second week in a row, Monica Manu, Rebecca Ganthier, Kate Bonshak and Amanda Crooks set the school record in the 4x100, this time crossing in 48.85 to establish the new mark. It’s also the second consecutive district gold for Whitehall’s 4x100 relay team, as Crooks and Bonshak were also part of that winning squad.

This Flash Four has two golds and two school records this postseason, and will now advance to the PIAA Track and Field Championships in Shippensburg this week to see if they can add to their medal count.

The Zephyrs needed every bit of that 48.85 as Crooks had to chase down Emmaus’ Kayla Smith during the anchor leg, finally overtaking the Hornet to win by six-tenths of a second.

Manu, who begins the 4x100 for Whitehall, said that it was important to get out of the blocks quickly and set her team up for the rest of the race.

Ganthier, who runs the second leg, said that when she got the baton from Manu, she wasn’t worried about anyone in the field, and just felt herself going really fast. With her run, she put Bonshak in good position, and she could sense their momentum.

“When I handed off to Kate, I knew she got it,” said Ganthier.

Bonshak, the veteran among the group along with Crooks, said that she felt good about their chances despite having to navigate through a packed field once she hit the bend.

“On the curve, it’s just such a blob of people at that point,” said Bonshak. “On the straightaways you can tell who’s where, but that blob is like you don’t really know who’s getting it where, so when Amanda got it, Emmaus was definitely ahead of us, but I know what Amanda can do, and I had faith in her once I handed it off to her.”

Crooks, who has been the anchor since her freshman year, said that Bonshak’s handoffs always go smoothly, having worked together for such a long time. She credited all her teammates for setting her up for the opportunity to be in medal contention.

Still, she knew she had some ground to make up.

“I saw her [Smith] and I said I’m not going to let her beat me,” said Crooks. “We broke that record last week and I know we can do it again, and that’s what we did.”

Crooks said that establishing another school record was mind blowing.

“It feels like the reward we deserve,” said Bonshak.

And maybe a dance, too.