Devon Roberts was the first Whitehall Zephyr girl to cross the finish line, placing 25th overall, at the EPC Cross Country Championships on Tuesday at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
“We were directly in front of where we needed to be, so it was a pretty nice start to the race,” Roberts said. “I didn’t have the best race, but I’d rather do worse this week than next week. I think I’m going to try and take it a little faster and try to be a little more mentally tough because I know I could have been in the top pack if I would have stayed in it.”
Roberts’s time was 21:25.5.
“The first mile is OK until you get to the hills, but you just have to push yourself up them. Once it’s over, it’s over, and then you just have to hang in there for the rest of the race,” she said. “I feel my finish could have been more powerful. It’s hard to depict when it’s time to go because the oak tree is where people usually start going, but I think it was OK considering the circumstances.”
Teammate Autumn Dragovits was close behind, placing 29th in 21:40.4.
Juanita Flores followed with a time of 22:23.6. Lindsay Solderitch’s time was 23:24.9, Rachel Herr had a time of 23:10.5, Makenzie Laub finished in 23:30.5, Arizona Marakovits’s time was 24:26.0, Daisha Hamilton had a 25:31.8, Audrey Fedor’s time was 27:05.9, and Allison Pavone’s time was 28:55.6.
In the boys’ race, Caleb Staub placed 84th in 19:36.4.
“It was tough coming in here after having quite a few warm days and not having much time to adjust to the temperature difference. The hills were rough. The course wasn’t in the best condition, pretty slippery, so there was a lot against the runners today,” Staub said.
At the start, the Zephyr boys’ position was near an end.
“It was tough having to cut in against the big schools like Parkland. It’s tough having to force your way in there,” said Staub.
Things finally began to ease up for Staub in the last 1,000 meters or so.
“I picked off probably 10 or so people just in that last part,” he said. “Next week, I’m definitely going to prepare a little bit better mentally and then focus on getting up over the hill because I know once I’m over the hill, the flat spots, I’m able to pick it up and stride it out.”
Also competing for the Zephyr boys, and their times, were Gavin Hagley in 20:03.1, Sean Connolly in 20:06.6, Jakob Schlosser in 20:36.1, Grady Schmeckenbecher in 20:41.6, Andy Chung in 20:55.3, Brendon Sargent in 21:39.1, Nick Demjan in 22:05.3, Shawn Woodring in 22:50, and Julian Love in 24:13.2.
Freedom’s Lauren Charboneau placed first for the girls in 19:36, and Easton’s Joseph Ozgar placed first for the boys in 16:36.2.
Easton’s girls and Parkland’s boys placed first overall.
Whitehall will compete in the District XI Cross Country Championships on Oct. 24 at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
The Zephyrs are coached by Mike Lelko.