A look at the Whitehall girls track team
Heading into this season, the sprints should prove to be a really a strong suit for the girls track and field team as their season.
The Zephyrs return a number of sprinters, most notably junior Kate Bonshak and seniors Helen Davis and Rebecca Ganthier. Those three were part of Whitehall’s record-setting run in the 4x100 relay throughout the year. Bonshak, Ganthier and Davis each helped to establish school records in the event, with Ganthier and Bonshak part of the District XI record holders, while Bonshak and Davis were part of the foursome who set the new mark at the PIAA Championships.
With those three back leading the charge, the Zephyrs will once again be formidable in the sprints.
Of course they’ll miss their hammer in the 4x100 as Amanda Crooks has graduated, but new head coach Tyler Miller is optimistic that they can once again compete for a medal in the postseason. He said that they’re still looking for that fourth leg, and he’s got a large pool of freshmen who are competing to slide into that spot.
In addition to their experience in the 4x100, the girls retain 3/4 of their medal winners at last year’s district meet in the 4x400. That group took home fourth place at the D-11 Championships, crossing the line in 4:07.37. Returning from that foursome are sophomore Lindsay Solderitch, senior Emily Wells, and Bonshak, giving the girls another excellent relay squad.
Miller said that middle distance should be another strength for the girls. They’ll feature Wells, Soldertitch, senior Juanita Flores, junior Ella Holmes and freshman Alyssa Marsteller. Solderitch, Wells and Flores had a strong showing in the 4x800 at districts last year, finishing seventh.
In the distance races, junior Devon Roberts returns. Also competing in the mile and two mile will be Marsteller. Miller said that it’s an area that currently lacks depth.
The hurdles will feature junior Aliyah Barkley, giving the Zephs some experience in the event. Also competing in the hurdles will be junior Kristin Laky and sophomore Jenna Rohrbaugh.
The jumps also have a good mix of returnees along with some newcomers. Tops on the returning list is Hope Millets who will be competing in the high jump. Newcomer, Daisha Hamilton, a freshman, is also expected to make some waves.
“I’m looking forward to what she can do for us,” said Miller.
Freshman Brooke Holmes and Ella Holmes will also be in the high jump mix.
In the long jump, Barkley, Davis, Ella Holmes and freshman Avery Peracchia will compete in the event, while the triple jump will feature Laky, Ella Holmes, and Peracchia.
Pole vault will be another event in which the Zephs will have plenty of experience. Senior Savanah Rivera returns, along with Millets and junior Serena Younes all return to the pit, while newcomers Aspen Schache, a sophomore, and freshman Arizona Marakovits will be looking to make their mark.
Miller said that he’s really excited about Marakovits’ potential, and “is excited to see what she can do this year.”
The throwing events also have a good mix of vets and newcomers. That group features senior Autumn Dragovits who will compete in all three throws. Also tossing the javelin will be freshmen Yuritza Cespedes and Janella Gaskin, junior Olivia Geiter, senior Haley Smith and sophomore Delany Sullivan.
In the shot put, the Zephs will have in the circle sophomore Raniya Brown, Cespedes, Dragovits, Smith, sophomore Toni Jones and senior Jade Williams.
The discuss will have Dragovits, Jones, Smith, Sullivan and sophomore Elissar Khalil competing in that event.
The girls finished 5-6 last season, and Miller said that he’s hopeful that once again their strong relay teams can help make this another successful season with an eye on getting back to the podium in both leagues and districts.
This season they’ll be buffered by 60 student-athletes.
The Zephs will also feature seniors Rachel Herr, Tehreem Syed and Caterine Yunez-Cosme. Juniors contributing will be Britney Bonhomme, Cassie Due, Alison Madera, Hannah Miller, Adasha, Molina, Selsebila Ouaddah, Shania Prosper and Reagan Wentling. Sophomores include Kasey Irwin, Natalie Moran, Mariele Patungan, Angelyne Steigerwalt and Alexandra Weber. Freshmen hoping to make a mark are Abigail Connolly, Mackenzie Gonzalez, Dalianna Jimenez, Ashley Kimble, Jahleah Krasenics-Galarza, Ava Muttaqi, Sandra Neamah, Reane Ouaddah, Amanda Serrano Figueroa and Jameetrice Wah.