October 30, 2019

With Carter Setting the Pace at County Meet, Hun Cross Country Headed in Right Direction

WILD ABOUT HARRY: Hun School boys’ cross country star Harry Carter heads to the finish line at the Mercer County Championships last Friday at Washington Crossing Park. Sophomore Carter finished 11th individually to help Hun take eighth place in the team standings at the meet. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Hun School boys’ cross country star Harry Carter didn’t achieve his goal coming into the Mercer County Championships but he was still all smiles after the meet last Friday afternoon at Washington Crossing Park.

“I was shooting for a particular place, 10th, so I was one short,” said sophomore Carter, who clocked a time of 16:30 over the 5,000-meter course in taking 11th in the boys’ varsity race. “Last year I was 52nd so I did a lot better than last year.”

In reflecting on that progress, Carter credited coaching and some inspiration from one of team’s previous stars.

“Our new coach [Kurt Wayton] is really good,” said Carter, whose effort helped Hun take eighth place in the team standings at the event won by WW/P-North.

“Literally, he has helped me with everything. He has taught me so many new techniques and so many new types of training to get much better. Also, my former teammate from last year, Martin Adams motivated me to keep pushing and training.”

Pushing harder in training has helped Carter reach a higher level. “I have upped my mileage a lot in particular,” said Carter. “I am doing more like 50-60 miles a week now; last year I was at 20-30.”

While Hun head coach Wayton was happy with Carter’s performance, he knows there is more to come from his sophomore standout.

“Harry had a solid effort but Harry would be the first to tell you that he could have done a little bit better,” said Wayton.

“He is a sophomore and this is the first time all season that he has really been tested. In the races he has been in up to this point, he has had a really close shot to win. It is not going to happen against Liam Murphy [of Allentown] and Luke Johnson [of WW/P-North] so I thought he handled himself well. He is a guy who is going to win this race in a couple of years.”

Wayton, who is in his first season guiding the Hun cross country program after having built WW/P-South into a powerhouse, is proud of how his runners have been handling themselves this fall.

“I am happy with the whole team; I am excited about the way things are going,” said Wayton, who had two other runners in the top 50 at the county meet as senior Liam Kelso placed 47th in 17:40 and sophomore Gabe Huang right behind in 48th at 17:41.

“It is a tremendous group of young people. The boys and the girls this year are the tip of the spear for what is going to be an outstanding program for the Hun School.”

In Wayton’s view, that work ethic will yield outstanding results down the road for the Raiders.

“We have 25 kids each and every day who are super excited to be a student athlete and who are super-excited to work hard,” said Wayton.

“There is no complaining, there is no bellyaching, they come to work each and every day and they are just fired up for two hours. You do that over several seasons and several years and you are going to get really good.”

Carter, for his part, is fired up to compete in the MAPL meet on October 30 and the state Prep A championships on November 6, with both competitions to take place at the Blair Academy.

“I am going to pivot off the time today when I am running the MAPLs and the Prep As so I can feel comfortable with the pace,” said Carter. “Hopefully I can get a nice kick in the end and get a win.”