Babe Zaharias Twilight Challenge 2021

Tampa, FL


Ethan Lipham Interview Aug 29, 2021

At the Babe Zaharias Twilight Challenge in Tampa on Friday evening, Berkeley Prep senior Ethan Lipham opened his 2021 cross country season with a new 5K personal best of 15:43. Lipham was able to pull away from a strong field with his next closest competitor being Albert Tawil-Brown of HB Plant also breaking 16 minutes in second place at 15:52. A runner-up at last year's Babe Zaharias race, Lipham made sure that he was not going to settle for second place against.After rain earlier in the meet cooled things down a little bit for the evening race, Lipham had company for the first half of the race before pulling away late for the victory. Lipham's Berkeley Prep squad is considered to be one of the top 3 returning squads in 3A heading into the cross country season. They ran short-handed on Friday without the Weber brothers, Wolfgang and Storm, which resulted in them finishing as a distant runner-up with 109 points to impressive team performance by the HB Plant boys with 63 points, who won by a 47 point margin despite not running their top returnee as well in Ryan Maney. HB Plant has to be suddenly a team must pay more attention to in the 4A classification among a group of challengers behind the favorites and current FL #1 ranked squad Viera. Plant, coached by Mike Boza, nearly put 5 runners among the top 25 places at Babe Zaharias. Tawil-Brown was previously at Tampa Prep last fall and a 2A state qualifier in cross country with a 34th place finish in the FHSAA State Finals before transferring to Plant for the 2021 track season.Lipham has been steadily dropping his times as a runner since running cross country as a sixth-grader in 2015. Lipham had injuries slow him down as a seventh-grader, but has improved every year other than 2016 in cross country dropping his 5K times down from 20:04 as a sixth-grader, 18:58 as an eighth-grader, 17:04 as a freshman, 15:49 as a sophomore, 15:55 as a junior, and now 15:43 starting out as a senior. A back-to-back defending district and regional champion in cross country, Lipham is looking to improve upon his 9th place finish in last year's 2A state race and challenge the best runners in his classification this fall. He will have an opportunity coming up very soon at the Florida Horse Park Invitational on Saturday racing against the likes of Satellite's Justin Wilson and others. One adjustment that Lipham is planning to make with his training under the direction of his coach, as well as his father in Berkeley Prep head coach Erik Lipham, is trying to keep his mileage up and training mostly the same entering championships season. Ethan felt some of his struggles in past seasons, in the end, was losing too much endurance strength in dropping mileage and tapering down in the conventional peaking method most teams do. He is coming off a strong track season which ran personal bests of 4:24 in the 1600 meter run and 9:23 in the 3200-meter run. With the likes of teammate Kirin Karver and two talented freshmen in last year's 1-2 finishers at the FLYRA Middle School State Championships in Liam Jordan and Storm Weber with Storm's big brother Wolfgang Weber comprising their top 5, Berkeley Prep is looking to make some noise in 3A later this fall. They will need all their pieces though to put the championship season puzzle together. Ethan Lipham is certainly focused on the finish rather than the start, but not a bad one to get the ball rolling with his PR run at Babe Zaharias Twilight Challenge.Results: Babe Zaharias Twilight ChallengeRace Videos: Babe Zaharias Twilight ChallengePhotos: Babe Zaharias Twilight ChallengeAthlete Profile: Ethan LiphamBerkeley Prep Team PageFlorida Boys 5K XC Times ListFlorida Boys XC Team Scores Rankings