Ok, fans, there is only one regular-season date remaining in the Lackawanna Track Conference schedule and two division championships to be decided.

Also, the 63rd annual Jordan Relays are scheduled for Thursday.

Let’s hope Mother Nature gives these athletes a little bit of a break. This has been — by far — the worst spring in the last 24 years. The only one close would have to be in 1994 when District 2 officials, in their infinite wisdom, held the Class 2A Championship amid steady sleet and freezing rain. Not that weather would ever hurt a kid’s chances of qualifying for the state meet.

Thankfully, and hopefully, we are past just terrible administrative decisions.

 

Also, some things LTC officials should consider that could help with weather issues:

 

 

  • Based on teams having to run a 5-meet schedule, it’s time to look at moving the dates for the postseason. I know, it’s terrible to ask high school students to compete on Saturdays in the spring with proms, but honestly, it’s time to make the Jordan Relays a SATURDAY matinee event. If teams can’t make it, they can’t make it. There are invitational meets held across the state EVERY Saturday. So many in fact, that they are becoming more and more popular. There are dozens of athletic events being held on Saturdays every week.

 

  • The creation of LTC-sponsored invitational meets. OK, coaches have had their say and their requests appeased by having only 1 conference meet a week to free up athletes to attend and compete at invitational meets on the aforementioned weekends. That certainly is wonderful and has had great results for the kids who are ELITE. But for this sport to revive itself, it’s time to get away from being so narrow-minded. When the meets conclude Monday, for close to half of a track and field team’s members, the season is over. Finished. That’s 5 weeks. Let’s compare to football — 10 weeks and we may as well say 12 weeks; basketball 16 weeks (not counting the disgraceful AAU schedule that has invaded scholastic sports seasons with no regard for rules and regulations). Folks, neither of those two sports has to deal with such harsh weather issues, either. What kind of experience is that for track kids? Looks like it is going to be a high of 58 degrees Monday — That means at no time this season, did track teams have the opportunity to run a conference meet — a regular-season conference meet — where temperatures were in even the 60s. Just a suggestion, but let’s allow schools to host invitationals like the North Pocono Twilight Invitational (NPTI) event EVERY week. Ok, sure the elite kids can go travel to elite events, and the rest of the team can attend these big meets, win medals, and quite frankly have FUN. Those who attended the NPTI will tell you, despite the frigid weather, it was a great experience to win medals.

 

  • Please, please, please get rid of qualifying heats at the NPTI, and the Spagna meet, and at the District 2 Championships for that matter. OK, the latter would require a schedule change and I will address that. Please, and I don’t care what ANY coach tells me, remember, I ran and I coached, there is NO reason to run qualifying heats in the hurdles and sprints. Are we out of our minds? Don’t give me any antiquated arguments, “well you can have somebody sneak in.”  Really? That’s what the goal is? Sneak somebody into a heat of 8 runners? No, we want the best, at their best. Yeah, let’s just keep forcing sprinters and hurdlers to run — up to 6 races at a championship level mind you. But heaven forbid, you ask the 3,200 to be moved to a morning event and all heck breaks loose. This is nonsensical. Dunmore’s Gillian Coar REALLY needs to win a qualifying heat in the 100? Doesn’t her unbeaten record speak for itself? Let’s knock it off. In this sport, where track coaches want to win team titles, the schedule and running qualifying heats, dictates they can’t. Why? Because no coach wants to tax an athlete in such a manner. Comparing states and districts are two different things, entirely. An athlete may have only qualified in ONE event for the state meet. Run the district meet straight! Please! Piggy-backing on that process also, a move by Jordan Relays to a Saturday event would allow for the meet to hold breaks, so we aren’t torturing the sports’s 400-meter runners. And, there will be less listening to complaints as the meets go on, and on, and on. … until when it finally comes  time to crown team championships (you know, the reason we are competing) they aren’t rewarded in front of an empty stadium.

 

 

Dunmore’s Gillian Coar.
Photo by Jason Farmer

 

 

  • Finally, get the District 2 Championship meet over 2 DAYS. I don’t care what sacrifices it takes. Don’t give me kids would miss too much school. Give it a rest. Officials are about  to spend a fortnight traveling to and from Wilkes-Barre for tennis. Volleyball holds three tournaments over three days. When you can host a basketball tournament that starts at noon on a school day, we can stop the argument RIGHT there. Stop treating track athletes like second-class, especially since the sport has produced more than 50 Division I athletes in the last 4 years. Put your heads together. Mirror the state meet. Go, Thursday and Friday or Friday and Saturday. Just get it done. Stop talking about it and do it. The KIDS deserve better.

 

RANT OVER!

 


 

 

RANKINGS

 

 

OK, I am behind and there will be a follow up post that will chronicle the LTC Division Championships following Monday’s action.

Here are the polls heading into the final meets.

 

BOYS TOP 5

 

NOTE: Wallenpaupack defeated Scranton in an LTC Division I-II crossover meet to take over the No. 1 spot. The Buckhorns will host Delaware Valley on Monday in a showdown for the Division II title.

Lakeland has already clinched a tie for the Division III title and Montrose has done the same in Division IV.

Scranton will travel to Abington Heights to decide the Division I title Monday.

 

Rank

Team

Record

Previous

1

Wallenpaupack Buckhorns

4–0

1

 

2

Delaware Valley Warriors

4–0

4

 

3

Lakeland Chiefs

4–0

3

 

4

Scranton Knights

3–1

1

 

5

Montrose Meteors

4–0

5

 

OTHERS TO WATCH: Abington Heights 4-0, Dunmore 3-1.

 

 


 

 

GIRLS TOP 5

 

NOTE: It is a shame we are denied a Western Wayne-Abington Heights girls meet, and a Lakeland-Elk Lake meet.

 

Rank

Team

Record

Previous

 

1

Abington Heights Lady Comets

4–0

1

 

2

Western Wayne Lady ‘Cats

4–0

3

 

3

Wallenpaupack Lady Buckhorns

3–1

2

 

4

Lakeland Lady Chiefs

4–0

5

 

5

Scranton Prep Classics

3–1

4

 

 

OTHERS TO WATCH: Elk Lake (4-0); Holy Cross (3-1).

 

 


 

 

SCHEDULE

 

 

MONDAY

Abington Heights’ Kyle Burke

Division I
Valley View at West Scranton
Scranton at Abington Heights
Division II
Western Wayne at Honesdale
Delaware Valley at Wallenpaupack
Division III
Carbondale Area at Holy Cross
Mid Valley at Dunmore
Lakeland at Riverside
Division IV
Montrose at Blue Ridge
Elk Lake at Susquehanna
Crossover
Scranton Prep at North Pocono

 

 


 

 

 

63rd JORDAN RELAYS

 

Right now, things are scheduled to start Thursday at 6 p.m. at Scranton Memorial Stadium.

 

Here are the defending champions:

 

  • GIRLS CLASS 3A: Abington Heights
  • GIRLS CLASS 2A: Western Wayne
  • BOYS CLASS 3A: Scranton
  • BOYS CLASS 2A: Montrose

 

 

MEET RECORDS

 

BOYS

 

CLASS AAA

Distance medley: Wallenpaupack, 2005 (Zach Carnegie, Jason Elsinger, Justin Pickett, Kevin Sives), 8:11.46.

400 relay: Valley View, 2012 (Robert Castellani, Tyler Phillips, Nyeem Wartman, Garrett Rupe) 43.48.

1200 medley: Delaware Valley, 2014 (Shane Fowler, Kyle Dillon, Kareem Payne, Rian Fowler) 2:27.08.

3200 relay: Honesdale, 2006 (Sean Craig, Eric Florence, Kevin Chapla, Ayden Fiorelli), 8:03.38.

1600 medley: Delaware Valley, 2004 (Joe Stauder, Tom Poltersdorf, Ben McKean, Dan McNally), 3:37.41.

1600 relay: North Pocono, 2004 (Todd Plociniak, Kyle McCloe, Brett Fedor, Justin Blaum),  3:24.87.

 

CLASS AA

Distance medley: Lakeland, 2013 (Mark Arzie, Casey Albino, Brandon Newberry, Nathan Morgan), 8:13.86.

400 relay: Mid Valley, 2012 (Matt Tanner, Ronny Tomasetti, Antonio Russo, Kyle Laniewski). 43.51.

1200 Medley: Lakeland, 2003 (John Wormuth, T.J. Turpack, Tony Prudente, Dave Machiesky), 2:26.39.

3200 relay: Lakeland, 2006 (Kyle Pepson, Mark Bucklaw, Craig Merkel, Drew Babcanec), 8:04.93.

1600 medley: Lakeland, 2002 (Brian Hilling, Steve Wasch, Bobby Machiesky, Dave Machiesky), 3:37.05.

1600 relay: Lakeland, 2015 (Collin Cooper, Mark Arzie, Garth Estadt, Nathan Morgan), 3:24.18.

 

 

 

 

GIRLS

 

CLASS AAA

Distance medley: Pittston Area, 2013 (Catherine Lombardo, Samantha Mayers, Elizabeth Waleski, Madison Mimnaugh). 9:36.06.

400 relay: Abington Heights, 2014 (Ally Christman, Allyson Derry,  Abigail, McMinn Isabelle Clauss) 49.76.

1200 Medley: Abington Heights, 2009 (Brittney Martin, Jordan Hoyt, Krista Matsko, Nicole Smith), 2:53.05.

3200 relay: Pittston Area, 2013 (Tara Johnson, Madison Mimnaugh, Catherine Lombardo, Samantha Mayers). 9:42.83.

1600 medley: Abington Heights, 2009 (Jordan Hoyt, Krista Matsko, Nicole Smith, Brittney Martin), 4:15.36.

1600 relay: Honesdale, 2012 (Katie Miller, Mary Martin, Summer Hill, Janna Wilson), 3:59.64.

 

CLASS AA

Distance medley: Elk Lake, 2010 (Kirsten Hollister, Caitie Good, Cassie VanEtten, Maria Trowbridge), 9:47.90.

400 relay: Lakeland, 2012 (Emily Williams, Cassidy Jenkins, Ashton Boyarsky, Sarah Larkin), 50.49.

200 medley: Montrose, 2014 (Allison Lewis, Meghan Gilhool, Rebecca Timm, Myra Lattimore) 2:53.47.

3200 relay: Elk Lake, 2008 (Lisa Ruppert, Ellen Squier, Kim Caines, Rachel Owens), 9:57.77.

1600 medley: Lakeland, 2014 (Cassidy Jenkins, Kayla Agentowicz, Madison Harding, Brooke Estadt) 4:19.23.

1600 relay: Lakeland, 2005 (Ashley Hughes, Trina Carito, Casey Lisowski, Sue Bochnovich), 4:05.36.

NOTE: .24 seconds added to records set before 2005 to account for fully automatic timing system used at Scranton Memorial Stadium.