Well, well, well, just when you think the athletes of the Lackawanna Track Conference couldn’t impress any more, they come up with efforts Wednesday that just make this guy privileged to cover their sport. Now, I tried to perform my best Star Trek teleportation and be in two places at the same time, but Mother Nature forced all of my big events for the week to the same day. And, while I love a good track and field dual, I do like to get to events in the other sports I cover in the spring. My duties had me at the annual Abington Heights-Scranton Prep tennis showdown, and that, as usual, also provided plenty of drama. More on that in my weekly tennis post Friday.
It was a great Week 4. There is only one meet date left, and by my account most teams will run on Monday to give themselves a chance to rest and recover for the 62nd Jordan Relays on Thursday at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
As the track and field results started filtering in, I couldn’t keep up with the pace at which the school records were peppering me in almost every meet. It was like Disco Demolition Night from July 12, 1979. Most of my readers will be too young to appreciate the day disco died as a musical phenomenon at old Comiskey Park in Chicago. On that fateful night for the Bee Gees and Village People, a crate full of records was blown up in between games of a doubleheader. And much like those poor innocent, vinyl records were destroyed, so too are school records. I mean right now, it’s not if, but how many, records will get crushed on a weekly basis.
This remarkable rush of marks led my colleague, and baseball analytics devotee, Conor Foley to ask, “Are the athletes just that much better now?” Then, of course, he followed up with reminding me just how far into the history books “my generation” had fallen. Yikes. Can you believe I am going to be 47? I am out of high school 29 years and in the first weekend of June, my Class of 1992 at Lafayette College will gather for a Reunion celebrating 25 years. All that being said, my response was quick, “Yes, the athletes are that much better.”
Listen, I am not some curmudgeon, unwilling to appreciate how athletes have matured in this era. Training is better. There is more focus on weight training and dieting. There are more coaches, who are better educated on strategies and conditioning. The facilities are state of the art. And the athletes themselves are bigger, faster and stronger. It’s the way of the world. When I ran in 1988, I can remember dashing through coal chips at Carbondale Area High School, the famous ash oval at Scranton Memorial Stadium, and dare I say the less than comforting macadam at my alma mater Lakeland High School. Today, races take place on tight rubberized surfaces which provide spring and cushion for meets and strenuous workouts.
In short, the athletes are just that much better. There were 15 school records broken Wednesday. That is a huge number. But it is also becoming a weekly trend. These school records are also sending a ripple across the state as many of them put LTC athletes among the best in the Commonwealth, according to the ranking provided by the staff at pa.mileplit.com. And all of this will make the postseason, which is right around the corner mind you, all that much more exciting.
NOTE: To be ranked by pa.milesplit.com the mark must be documented at an invitational meet or be a fully automatic time in races. Where LTC marks are listed is a projection only for the purpose of comparison. And remember, these rankings fluctuate very quickly.
Video courtesy of Western Wayne coach Justin Collins
- Western Wayne’s Ryan Atcavage: Broke his school record in the pole vault by clearing 15 feet, 2 inches against West Scranton. He is already at PA No. 1 with his 14-0 mark at the North Pocono Invitational. His 15-2 would be PA No. 1 in Class 2A by more than a foot.
- Dunmore’s Gavin Darcy: Broke his school record in the javelin with a distance of 197-4. That would be PA No. 2 in Class 2A.
- Scranton’s Ky’Ron Harbin: Broke his own school record in the high jump, clearing 6-6. That would be PA No. 3 in Class 3A.
- Carbondale Area’a Marcos Ortiz: Broke the school record with a converted time of 15.34 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles. That would be a PA No. 6 in Class 2A.
- Scranton’s Greg Miller: Broke the school record in the shot put for the fourth straight meet with a mark of 50-3.75.
- Holy Cross’ Matt Nelson: Broke his own school record in the high jump with a clearing of 6-1.
Susquehanna’a Skyla Wilson: Broke the school record in the 400 with a time of 58.64 (converted), which would be a PA No. 4 in Class 2A. She also set a school record in the 200 clocking in at 26.34 (converted).
- Carbondale Area’s Sarah Korty: Broke her school record in the discus with a distance of 115-3. She also broke a school record in the shot put with a mark of 34-6.5.
- Mid Valley’s Lauren Williams: Broke her school record for the second meet in a row for the javelin with a mark of 104-3, despite finishing second to Holy Cross’ Madison Ware.
- Western Wayne’s Trina Barcarola: Set a school record by soaring above 10-9 in the pole vault in a win over West Scranton.
- Scranton Prep’s Victoria Atkinson: Set a school record in the pole vault by clearing 10-0 in a win over Scranton.
- Mid Valley’s Larissa Chmielewski: Set a school record by clearing 7-6.25 in the pole vault in a second-place finish to Cassie Groncki of Holy Cross.
- Lackawanna Trail’s Tori James: set a school record in the 800 with a time of 2:28.24 converted.
Any way you slice that day in this sport, it’s amazing. Congratulations to all.
DAY OF CHAMPIONS
Yes, the individual stars stole a lot of the spotlight in the LTC on Week 4 of the season. But, this is still a team sport. And for the fourth straight week, we had an emotionally draining dual between two of the best teams.
Delaware Valley got a huge lift from its field event performers and edged North Pocono, 76-74, to clinch a tie for the program’s first LTC Division II championship. The Warriors will finish the season against a very strong Wallenpaupack team Monday, but regardless of that outcome, the worst they can finish is 3-1 in the division and the LTC does not break ties. If teams have the same record, they share the crown.
What a remarkable meet, too. I could only imagine the tension and anxiety as each race and event result came in. Delaware Valley’s sophomore sensation Darryn Ouk dashed his way to wins in the 100 and 200 against some pretty speedy competition in North Pocono’s Tyler Musgrave and Matt Craig. And, led by wins from John Manganella (javelin), Dylan Kelly (long jump) and Shane Acoveno (high jump), and the real eye-opener, Nick Haydu (shot), who won his battle against North Pocono’s Matt Slagus with a distance of 50-6, the Warriors scored 40 points in the field.
It all added up to a narrow win, and another team championship for the boys at Delaware Valley, adding to a crowded mantel that includes titles in the Lackawanna Football Conference Division I (funny how success in football and track seem common, hmmmmm), Lackawanna League Division II basketball, Lackawanna League swimming and Lackawanna Division I in wrestling.
Lakeland boys and girls defeated Carbondale Area and clinched ties for division honors. Since the LTC went to this four-division format, both programs are undefeated against their conference opponents. Each are on long dual-meet winning streaks, as well. The Lakeland girls have won 31 straight, while the Lakeland boys reached the milestone No. 30.
- The Lakeland boys track program won 51 straight dual meets from 1984-1990; 51 straight dual meets again from 1994-2000; 29 straight dual meets from 2002-2005; and 23 straight dual meets from 2000-2002.
Lakeland also added to their impressive list of championship seasons in both boys and girls track and field. It is the 28th overall division championship for the boys program, which leads all LTC programs. And it was the 17th championship for a girls program that didn’t win its first title until 1993.
BOYS TOP PROGRAMS
- Lakeland (28): 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.
- Abington Heights (15): 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1983, 1990, 2008, 2009, 2014.
- Dunmore (15): 1954, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2011.
- North Pocono (14): 1984, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2010, 2013, 2014.
- Valley View (10): 1982, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015.
GIRLS TOP PROGRAMS
- Abington Heights (17): 1978, 1979, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
- Lakeland (17): 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.
- Western Wayne (11) : 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
- North Pocono (9): 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1995, 2004, 2015.
- Scranton Prep (9): 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2000.
NOTE: Abington Heights (3-0) can clinch a tie for the LTC Division I title if it defeats Valley View (3-0) on Friday.
Montrose is building quite a dynasty in this division. The Meteors won a pair of meets on Wednesday, beating Mountain View, 124-23, and rival Susquehanna, 132-17. That gives the program 24 straight wins against division opponents and clinched the program its fifth straight title.
Keep an eye on this team in Class 2A, as well. This is the best and most balanced this program has ever been. The Meteors have talent and depth in the distance races with Zach Mead and Owen Brewer. I mean, it makes sense, the cross country team finished 23-0 in the Lackawanna League this fall. But, they are not the team’s only weapons.
Harley Mullins and Colin Chidester are two of the top 110-meter hurdle runners in the LTC for any division. They also give the team a pretty solid 1-2 punch in the jumps.
- Colin Mondi is a top performer in the pole vault at 12-6, and the discus at 127-8.5, and has in the past cleared better than 6-0 in the high jump.
- Brennan Gilhool posted one of the top times in the 200 with a 23.2 on Wednesday.
- Devin Nash is a consistent performer in the shot put.
Looking ahead, there are still some results to be decided in dual meets that could shake up the standings, slightly.
Wallenpaupack at Honesdale
- If the Wallenpaupack girls win, they will clinch a tie for a second straight Division II title.
- If the Wallenpaupack boys win, they pull into a tie for second place with North Pocono in the loss column, and will run at leader Delaware Valley on Monday where a win there could earn it a tie for the title.
Valley View at Abington Heights
- If Abington Heights boys win, they will be tied with Scranton and will set up a showdown Monday for the Division I championship.
- If the Abington Heights girls win (and they have won 66 straight meets), they will clinch a tie for the Division I title.
- If Valley View girls win, they will earn a tie for the Division I championship, which would be the program’s first since 2007.
Final Date of Regular season
2017 LTC STANDINGS
DATES TO REMEMBER
- May 4: 62nd Jordan Relays at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
- May 9: Robert Spagna Championships at at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
- May 15: District 2 Class 2A Championships at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
- May 16: District 2 Class 3A Championships at at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
As the regular season heads into its final two weeks, here are the qualifying standards for athletes who are aiming to compete at the District 2 Track and Field Championship meets, provided graciously by Mike Ognosky, District 2 track and field chairperson Danielle DePietro and piaad2.org.
OK, I know this is going to be a bit strange with a couple of results still out, but I am not sure I can update or post again here On the Blog this week. And with the outcomes from Wednesday, I think it is important to get these polls completed. But today is always the day that I publish the ranking of teams, so let’s maintain that policy.
With Delaware Valley’s win over North Pocono in boys, that means we have a new No. 1 — our third of the season. Normally, you slide the No. 2 team into that spot. But, Delaware Valley looks like the best overall team and will leapfrog Lakeland, which is still working through some injuries. Boy, that would be a great dual meet between the Warriors and Chiefs — I long for the old days a little.
Abington Heights and Wallenpaupack have yet to complete Week 4, so they are anchored in at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. Lakeland won its title, so it will stay in at No. 3. Western Wayne is very good and I will say this, Susquehanna is a very solid small-school team.
1. Abington Heights (3-0). Last rank: 1. Next: Friday vs. Valley View (3-0).
- Did not compete.
2. Wallenpaupack (3-0), Last rank: 2. Next: Today at rival Honesdale (1-2).
- Did not compete.
3. Lakeland (4-0), Last rank: 4. Next: Monday vs. Riverside (2-2).
- Beat Carbondale Area, 98-45.
4. Western Wayne (3-1), Last rank: 5. Next: Monday vs. vs. Honesdale.
- Beat West Scranton, 119-31.
5. Susquehanna (4-0), Last rank: NR. Next: Monday at Elk Lake (4-0).
- Beat Montrose, 88-61.
Others: Valley View (3-0), Elk Lake (4-0), Dunmore (3-1), Holy Cross (2-2).
1. Delaware Valley (4-0), Last rank: 3. Next: Monday vs. Wallenpaupack (2-1).
- Beat North Pocono, 76-74.
2. Lakeland (4-0), Last rank: 2. Next: Monday vs. Riverside (0-4).
- Defeated Carbondale Area, 102-48.
3. North Pocono (3-1), Last rank: 1. Next: Monday vs. Blue Ride (1-3) .
- Lost to Delaware Valley, 76-74.
4. Wallenpaupack (2-1), Last rank: 4. Next: Today at rival Honesdale (0-3).
- Did not compete.
5. Scranton (3-1), Last rank: 5. Next: Monday vs. Abington Heights (3-0).
- Beat Scranton Prep, 95-54.
Others: Montrose (4-0), Abington Heights (3-0).
It was a great day for D2 athletes at the 123rd Penn Relays at historic Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania.
Won the High School Girls Pole Vault clearing 12 feet, 7.5 inches.
Placed third in the High School Girls Pole Vault, clearing 12 feet, 3.5 inches.
Placed 12th in the High School Girls Discus with a mark of 134 feet, 4 inches.
Placed third in the shot put with a distance of 45 feet, 1.5 inches.
Placed fifth in the Girls One Mile Run with a time of 4 minutes, 57.23 seconds.
- 12:45 PM – North Pocono’s Matt Slagus, high school boys discus
- 2:45 PM – Dunmore’s Gavin Darcy and Scranton Prep’s Lucas Stage, high school boys javelin
NEWS AND NOTES
- The Wyalusing Lasagna Invitational has become a staple for LTC teams and individuals. Anybody remember former Holy Cross great Rico Galassi? According to the event’s release last year “there were
18 State medalists, including AA Long Jump State Champion Breana Gambrell from Athens, AA Boys 4 x 400m State Champions from Lakeland and Second Place winner in the Girls AAA HJ Katie Kravitsky from Dallas. This year’s meet starts at 3 p.m — and I do try to keep you all posted on Twitter @JobyFawcett26.
- The 62nd Jordan Relays will be held at Scranton Memorial Stadium on May 4 at 6 p.m. I don’t usually like to provide opinion here (yeah, right), but I think this will be one of the best Jordan Relays in recent memory — if we get it in! Mother Nature looks like it wants to have a say with Rain predicted for bot Thursday and Friday. But that is a long way off, so let’s cross our fingers. Lakeland (Class 2A boys), Lakeland and Holy Cross (Class 2A girls), Scranton (Class 3A boys) and Wallenpaupack (Class 3A girls) are the defending champions.
That is all for today.
If the situation dictates, I will have more later in the week. But for now, look for my next post Tuesday that will recap the final meet date of the season.
I will also have a post on Thursday, getting you all up to speed (see what I did there) for the 62nd Jordan Relays.