Hello everyone and forgive me for being miserable.

I’m sorry, but I feel like Apollo Creed at the end of Rocky just taking body blow after body blow. It is as gloomy a start to May as I can ever remember. This is awful for the spring sports athletes to endure. A lot of these kids, this is all they look forward to and AD’s have to maneuver around proms, school plays and other after school functions like a contestant on the show Wipeout! Now you throw in four straight days of rain and you know what? That stinks out loud. (Pardon my French).

Wallenpaupacks Evans Obeng wins 100 against North Pocono. Photo by Butch Comegys

Wallenpaupacks Evans Obeng wins 100 against North Pocono.
Photo by Butch Comegys

Any way, track and field athletes are a little better off because of all-weather surfaces. As a track and field fan and former athlete, I couldn’t have asked for a better finish. See, to me, the regular season and the dual meets mean a lot and should be important. Winning an LTC division championship can only be achieved by the combined efforts of the entire team. You can’t win a dual meet with one or two superstars. Going undefeated is more of a reflection of a program’s success, in my opinion, than the number of Jordan Relays, Robert Spagna Championship meet or District 2 titles won. Winning regular-season division titles is something the top athlete and the sophomores and freshman can all say they were a part of someday.

So, the Division II and Division IV championships came right down to the wire. What a great day it was at Wallenpaupack. By all accounts, this was as intense a competition as anybody could ask for in any sport as Wallenpaupack battled North Pocono. The host Buckhorns and Lady Buckhorns came away with the sweep of the Division II championships, but more importantly, check out these impressive performances:

  • Alyssa LaFave Photo by Butch Comegys

    Alyssa LaFave
    Photo by Butch Comegys

    3200 Relay: North Pocono boys (Haines, Davis, Bocan, Kravitz) 8:08.9

  • 100: Evans Obeng, Wallenpaupack, 11.1 seconds
  • 400 Relay: Wallenpaupack boys (Cheslock, Vasey, DeLeon, Obeng) 44.5
  • 3200: Matt Kravitz, North Pocono, 10:08.
  • Discus: Matt Slagus, North Pocono, 175-11
  •  3200 Relay: Wallenpaupack girls (Jansco, Denniston, Killiany, LaFave) 10:00.8
  • 1600: Alyssa LaFave, Wallenpaupack, 5:20.3
  • 400 Relay: Wallenpaupack (Draidfort, Hansen, Nakielny, Gibbons) 50.6
  • 800: Alyssa LaFave, Wallenpaupack, 2:22.4
  • 1600 Relay: Wallenpaupack (Turner, Killiany, Gibbons, LaFave), 4:12.

 

Those are the types of efforts you need to win a championship when it comes down to two of the best teams in the league on the final date to run.

montlogoMeanwhile, the Montrose boys flexed their muscles again and won a fourth straight Division IV title and improved to 20-0 all time in the division. The Meteors defeated rival Elk Lake, 101-49, to continue an unprecedented run of success for the boys program which only won its first LTC division title — you guessed it — four years ago. Mike Stewart won the 100 (11.4), the 200 (23.8) and the long jump (20-4) for the Meteors.

Lydia Ofalt

Lydia Ofalt

In the girls meet, Elk Lake finished undefeated with a 94-56 win over Montrose. There was a little less drama, but there are always hidden heroes in meets like this and Lydia Ofalt was one, winning the 100 hurdles, then running the 400 relay, the 400 and 300 hurdles in successive events, while posting wins in all of them for the Lady Warriors.

So, the regular season is complete. While it was, as usual, exciting, there is an interesting trend developing ever since the LTC went to four divisions. Some programs are dominating.

Here are the boys LTC division winners since 2013:

Division I

Division II

Division III

Division IV

2013

Valley View

North Pocono

Lakeland

Montrose

2014

Abington Heights

North Pocono

Lakeland

Montrose

2015

Valley View and Scranton

Western Wayne

Lakeland

Montrose

2016

Scranton

Wallenpaupack

Lakeland

Montrose

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Here are the girls LTC division winners since 2013:

Division I

Division II

Division III

Division IV

2013

Abington Heights

Western Wayne

Lakeland

Montrose

2014

Abington Heights

Wallenpaupack

Lakeland

Montrose

2015

Abington Heights

North Pocono

Lakeland

Elk Lake

2016

Abington Heights

Wallenpaupack

Lakeland

Elk Lake

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FINAL RANKINGS

Here are my final LTC track and field rankings of the season. Remember, I consider all factors to be equal, and I use head-to-head wins and losses as a major contributor to these polls.

Girls

Abington Heights

Abington Hts.

Lakeland

Lakeland

Wallenpaupack

Wallenpaupack

Elk Lake

Elk Lake

WWBlk

Western Wayne

 

 

 

 

 

1. Abington Heights (7-0). How easy is this? Winners of 63 straight dual meet.

2. Lakeland (7-0). Maybe doesn’t have the depth overall, but very solid top talent.

3. Wallenpaupack (7-0). Is a really deep team that will be heard from in postseason.

4. Elk Lake (7-0). Went undefeated and had a crossover win over Dunmore.

5. Western Wayne (5-2). Losses were to Abington Heights and Wallenpaupack.

Others: Holy Cross (5-2), North Pocono (5-2), Dunmore (4-3).

Boys

Lakeland

Lakeland

Wallenpaupack

Wallenpaupack

North Pocono

North Pocono

Scranton

Scranton

Carbondale Area

Carbondale Area

 

 

 

 

 

1. Lakeland (7-0). Really balanced on the track in 400, 800, hurdles and jumps.

2. Wallenpaupack (7-0). Came on strong and has a very young and talented team.

3. North Pocono (6-1). Ran into a juggernaut in Wallenpaupack, but will still be heard from.

4. Scranton (5-2). At full strength, has some very good talent across the 18 events.

5. Carbondale Area (6-1). Only loss was to Lakeland and had a win over Montrose.

Others: Montrose (6-1), Elk Lale (6-1), Valley View (4-3).

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ATHLETES TO WATCH

Ok, we are moving forward and the Jordan Relays are scheduled for Thursday. Uh, the weather says rain — no surprise. The only time this event, named in honor of the late former LTC president Emmett Jordan, was canceled due to weather came in 1992. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, but if a decision has to be made, let’s make it sooner rather than later. This is a critical training tool for a lot of athletes and coaches as the Robert Spagna and District 2 championship meets are looming.

Here are four athletes to watch in the coming weeks: 

Carly Danoski

Carly Danoski

Carly Danoski, Abington Heights

Kind of goes unnoticed on a very talented Abington Heights team. But she ran a 5:18 in the 1,600, which would be the best time in the LTC if it weren’t for her teammate, Katie Dammer, who has a 5:09 on her resume. Danoski also runs on the 3,200 relay and the 1,600 relay.

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Alex Long

Alex Long

Alex Long, Western Wayne

Yes, the Wildcats fell off just a bit after winning the division title last season, but thanks to Long, they did win three meets. He will be a solid contender in the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, long jump and triple jump at the Spagna meet and the District 2 Class AAA championships.

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Madison Gilhool

Madison Gilhool

Madison Gilhool, Montrose

The Lady Meteors fell short in their quest to win a division championship, but this is a time of the year when they rely on their individual talent to make big strides. Gilhool is coming off a good showing at the Wyalusing Lasagna meet and a three-win effort against Elk Lake in the dashes.

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Eric Inthavong

Eric Inthavong

Eric Inthavong, Valley View

Fell on hard times last season when he pulled a hamstring late and could not compete in the postseason. He is one of the top-end sprinters in the district and seems to be peaking at the right time. Keep an eye on him in the 100 and 200 and as part of the 400 relay for the Cougars, who take a lot of pride in that event.

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weather9

 

 

 

That is all for this edition.

I will have a special Jordan Relays preview post tomorrow, if time allows. I have to get all of this done in 7.5 hours. Looking at the weather, we all better dress warm and have a rain coat like Columbo if Jordan Relays goes off on Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Scranton Memorial Stadium.

ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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