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Issue Home October 30, 2002 Site Home

Local Sports Scene

Local Sports Scene
By Tom J. Robinson

Squiers Lead Qualifiers For State Cross Country

Mount Cobb – Elk Lake's Jessica and Bob Squier produced the top Susquehanna County finishes in the District 2 Class AA cross country championships Wednesday at Scranton Municipal Golf Course.

The brother and sister team led a group of six county runners who earned the right to compete in the state championships in Hershey Saturday.

Jessica Squier and Blue Ridge's Rachel Hall finished second and third in the Class AA girls' race.

Bob Squier finished third in the AA boys' race.

Montrose had the other two girls' qualifiers, Jeanne Roszel and Krista DiRiancho, while finishing third in the team scoring race.

Elk Lake had both boys' qualifiers. Ryan Place finished eighth and will join Squier at the state meet.

There were runners from 27 schools, including 21 full teams in the girls' field and 23 full boys' teams.

The Montrose girls were one place out of a team berth in state meet that went to the top two teams.

Dallas won with 66 points, Scranton Prep qualified second with 98 and the Lady Meteors had 130 points.

Blue Ridge was seventh with 213 points and Forest City was ninth with 258. Elk Lake and Susquehanna each had only three runners so they did not post a team score.

Kodie Morrison (23rd), Ashley Johnson (35th) and Courtney Groll (43rd) completed Montrose's team scoring.

Squier finished in 19:28, 22 seconds behind Western Wayne's Meaghan Robbins and 17 seconds ahead of Hall.

Other county girls in the top 50 were: Amy Newak, Forest City, 31st; Katrina Rinehimmer, Blue Ridge, 32nd; Meagan Martel, Blue Ridge, 34th; Ashley Johnson, Montrose, 35th; and Kathryn Nebzydoski, Forest City, 39th.

Danielle Stone finished 67th in the 150-runner field to lead Susquehanna's three competitors.

Elk Lake had the top boys' team finish, placing 10th, one spot ahead of Montrose. The Warriors outscored the Meteors, 224-244. Scranton Prep (55 points) and Lake-Lehman (126) qualified for the state meet.

Forest City was 13th, Blue Ridge 15th and Susquehanna 17th in the team race. Mountain View had only four runners so it did not post a team score.

Bob Squier finished in 16:35. Jonathan Pastore of Scranton Prep was first in 16:05, followed by Brad Baird of Lake-Lehman in 16:09.

Ryan Place was eighth in 17:06.

Mike Hibbard (39th), Jaron Fissler (43rd) and Mike Hodle (131st) completed Elk Lake's team scoring.

Montrose's Aaron Taylor missed the state meet by three spots and nine seconds. He was 17th in 17:30.

Other county runners in the top 50 were: Brett Hagstrom, Montrose, 24th; Brian McIlwee, Forest City, 27th; and Eric Darde, Montrose, 45th.

Mountain View's Brad Breese, Susquehanna's Kevin Lee and Blue Ridge's Logan Goff were within a second of each other in 52nd through 54th place for the top finish from each team.

There were 166 runners in the race.


Montrose's Dylan Maxey settled for 58th and Elk Lake's Carla VanDenHengle took 31st during the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association golf championships in York.

Maxey, who was 22nd in the state last season as a junior, was one of many players to struggle on the Heritage Hills Golf Club on the tournament's opening day. He recovered from a first-day 88 to shoot 7-over-par, 78 with a pair of 39s on the second day.

Adam Cohan of Radnor won a four-hole playoff from Robert Rohanna of Waynesburg after both players shot even-par, 142s for the 36-hole event.

Maxey was third among five District 2 boys at the state tournament.

Dave Osborne of Carbondale Sacred Heart shot 74 on the second day and 157 for the tournament to finish tied for 31st. Tony Tosh of Wilkes-Barre Coughlin was 53rd, Nick Paone of Valley was tied for 68th and Justin Alunni of Valley View was 71st in the 72-player field.

VanDenHengle shot 96-102-198.

Katie Miller of Hempfield was the girls' champ with a 149, 11 strokes better than two other District 7 golfers, Katie Trachok of Upper St. Clair and Jordyn Wells of Bethel Park.

VanDenHengle was second among three District 2 players in the event at Springwood Golf Club.

Holly Shubilla of Wilkes-Barre GAR was tied for 24th while Catie Lauver of Hazleton Area was 32nd.

In tennis, Elk Lake's Blaire Lord and Rachael Decker advanced to the District 2 Class AA doubles quarterfinals before losing to eventual champions Angela Pugliese and Liz Karam of Scranton Prep.

Lord-Decker defeated Kelly Fagulla-Kristy Bannan of Bishop Hannan, 6-1, 6-4, and Jamie Lemoncelli-Brenne Blarklada of Valley View, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

The eventual champs beat Lord-Decker, 6-0, 6-2.

Elk Lake's Robyn McMicken and Jen McMicken and Montrose's Jen Oliver-Lori Cooper each won once before being eliminated in the semifinals. Both teams made it through the first round while losing just one game in two sets.

Montrose's Kate VanNess and Lisa Carden were eliminated in the first round by second-seeded Mansee Patel and Julia Rabente of Wyoming Seminary.

In soccer, several county teams wrapped up a successful regular season and moved on to the players.

The Mountain View and Forest City boys won Divisions C and D of the Lackawanna League. The Montrose girls won the Lackawanna League Northern Division title.

Mountain View finished an incredible season then began collecting the honors that go with it.

Mike Belcher has been selected as division MVP and the berth on the all-state team that goes with it.

Coach Darin Bain said five other Eagles were selected first-team, all-stars by the division's coaches. Those players included leading scorer Jake Scanlon, Eric Salansky, goalie Brandon Bennett and defenders Todd Calabro and Taylor Harrison.

Mountain View went 10-0 in the division and 15-0 in the Lackawanna League by an incredible 102-4 margin.

The Eagles then opened the playoffs by dominating Forest City on the way to a 5-0 victory in which Scanlon scored two goals.

Scanlon had 24 goals and 19 assists while Belcher had 22 goals and 16 assists in 15 league games.

"We play a 3-5-2 and attack as a team so most of their goals came off of combination play between the attacking center midfielder and two forwards," Bain said.

Belcher handles the attacking midfielder position.

The win over Forest City sent Mountain View into Tuesday night's District 2 semifinal at Lake-Lehman against Bishop Hannan.

Montrose made the Class AA playoffs where it lost, 1-0, to top-seeded Wilkes-Barre Meyers in the quarterfinals.

Elk Lake played its way into the Class A quarterfinals with a 3-0 playoff victory over Lakeland.

The Montrose girls used a 2-1 overtime victory over a surging Mountain View team to lock up the North Division title.

Tara Mullin scored her 13th and 14th goals of the season, including the winner 3:36 into overtime, to lead the Lady Meteors (11-1-2).

Erika Brown assisted on Mullin's first goal, which Mountain View's Megan Holleran answered to force overtime.

Holly Stoddard made 11 saves for Montrose.

The Lady Meteors will meet Southern Division champion Scranton Prep for the District 2 Class AA title.

Amber Lattner led Montrose with 19 goals and 10 assists during the season while Mullin had 14 goals and four assists and Coleen Walsh had five goals and seven assists.

In girls' volleyball, Blue Ridge is establishing itself as a power.

The Raiders, who won their first Lackawanna League and District 2 titles last season, have won 28 straight regular-season matches. They won their second straight league title and took the top seed and home-court advantage into Monday night's four-team District 2 Class A tournament, which also included Forest City.

Coach Diane Dean said much of the improvement has come in the off-season when many of her top players join some of the area's other top players to form a club team that travels to places like Allentown, Lancaster and Philadelphia for tournaments.

"It gets them playing against better competition," said Dean, who is in her fifth season as head coach.

The Raiders made it through one round of state tournament play last season and will look to advance further this season.

The big strides came from the senior class that graduated last season as a championship team after going winless as freshmen.

"They totally turned around the program," Dean said. "They got a little better every year. They went from barely over .500 to unbeaten last season."

Junior hitter Brooke Hinkley, a three-year starter, leads this year's team. Alicia Demer, Annette Conigliaro, Chrissy Cosmello and Devin Glezen are two-year starters in Dean's rotation, which regularly uses seven players for the six positions. Demer suffered a broken hand in a recent scrimmage.

Mindy Stanton and Desiree Gardner are the other regulars in the lineup.

In football, Scranton Prep used a strong running game to defeat Montrose, 39-20, at Lackawanna County Stadium.

The loss ended the Meteors' four-game winning streak and their hopes of winning the Lackawanna Football Conference Division II title. It also seriously damaged Montrose's Class AA playoff hopes.

Susquehanna remained winless in a 40-7 loss to Mid Valley.

Leading rusher Erik Hines carried 13 times for 62 yards and the Sabers' only touchdown.

In professional hockey, the Binghamton Senators used two short-handed goals Friday night to defeat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-1, in the first regular-season meeting between the two American Hockey League teams.


Last week's high school football predictions were 8-2, leaving my season record at 73-25 (74.5 percent).

This week's predictions, with the winners in CAPS: LAKELAND 34, Montrose 15; OLD FORGE 34, Susquehanna 0; SCRANTON 28, Delaware Valley 20; VALLEY VIEW 30, Honesdale 18; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 40, Bishop O'Hara 8; MID VALLEY 43, Riverside 21; DUNMORE 36, Western Wayne 6; SCRANTON PREP 22, Carbondale 14; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 27, West Scranton 15; WALLENPAUPACK 16, North Pocono 9.


Ashley Tierney, a freshman from Blue Ridge, has been a steady contributor on the Mansfield University cross country team.

Tierney was her team's second-best runner and was 19th overall in her college debut to help Mansfield finish fourth in the Bloomsburg Invitational.

Since that strong start, Tierney has been her team's third- fourth- or fifth-best finisher in each race. She was third on her team and 31st overall in the Lock Haven Invitational.

TOM J. ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached on-line at

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Back-To-Back Wins For BUSCH, Hampton, GA – Kurt Busch won his second straight NASCAR Winston Cup Series race Sunday after rain cut short the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after 248 laps, and Tony Stewart increased his lead for the championship.

Joe Nemechek finished second, followed by Dale Jarrett, Tony Stewart, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Rain forced a two and one-half hour delay in the scheduled 325 lap race with Tony Stewart leading. When cars were allowed back on the track, Stewart brought his No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac back into the pits because of two loose lug nuts. When green flag racing resumed on lap 46, he was 32nd.

Joe Nemechek was the new leader. During lap 138, rookie Jimmie Johnson hit the wall bringing out anther caution. All the leaders pitted. Back on the track it was Nemechek, and Jeff Gordon.

One lap later, Jeff Gordon passed Nemechek and held the lead until all the leaders pitted again on lap 202.

When green flag racing continued on lap 208, Kurt Busch was the new leader, followed by Nemechek, Gordon, Stewart and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Johnson spun his No. 48 again on lap 232, and all the leaders pitted once again.

When the green flag was given, Busch was leading, followed by Stewart, Nemechek, Dale Jarrett, and Dale Earnhardt. Nemechek was able to get under Stewart, but was no match for Busch's No. 97 Sharpie Ford.

NASCAR officials threw the yellow flag on lap 245, and two laps later gave the white flag after rain began to pour down. The race ended under a heavy rain after 248 laps.

Busch, who also won last Sunday at Martinsville, didn't let the wet track keep him from cutting the customary doughnuts after winning for the third time in his career in a Ford owned by Roush Racing.

"It was just a matter of getting out front, and my crew did it for me again," Busch said. "We just kept digging and made a little adjustment at the end. We were a little bit off and we had a great stop. It just feels awesome."

Top ten finishing order: 1. Kurt Busch, 2. Joe Nemechek, 3. Dale Jarrett, 4. Tony Stewart, 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 6. Jeff Gordon, 7. Jamie McMurray, 8. Mark Martin, 9. Matt Kenseth, 10. Ryan Newman.

Top-10 points leaders after 33 of 36 races: 1. Stewart-4428, 2. Martin-4282, 3. Johnson-4278, 4. Newman-4225, 5. R. Wallace-4201, 6. Busch-4131, 7. J. Gordon-4127, 8. Kenseth-4067, 9. Jarrett-4027, 10. Rudd-3990.

McMURRAY Wins Busch Race On Fuel Mileage, Hampton, GA – Rising NASCAR star Jamie McMurray won Saturday's Busch Series Aaron's 312 by stretching his fuel mileage and not having to stop the final 74 laps.

McMurray, who won the Winston Cup race two weeks ago won at Lowe's Motor Speedway, led only the final lap after Joe Nemechek ran out of gas just before the white flag lap.

Top ten finishing order: 1. Jamie McMurray, 2. Michael Waltrip, 3. Mike McLaughlin, 4. Scott Riggs, 5. Greg Biffle, 6. Joe Nemechek, 7. Jason Keller, 8. Bobby Hamilton Jr., 9. Ashton Lewis Jr., 10. Johnny Sauter.

Top-10 points leaders: 1. Biffle-4404, 2. Keller-4285, 3. Wimmer-4016, 4. McLaughlin-3920, 5. Sprague-3845, 6. McMurray-3797, 7. K. Wallace-3776, 8. Riggs-3759, 9. Hamilton Jr.-3731, 10. Compton-3593.

Weekend Racing

The NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch drivers will be at "The Rock" in Rockingham, North Carolina, while the Craftsman Trucks go west to California Speedway in Fontana, CA.

Saturday: Busch Series Sam's Club 200, 32 of 34 races, 197 laps/200 miles, 1 p.m. TV: TNT.

Sunday, November 3, Winston Cup Pop Secret Popcorn 400, 34 of 36 races, 393 laps/400 miles, 12:30 p.m. TV: TNT.

Note: The Craftsman Trucks 200, which will be run Saturday, November 2 at 5 p.m. will be broadcast Sunday, November 3 at 5 p.m.(EST).

Racing Trivia Question: Which team will Ricky Rudd be driving for next season?

Answer To Last Week's Question: Martinsville Speedway is the oldest operating NASCAR-sanctioned track. The first race was held March 1947.

Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter is a syndicated NASCAR columnist. If you have a racing question that you would like answered send it to The Racing Reporter, P.O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL, 36616, or e-mail it to:

McReynolds Remembers Dale And Davey

Larry McReynolds has served as crew chief for NASCAR's best, including Davey Allison and Ernie Irvan, but his best memories center around his one and one-half seasons with Dale Earnhardt.

Two years ago, McReynolds left his job with Richard Childress Racing for a job with Fox Sports as a television analyst and broadcaster, a job that he says is demanding, but very rewarding.

"My family really wasn't that much into racing when I was growing up," he said. "I did have an uncle that raced, but it wasn't until an aunt of mine started running a car in the street stock division at Birmingham International Raceway that I became interested in it.

"Her husband ran a junkyard and I got a job working in it part-time while going to high school. Fortunately, or unfortunately, racing is like a disease. When it gets in your bloodstream, no matter what level, you're hooked."

By the time he had graduated from high school in 1977, he had several years’ experience as a volunteer on various race teams in the Birmingham area.

"By that time, I knew racing was what I wanted to do for a living," he continued. " But it's a tough sport to break into. It's hard, bumpy, and a very discouraging road to follow. You've got to wind up at the right place at the right time, and fortunately, that happened to me in 1980."

McReynolds read a classified ad in a NASCAR newsletter about a new race car team that was starting in Greenville, South Carolina. He made the phone call, and two weeks later moved to South Carolina.

After working for several small teams, he landed a job as crew chief for Kenny Bernstein's team. During the next six years, the team had several drivers with only moderate success.

He left Bernstein at the beginning of 1991 and moved to Robert Yates Racing, where he teamed up with a young Alabama driver named Davey Allison.

The move put Larry McReynolds on the NASCAR map. McReynolds went on to help Allison gain 11 Winston Cup victories before his death in a helicopter crash at Talladega in 1993.

"In my book, Davey Allison was one of the most awesome race car drivers there ever was," he said. "There's no telling how many races and championships he would have won if he hadn't been killed in that crash."

He continued with Robert Yates until the beginning of the 1997 season. While attending the NASCAR exhibition race in Japan in 1996, he was asked by Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt to join the No. 3 GM Goodwrench team.

"It was the toughest decision of my life to leave Robert Yates," he continued. "But when the seven-time Winston Cup champion, Dale Earnhardt is all but begging you to come work with him on his race car, you have to take a hard look at it.

"The one and one-half years that I worked with Dale Earnhardt wasn't anything like either of us expected. A lot of people thought we were fighting, and weren't friends, but that was not true.

"I think we were too much a like. But regardless of what went on that year, one thing that made it totally worthwhile was finally getting that black No. 3 to victory lane at Daytona in 1998."

Halfway through the 1999 season, Richard Childress decided to switch crew chiefs. McReynolds was sent over to the No. 31 team driven by Mike Skinner, and Kevin Hamlin was brought over to the No. 3 team.

"About five months before Dale was killed we were at the school that both of our children attended waiting on a bus to return from a field trip to Huntsville," said McReynolds. "Dale told me he felt like we didn't have a fair shake together.

"He was injured at Talladega in 1996, and didn't feel good. His doctor and some other people convinced him at the end of the 1999 season, long after I was gone, to have surgery on his neck.

"After that surgery, the racing world immediately saw a difference in Dale. There was a new bounce in his step, and he won three races, and finished second in the Winston Cup points.

"So, even though I've moved into a different field, there's a part of me that will always treasure that year and a half I got to work with Dale Earnhardt because no one can take away the fact that I was his crew chief when he finally won his only Daytona 500."

In 1996, McReynolds made a guest appearance at Mobile International Speedway, where he signed autographs and talked with fans.

He has just finished a new book, entitled, "Larry McReynolds, The Big Picture." It is published by Bull Publishing and is available at most bookstores.

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