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Montrose's Bob Dean and Elk Lake's Robert Squier each captured medals during the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state track and field championships at Shippensburg University Saturday.
Dean, a two-time District 2 champion, finished fourth in the discus.
Squier placed fifth in the 3200-meter run.
Four county athletes competed in the state meet, all in Class AA.
Blue Ridge's Rachel Hall took 13th in the 3200-meter run.
Montrose's Larry Lundy was last among the 23 state qualifiers in the discus.
Dean went in seeded eighth and wound up moving up to fourth in the discus by throwing 148-9 in tough conditions. Union City's Justin Clickett edged Sharon's Austin Papay by an inch with a winning throw of 164-3. Rob Kerris of Southern Columbia was third in 152-6.
Squier and Hall each beat runners that they had lost to in the competitive District 2 meet last week.
Scranton Prep's Jonathan Pastore was second in 9:17.09. Squier was fifth in 9:27.63, one place and 1.36 seconds ahead of Brad Baird of Lake-Lehman. Baird was second in District 2 last week.
Lewisburg's Chris Spooner won in 9:13.93. Greenville's Jed Christiansen and Forest Hills' Jacob Strayer finished third and fourth.
Squier went into the state meet seeded sixth.
Hall ran to a career-best 11:33.27 to finish 13th out of 24 runners. District 2 champion Lisa Giacometti of Dallas was 20th in 11:46.71.
Lynn Morelli of St. Basil Academy won in 10:45.08, beating Debbie Huss of Wyomissing by .54 seconds.
Lundy threw the discus 105-9.
District 2 athletes did well in Class AA.
Wilkes-Barre Meyers finished fifth in the team race, including a gold medal in the 400-meter relay. Lakeland was ninth.
Western Wayne's Erin Davis won a gold medal in the high jump.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Elk Lake qualified for the District 2 Class A championship and earned a state tournament spot in both baseball and softball by advancing through two rounds last week.
The Lady Warriors provided the week's biggest surprise, ending Blue Ridge's hopes of returning to the state Class A softball championship game.
Blue Ridge went through the league season and one playoff game unbeaten before falling to Elk Lake, 5-4, in eight innings in Thursday's district semifinal.
In quarterfinal play, Elk Lake had defeated Bishop Hafey, 5-3, in eight innings and Blue Ridge shut out Carbondale, 6-0.
Montrose was eliminated in the first round of Class AA play with a 3-1 loss to Crestwood.
Jamie Sanfilippo's two-run homer allowed Elk Lake to win its first extra-inning game of the week. Jessica Dafcik doubled and scored on the home run. Winning pitcher Leanna Roberts scored the tying run in the seventh inning. Tara Dymond had three hits.
Elk Lake's advancement in baseball went just a bit smoother. The Warriors, who reached the state semifinals last year, posted a 5-3 win over Pittston Seton Catholic and a 5-2 win over Lackawanna Trail.
Blue Ridge fell to Lackawanna Trail, 3-2, in the quarterfinals.
Montrose played top-seed and eventual finalist Bishop Hoban tough in a 4-2 loss in the opening round of Class AA play.
In volleyball, Mountain View defeated Wilkes-Barre Meyers, 15-13, 15-11 in the District 2 quarterfinals. Once in the semifinals at Keystone College Thursday, the Eagles were eliminated by North Pocono, 15-4, 15-3.
In golf, Montrose's Dylan Maxey was the medalist with a 2-over-par, 38 at the Country Club at Woodloch Springs to lead the Northern Division to an 8 1/2-2 1/2 victory over the Southern Division in the Simons Cup, an all-star event for Lackawanna League seniors.
Maxey and Forest City's Mike Sterchak played in separate foursomes. They each won both their singles point and a better-ball point with their playing partner.
In professional hockey, Binghamton is still looking for its first American Hockey League title. The city's return to the league resulted in a trip to the Calder Cup semifinals but a loss at that point.
The Hamilton Bulldogs, the top team in the Eastern Conference in the regular season, scored four goals in a span of 3:41 Thursday night to hammer the Senators, 8-3, and wrap up the series, four games to one.
For playoff hockey, it was a high-scoring week in the series.
The Senators split two earlier games at the Broome County Arena.
Binghamton won, 6-4, May 19 when Brad Smyth scored two goals in a span of 2:07 to erase a 4-2 deficit in the third period. Radim Bicanek scored the game-winner and Bob Wren added an insurance goal.
Hamilton recovered to win, 6-3, the next night.
In arena football, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers won just their second game of the season, 43-40, over the visiting Greensboro Prowlers, but the win was getting little attention in the hours after the game.
Greensboro lineman Thaddeus Bullard spent Friday night in the Luzerne County Prison and was released on bail late Saturday morning as the result of a fight after the arenafootball2 game.
Bullard was arraigned in front of magistrate John Hasay, charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct, and released on $2500 bail, according to Sgt. Dave Riley.
Charges are pending against Bullard's teammate, Cranston Johnson, and two members of the Pioneers, according to Carol Benfante, a deputy in the Luzerne County Sheriff's Department.
Butcofski was allegedly beaten by Bullard, leaving a bloody mess outside the entrance to the Pioneers locker room at First Union Arena.
Butcofski received two sets of stitches to close deep gashes in his head. He was released from Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.
A fan, who was allegedly punched in the eye by Johnson, was treated and released.
In professional baseball, a trade between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants allowed the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons to add some much-needed power to their lineup.
Damon Minor won a national basketball title at Oklahoma along with his twin brother Ryan before both turned to baseball as professionals. Minor hit 10 home runs with San Francisco last season, but is back in the minor leagues this season.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Elk Lake, the top seed, was scheduled to go for the District 2 Class A baseball championship Tuesday at 4:30 at Marywood against second-seeded Riverside. The Warriors beat the Vikings during the regular season.
Elk Lake lost to Bishop Hoban in last season's district final before recovering to win two state playoff games.
The District 2 Class A softball championship is set for Wednesday when fifth-seeded Elk Lake plays at unbeaten Mid Valley, the second seed.
Mid Valley beat Blue Ridge in last season's district final.
After leaving Temple University, enrolling at the University at Albany and sitting out a year as a transfer student, Teresa Covert's track and field career is going better than ever.
Covert, the most successful high school track athlete in Susquehanna County history, has met National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I qualifying standards in three events.
The Susquehanna graduate will compete in the 100 meters, 100 hurdles and long jump at this weekend's NCAA East Regionals to try to earn a spot in the national championship meet June 11-14 in Sacramento.
As she did in high school, Covert is at her best in the 100 hurdles while also excelling in a variety of other events. The three-time state hurdles champion came within one point of single-handedly lifting the Lady Sabers to a state championship with the points she accumulated in four events as a senior.
Covert's best chance on the national level is in the 100 hurdles where her time of 13.41 seconds ranks 22nd of the 143 women who have met the national qualifying standard. The qualifying standard allows entry into regionals and a shot at the national meet.
Covert has also qualified by running 11.78 seconds in the 100 meters and by jumping 12.27 meters in the long jump.
At the America East Conference meet, Covert became the first Albany woman to win a title by placing first in the 100 hurdles in 13.59 seconds. She added a conference title in the 100-meter dash later in the event.
That was just part of her success. Covert set school records in the 100 hurdles and 100 meters in qualifying, anchored the 1600-meter relay team to a second-place finish and took third in the triple jump.
During the indoor season, Covert had set a conference record in the 55-meter hurdles in 7.95 seconds during a qualifying heat before winning the conference title with a time of 8.07. She was also fifth in the conference in the 200 meters during the indoor season.
Covert has also repeatedly broken the school record in the long jump and been part of the 400-meter relay team, including an appearance back in Philadelphia for the Penn Relays.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
JOHNSON Wins Rain-Shortened Coca-Cola 600
Concord, NC Jimmie Johnson, who won $1 million last week for winning The Winston, was leading Sunday nights Coca-Cola 600 when heavy rain hit the track. The shower was brief, but NASCAR said it would take at least three hours to dry the track and called the longest race of the year at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
The decision to stop the race after 414 of the 600 miles was met with disbelief from many of the fans and teams.
But as the crowd began to boo the decision, the Hendrick Motorsports team knew it was official and began a hesitant celebration.
"I am dumbfounded," Johnson said. "I expected to be doing doughnuts on the frontstretch to celebrate. But we'll take it this way."
History was against Johnson before the race ended because his team had engine problems and had to start at the rear of the field. And only four times in 18 years has the winner of The Winston come back to win the 600 the following week.
Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth was second, followed by Bobby Labonte, Jimmy Spencer, Ryan Newman, Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, and Ward Burton, rounded out the top-10.
NASCAR president and CEO, Mike Helton defended the sanctioning bodys decision to call the race by saying, "It would have taken three hours to dry the track and the threat of more rain would have dragged the race too late into the night.
"Well close the books on this one and head to Dover. Hopefully everybody understands."
But everyone didnt understand or agree with Heltons words.
Matt Kenseth, the points leader led 75 laps and was running second at the time the race was called.
"Im certainly not happy about ending the race at 9:30 at night," said Kenseth. "Its the biggest race of the year, and its not even raining."
Top ten finishing order: 1. Jimmie Johnson, 2. Matt Kenseth, 3. Bobby Labonte, 4. Jimmy Spencer, 5. Ryan Newman, 6. Michael Waltrip, 7. Sterling Marlin, 8. Jeff Gordon, 9. Dale Jarrett, 10. Ward Burton.
Top-10 points leaders after 12 of 36 races: 1. Kenseth-1799, 2. Earnhardt-1639, 3. J. Gordon-1583, 4. Busch-1575, 5. Johnson-1552, 6. B. Labonte-1546, 7. Waltrip-1511, 8. Harvick-1457, 9. Marlin-1405, 10. R. Wallace-1401.
Long, Long Racing Ahead This past weekends Coca-Cola 600 marked the beginning of a grueling 26-week-long string of races that will carry the Winston Cup Series through the remainder of the season.
There are no more off weekends, and no more holidays just hard nose racing every weekend.
"Theres no question we are ready," said Jimmy Spencer, driver of the No. 7 Sirius Dodge. "Twenty-six weekends in a row is hard for any team, but its even harder if you dont finish well.
"Everybody talks about how hard it is on the drivers, but look at the guys on the crew. They are the ones who really are roughing it. Most of the drivers, myself included, have the opportunity to bring their wife and kids to the track, whereas the guys on the team dont have that opportunity.
"They only get to see their families rarely because were gone Thursday through Sunday, and they work at the shop on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesday.
"Thats a tough schedule."
KENSETH Wins Busch Race On Tire Call, Concord, NC Matt Kenseth won Saturdays Busch Series Carquest Auto Part 300 at Charlotte after taking on four tires late in the race.
Rookie, Kyle Busch took on only two tires, and it probably cost him the race.
It was during a caution on lap 171 of the 200-lap race that all the leaders pitted for fresh tires. Kenseth and most of the veterans took on four tires, but Buschs team elected to only take on two in order to gain track position.
When the race resumed, Busch was the leader, but Kenseth moved rapidly through the traffic until he was able to make a low pass on Busch for the lead.
Another caution came out when Greg Biffle spun with just four laps to go, causing the race to end under a yellow flag.
"I sort of felt like it was Christmas," said Kenseth about Buschs two tire stop. "As many times as weve raced here, as many times as Ive done that, I would never have gambled on two."
It was Kyle Buschs NASCAR debut as he had just turned 18, the minimum age to race in NASCAR.
"We both thought that more guys would go for two tires, but obviously, they didnt," said Busch.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Matt Kenseth, 2. Kyle Busch, 3. Scott Riggs, 4. Todd Bodine, 5. Mike Bliss, 6. Kasey Kahne, 7. Hank Parker Jr., 8. Ashton Lewis Jr., 9. Kevin Harvick, 10. Michael Waltrip.
Top-10 Busch Series drivers after 13 of 34 races: 1. T. Bodine-1796, 2. D. Green-1698, 3. Riggs-1696, 4. Bliss-1666, 5. Hornaday-1663, 6. Keller-1629, 7. Hmiel-1591, 8. Vickers-1587, 9. J. Sauter-1574, 10. Hamilton Jr.-1523.
All three of NASCARs major series will be racing at Dover, DE this weekend.
Friday, May 30: MBNA Armed Forces Truck 200, Craftsman Truck Series, race 6 of 24, 200 laps/200 miles, 4:30 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Saturday, May 31, MBNA Armed Forces Family 200, Busch Series race 14 of 34, 200 laps/200 miles, 12:30 p.m. TV: FX Sports Channel.
Sunday, June 1, MBNA Armed Forces Family 400, Winston Cup race 13 of 36, 400 laps/400 miles, 12:30 p.m.
Racing Trivia Question: Who was the first two-time Winston Cup series champion?
Answer To Last Weeks Question: David Pearson, three-time Winston cup champion and winner of 105 races is often called, "The Silver Fox."
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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