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Look For Our HUNTING SPECIAL In The NOVEMBER 24th ISSUE Of The County Transcript

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Local Sports Scene
Hendrick Motorports Plane Crashes

Susquehanna Girl Wins Horseback Riding Titles

Tiffany Carpenter, a 16-year-old sophomore at Susquehanna, recently wrapped up her second straight championship season in English horseback riding.

Carpenter won both the Senior Division (14-18 years old) and Open Division of the Five County Series, which concluded last week.

Carpenter began riding five years ago after receiving a series of horseback lessons as a birthday present. She has worked with various trainers and is currently training under Sherry Hoffman of Montrose.

"I want to eventually train horses myself," Carpenter said.

Billy Rush, Carpenter's horse, is the only horse she has ridden in competition this year. She keeps the horse at a barn in Oakland.

"I have to keep up on it every day," Carpenter said. "In winter, I go on trail rides to keep the horse fresh."

Carpenter has qualified for the Pennsylvania State 4-H Horse Show in three of the last four years.


Tom Burgh ran for three touchdowns, but it was not enough for Montrose Friday night in a 32-20 Lackawanna Football Conference loss to Scranton Prep.

The loss drops the Meteors to 2-6.

Burgh gave the Meteors an 8-6 lead after one quarter and scored again in the second quarter, but Prep built a 26-14 advantage by half-time.

Susquehanna remained winless when it was unable to generate any offensive attack in a 37-0 loss at Mid Valley.

In high school golf, Montrose reached the Lackawanna League semifinal and District 2 quarterfinal before it was eliminated with its first loss of the season against North Pocono. The Meteors won the Lackawanna North Division title and a first-round playoff match.

In girls' soccer, Montrose bounced back from two recent losses to get past Blue Ridge, 1-0. Amber Lattner scored on a Brittany Ely assist for the Lady Meteors (10-2-1).

Mountain View has moved past Montrose into second place and remained in contention for the Lackawanna North Division title as of Sunday.

In girls' tennis, Sarah Golis of Montrose advanced to the District 2 Class AA singles quarterfinals before falling to eventual runner-up Abby Pugliese of Scranton Prep.

After getting through the first day of the tournament, Golis defeated Shana Gitlin of Dallas, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) in the third round. She then lost to Pugliese Friday.

In field hockey, Elk Lake finished fifth out of 12 teams in Division II of the Wyoming Valley Conference by going 6-4 in the division.

Montrose finished 10th with a 2-9 division record.

In professional hockey, the Binghamton Senators are off to a 3-2-0-0 start while the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have gone through surprising struggles and are 1-4-1-0.

Binghamton used a Jason Spezza overtime goal to defeat Hamilton, 2-1, in overtime at home Saturday night.


Joe Cosmello, a sophomore tailback from Montrose, is the leading rusher at Lycoming College.

Cosmello has 58 carries for 184 yards, including 59 and 67 yards in back-to-back games, for the defending Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom League champions.

Lycoming is struggling this season, going 2-4 in the MAC and 2-5 overall after Saturday's 35-14 loss to Moravian.

Cosmello, who also has four catches, has played in all seven games, including one start.

The other two Montrose sophomores on the team have missed some playing time. Fullback Dan Snee, who started in three of the first four games and appeared in the other, has been out for the last three games. Defensive lineman Dave Van Nort has played in six games, including starts in the first three.


The District 2 cross country championships are scheduled for Wednesday at Scranton Municipal Golf Course in Mount Cobb.

The Class AA girls' race gets the schedule started at noon. The AAA girls follow at 12:40, then the two B races for non-varsity girls.

The boys' schedule is Class AA at 2, Class AAA at 2:45 and the B race at 3:30.

The top three teams and the next 15 individuals from each Class AA race advance to the state championship meet. In Class AAA, only the top team and the next five individuals advance to states.

Jessica Squier of Elk Lake is again a top threat in the Class AA girls' race where District 2 often has the strongest competition in the state.

Dallas is the defending state Class AA champion and Montrose finished 13th in the state last season with only two seniors in the lineup.

In soccer, the pairings and seedings for the upcoming District 2 tournament will be made official at a meeting Wednesday.

In football, both Montrose and Susquehanna will be on the road again Friday night in Lackawanna Football Conference games.

The conference's two teams with unbeaten overall records meet in the game that should decide the Division 2 title when Lakeland plays at Dunmore.

Predictions, with winners in CAPS, are: MONTROSE 26, Western Wayne 0; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 54, Susquehanna 6; HONESDALE 32, Wallenpaupack 3; SCRANTON 26, West Scranton 12; DELAWARE VALLEY 25, Abington Heights 0; VALLEY VIEW 28, North Pocono 17; SCRANTON PREP 17, Carbondale 14; RIVERSIDE 34, Mid Valley 17; OLD FORGE 32, Bishop O'Hara 7; LAKELAND 34, Dunmore 17.

Last week's predictions were 10-0, giving us our second perfect week in the last three and improving our season record to 73-12 (85.9 percent).

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

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JOHNSON Gets Second Consecutive Win

Martinsville, VA – Hendrick Motorsports driver, Jimmie Johnson won Sunday’s Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway for his sixth win of the season, and second victory in as many weeks.

His win moved him up to fourth in the Championship Chase. He is now 207 points behind the leader, Kurt Busch with four races remaining.

But Johnson’s win was marred by news that a Hendrick Beech 200 plane crashed into a mountain just west of Martinsville with 10 people on board, site of the Subway 500. Due to this bad news, the traditional Victory Lane Celebration was canceled.

Johnson was able to stay out of trouble during the race as the caution flag was displayed 17 times, and was able to come on strong during the late laps.

With Johnson leading, the last caution came out during lap 488. When racing resumed, there were only seven laps to go.

Rusty Wallace was second, and in a good position to get his eighth Martinsville win, but he was rooted out of the groove by his teammate Ryan Newman and wound up 10th.

Jamie McMurray, who had won Saturday’s Craftsman Truck race, equaled his best Nextel Cup finish of the year by coming in second.

"We got into Ryan right there at the end and got him a little loose," said McMurray. "I hate it, but it was a solid run for us."

Newman was able to hold on for third, his 16th top-5 finish of the season.

"It was a good day for the ALLTEL Dodge there at the end," said Newman. "It got kind of wild, but that’s the way they race around here."

Sterling Marlin was fourth and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-5.

Jeff Gordon had a poor handling car most of the race, but managed to finish 9th.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had all kinds of problems, both with his car, and from other drivers on the track. After the last incident during lap 449, he parked his No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet in the garage.

Top ten finishing order: 1. Jimmie Johnson, 2. Jamie McMurray, 3. Ryan Newman, 4. Sterling Marlin, 5. Kurt Busch, 6. Jeremy Mayfield, 7. Jeff Green, 8. Kevin Harvick, 9. Jeff Gordon, 10. Rusty Wallace.

Chase For The Championship With Four Races To Go – 1. Busch-6015, 2. J. Gordon-5919, 3. Earnhardt-5890, 4. Johnson-5808, 5. Martin-5791, 6. Stewart-5769, 7. Sadler-5760, 8. Kenseth-5755, 9. Newman-5749, 10. Mayfield-5651.

Do Cup Teams Hurt Young Busch Teams – Travis Geisler is one of the many young drivers attempting to make a career in the Busch Series. A native of Cranberry Township, Pa., he grew up just outside of Pittsburgh. The young driver brings an engineering degree from Vanderbilt University to the DCT Motorsports team.

DCT Motorsports’ owners John McGill and Carl Natale are the first full-time owners from Cleveland, Ohio, NASCAR’s top three divisions have ever seen. Still, their marketing and business savvy is a breath of fresh air that has captured the imagination of the sport’s business minds.

The team is seeking sponsorship for next year and the remainder of this season, is in the midst of a 25-race schedule for 2004, hitting all of the major NASCAR Busch Series events and markets

"Being a rookie, and on a sophomore race team, that’s a big deal," said Geisler. "We’ve been in so many situations this season where we’ve showed up at tracks with other teams that either have a Nextel Cup driver behind the wheel or that have some sort of affiliation with a Nextel Cup team. That puts the rest of the teams in this series in a strangle hold early. We are a single car team and I’m a rookie driver. We are proving ourselves every week, and every time we race well during the companion weekends, but it’s tough to compete against these Cup guys that race on Saturdays.

"I don’t think it’s just us either. I think a lot of the other young teams in this series are facing the same battle against the Cup drivers and the Cup-backed teams. These Cup-backed Busch teams and drivers have so much money, and so many resources to pull from, that it’s almost a David vs. Goliath situation. Even the most veteran and well-funded Busch Series teams have a tough time competing against the Nextel Cup guys. It’s great for the Nextel Cup guys to come race on Saturday to prepare for Sunday, and I can’t fault them for that, but it makes it more challenging on us.

"The Busch Series is one of the top professional motorsports series in the country, and we all understand that. I think this DCT team is one that has really made great strides in just two years. It says a lot when we can compete, and even beat, not only the more experienced Busch teams, but some of the Cup guys too. I also, however, believe that we gain so much more when the Busch Series has a stand alone race. We don’t have to compete against the Cup guys and we can concentrate on just beating the guys we are running against in this series."

TRUEX Extends Busch Lead – The top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Truex-4557, 2. Busch-4349, 3. Biffle-4067, 4. Hornaday-3825, 5. D. Green-3739, 6. Keller-3715, 7. Leffler-3661, 8. Bliss-3654, 9. K. Wallace-3351, 10. Lewis-3331.

SETZER Is New Truck Leader – The top-10 Craftsman Truck Series leaders: 1. Setzer-3189, 2. Hamilton Sr.-3188, 3. Musgrave-3098, 4. Edwards-3067, 5. Crafton-2912, 6. Kvapil-2822, 7. Chaffin-2813, 8. Starr-2802, 9. Park-2734, 10. Sprague-2716.

Name The Top-5 Nextel Cup Finishers – There are four races left in the 2004 Nextel Cup Chase For the Championship. Which drivers do you think will finish in the top-5? Send us the top-5 finishing order.

You may e-mail your top-5 finishing order to:, or mail to Racing Reporter, P.O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL 36616. E-mails must be received by midnight, Oct. 31. All letters must be postmarked by Oct. 30. No exceptions. The winner will send an 8X10 photo of the champion. In case of a tie, duplicate prizes will be awarded.


The Cup and Busch Series are at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, while the Craftsman Trucks have the weekend off.

Saturday, October 30, NASCAR Busch Series Aaron’s 312, race 31 of 34, 203 laps/312 miles, 1 p.m. TV: TNT.

Sunday, October 31, Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, race 33 of 36, 325 laps/500 miles, Noon. TV: NBC.

Racing Trivia Question: How many Winston Cup championships did Dale Earnhardt, Sr. win?

Last Week’s Question: Which Cup team has John Andretti signed to drive for in 2005? Answer. Andretti will drive a Nextel Cup Ford for PPC Racing in 2005.

Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter is a syndicated NASCAR columnist. You can read additional racing stories by Hodges at

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Hendrick Motorports Plane Crashes

Martinsville, VA – A Hendrick Motorsports Beechcraft plane with two pilots and eight passengers on board crashed into wooded and mountainous terrain near Martinsville, Virginia.

FAA spokesperson, Arlene Murray said the plane left Concord, NC Regional Airport on the way to Martinsville for the Subway 500.

Murray said the Beech 200 crashed in the Bull Mountain area about seven miles west of the Martinsville airport at about 12:30 p.m. ET.

Virginia State Police Sgt. Michael Bailey said rescue workers could not immediately reach the crash site because of the rough terrain.

NBC 6 News TV in Charlotte, NC, reported that John Hendrick, Ricky Hendrick and engine builder Randy Dorton were on the airplane, as were two pilots and five other passengers.

There were no reported survivors, and Channel 6 also reported that a local funeral home had been told to expect 10 bodies.

"We're working very closely with members of the Hendrick organization," NASCAR spokesperson, Jim Hunter said. "We're just saying extra prayers right now."

John Hendrick is owner Rick Hendrick's brother, while Ricky Hendrick is the owner's son. Dorton is the organization's chief engine builder.

Neither Johnson nor his teammate Gordon talked with the media after the race.

NASCAR learned of the plane's disappearance during the race and withheld the information from the Hendrick drivers until afterward, Hunter said. All the Hendrick drivers were summoned to the NASCAR hauler immediately after the race and Johnson was excused from Victory Lane.

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