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Mount Cobb - The order at the top may have been a bit unexpected, but there was no surprise Wednesday when Susquehanna County girls again played a prominent role in the Class AA race at the District 2 Cross Country Championships.
County girls took half of the top eight places and seven of the top 20 in the strongest of the state's district championships in Class AA.
Blue Ridge qualified for the state meet by finishing second out of 19 teams, behind defending state champion Dallas.
Three county girls qualified by finishing among the top 15 individuals who were not from the three teams that qualified.
Montrose sophomore Tara Chiarella and Blue Ridge senior Carly Devine each produced their best races to finish second and third behind repeat champion Lisa Giacometti of Dallas.
Elk Lake's Jessica Squier, third in the state a year ago, struggled, falling short of her standards, but still reaching states with more than a minute and a half to spare by finishing seventh.
Montrose's Jeanne Roszel followed Squier to the finish line in eighth.
Squier led early in the race, but when she slowed Chiarella and Devine seized the opportunity.
"I just wanted to be in the top five," said Chiarella, who wound up within five seconds of being a district champion by finishing the 3.1-mile course at Scranton Municipal in 19:38.
Chiarella, who was 13th in the district a year ago, and Devine had never beaten Squier while running each league meet in the same cluster this season.
With Squier coming in unbeaten against all league opponents, Devine set her sights instead on running after Chiarella.
"My goal was pretty much to stay with her," Devine said.
While she was not able to catch Chiarella, Devine stayed close enough to improve her best time of the season by 35 seconds.
"My motivation was that this was my last race of my senior year and my team wanted to go to states," Devine said. With Devine leading the way, the Lady Raiders made it.
Dallas ran away with the team title with 36 points. Blue Ridge and Scranton Prep took the other state berths with 89 and 126 points, beating out Lake-Lehman, which had 142.
Three other Blue Ridge runners finished high enough that they would have qualified as individuals, if necessary. Freshman Janelle Collins came in 14th, Katrina Rinehimer was 18th and Alicia Vancott was 20th.
Laurie Hall made it to the finish line in 40th, locking up the state berth.
Montrose finished ninth with 243 points.
Elk Lake, Forest City, Mountain View and Susquehanna did not field complete teams.
Mountain View's Jenna Fancher was 34th to round out the list of county girls, who finished in the top 50.
Kathryn Nezbydoski was Forest City's top runner, finishing 57th in the 148-runner field. Denise Walker was Susquehanna's top finisher in 85th.
The county boys' had a tougher time with only Montrose junior Jeff Olienacz qualifying for the state meet.
Olienacz finished in 18:17 to take 27th place and the 14th of the 15 individual berths at the state meet.
Blue Ridge's Travis MacArthur was 37th and Susquehanna's Kevin Lee was 41st for the only other top-50 finishes in the 181-runner field.
Montrose was 14th out of 25 teams for the best county team finish.
Scranton Prep won with 28 points, followed by Dunmore with 93 and Lakeland with 119.
Montrose had 416 points. Blue Ridge was 16th with 438; Mountain View 19th with 460; Susquehanna 20th with 484; Elk Lake 23rd with 592 and Forest City 24th with 601.
Jacob Tompkins led Mountain View, placing 67th. Freshman Kent Corey was 81st to lead Forest City and sophomore Tyrone Taylor was 95th to lead Elk Lake.
County girls also look strong for the future in cross country.
Elk Lake won the District 2 Class AA junior high championship October 23 at McDade Park in Scranton behind a 1-2 finish by Ellen Squier and Rachel Owens.
Alexandra Kotran of Susquehanna was fifth to held the Lady Sabers finish fourth out of 15 teams.
Blue Ridge finished seventh.
Elk Lake also had the top county team in junior high boys' cross country, finishing eight out of 14 teams.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Tom Burgh ran for 218 yards and four touchdowns Friday night as Montrose cruised to its third win of the season with a 58-6 rout of Western Wayne in a Lackawanna Football Conference game.
Susquehanna remained winless when it fell to Lackawanna Trail, 41-0, while playing without starting quarterback Anthony Dorunda. The Lions opened a 28-0 half-time lead and pushed the game into the Mercy Rule by scoring on their first possession of the second half.
In girls' soccer, Mountain View reached the Lackawanna League North Division championship game where it fell to Lakeland, 4-3.
The Lady Eagles then bounced back to defeat Forest City in the District 2 Class semifinals.
Mountain View had defeated Lakeland, 4-1, in the regular-season finale to force a tie for first at 12-2. Montrose was third in the division at 11-2-1.
Montrose defeated Dunmore, 2-0, in the district quarterfinals on two goals by Amber Lattner. Brittany Ely assisted on the second goal.
Montrose and Mountain View were each scheduled to play semifinal games Monday night on the road. The final is scheduled for Wednesday.
In professional hockey, an impressive off-ice streak that took years to build came to an end Sunday, but on the ice the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were extending shorter streaks that have quickly turned around the team's prospects for this season.
Playing before a non-sellout crowd at Wachovia Arena for the first time since December 20, 2000, the Penguins scored in the final 10 seconds of each of the last two periods to defeat the Binghamton Senators, 2-0, in an American Hockey League game.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 shots as the Penguins won their second straight shutout.
The Penguins have scored points in the standings in four straight games, have won three straight and have held opponents scoreless for the last 257:14. The streak pushed the Penguins into a tie for first place with Norfolk and Albany, who have played one and two fewer games.
"It's huge for us to be back at .500," Fleury said. "We played great the whole weekend."
The Penguins nearly put together a second straight 1-0 victory.
Shane Endicott added an empty-net goal from a tough angle along the boards with 1.2 seconds left to provide the final margin.
Endicott also took part in the game-winning play, setting up the power-play goal by Ramzi Abid with 8.4 seconds left in the second.
Lynette Bedford, a junior from Susquehanna, is a 5-foot-7 outside hitter on the College Misericordia women's volleyball team. Bedford lettered last year and has played in 51 games during 16 matches this season. She ranks third on the team in assists per game and fourth in kills per game.
Misericordia is 3-6 in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference and 8-19 overall.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Blue Ridge girls, Chiarella, Squier, Roszel and Olienacz will compete in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Cross Country Championships Saturday at White Field in Hershey.
Susquehanna will play in the final game of the Lackawanna Football Conference season Saturday at home against Bishop O'Hara. The Sabers will be trying to avoid their third straight winless season.
Predictions for the final week of the LFC season, with winners in CAPS:
DUNMORE 19, Montrose 8; BISHOP O'HARA 25, Susquehanna 24; WALLENPAUPACK 22, Valley View 20; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 12, West Scranton 11; HONESDALE 21, Scranton 12; DELAWARE VALLEY 32, North Pocono 9; LAKELAND 37, Carbondale 10, LACKAWANNA TRAIL 37, Mid Valley 13; RIVERSIDE 23, Old Forge 21; SCRANTON PREP 39, Western Wayne 0.
Our predictions were 9-1 last week, improving our season record to 82-13 (86.3 percent).
Tom Robinson writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. Reach him on-line at RobbyTR@aol.com.
JOHNSON Dedicates Sunday Win
Hampton, GA Most of the racing was somber during Sundays Bass Pro Shops/ MBNA 500 at Atlanta, but after Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, took the checkered flag over Mark Martin, the atmosphere changed dramatically.
"This win is dedicated to all the Hendrick Motorsports family and employees that lost their life last Sunday," said Johnson.
For most fans, it was a sigh of relief, as this week has been one of mourning for the 10 people on board a Hendrick airplane that crashed last Sunday near Martinsville, Va.
Johnson was the winner of that race also, but he did not participate in the normal victory lane celebration. This week, almost all the Hendrick team employees were waiting for Johnson, including Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Brian Vickers, and all the crew chiefs and other team employees.
"Its incredible," continued Johnson. "I didnt think about it until I got the lead and then I got goose bumps. This has been the worst week possible to have to come back and race.
"To be able to win the race last week where our friends were lost and then come back this week is awesome."
Johnson did not lead the most laps, that honor went to Mark martin, the second-place finisher.
Martin, driver of the No. 6 Roush Racing Ford led 227 laps, and appeared to be on the way to his second win of the season.
After a restart, late in the race, Martin was leading, when he was challenged by teammate, Carl Edwards. Another teammate, Greg Biffle, who was a lap down, decided he was going to race with the two, and as the three raced side-by-side, Johnson was able to slip under Martin for the lead.
After the race, Martin refused to place blame on either of his teammates, saying, "Circumstances cost us that race, and no one on our team had anything to do with it."
Edwards finished third, and Biffle wound up 10th.
Points leader, Kurt Busch, another Roush member lost an engine in his No. 97 Ford on lap 51 and finished 42nd. But due to troubles with the other two leaders, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., he still has a 59 point lead in the Chase.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Jimmie Johnson, 2. Mark Martin, 3. Carl Edwards, 4. Joe Nemechek, 5. Kasey Kahne, 6. Jeff Burton, 7. Brian Vickers, 8. Jamie McMurray, 9. Tony Stewart, 10. Greg Biffle.
Chase For The Championship (with three races remaining) 1. Busch-6052, 2. Johnson-5993, 3. J. Gordon-5980, 4. Martin-5971, 5. Earnhardt Jr.-5954, 6. Stewart-5907, 7. Newman-5866, 8. Sadler-5815, 9. Kenseth-5795, 10. Mayfield-5736.
MIKE WALLACE Takes Over For Spencer In No. 4 Mike Wallace attempted to qualify the No. 4 Morgan McClure Motorsports Chevrolet on Friday, after Jimmy Spencer was released last Thursday.
"Over the past several weeks there has been a steady and gradual improvement in the Morgan McClure race car and Spencer has been an integral part of this drive for success," team owner Larry McClure said.
"While his part has been greatly appreciated by everyone here at Morgan McClure Motorsports, it has been decided, by mutual agreement, that it would be beneficial to both the team and to Jimmy Spencer to release him so that he may pursue other driving opportunities within the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series."
After returning from Sunday's Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway, where he finished 29th, Spencer was arrested by Cornelius, NC, police and charged with two misdemeanor counts of interfering with a public officer, after police attempted to serve a warrant on James Spencer Jr., 18, on a misdemeanor charge of "injury to personal property."
Spencer began driving for Morgan McClure in April at the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway after McClure released Kevin LePage as his driver.
Spencer's best finish this season, was 17th at Dover in June, one of two top-20 finishes.
Wallace did not make the Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500 qualifying field, and since the team was out of provisionals, they did not make the race.
TRUEX Continues To Lead Busch Series The top-10 Busch Series points leaders: 1. Truex-4700, 2. Busch-4524, 3. Biffle-4227, 4. Hornaday-3946, 5. D. Green-3854, 6. Keller-3773, 7. Bliss-3736, 8. Leffler-3661, 9. K. Wallace-3497, 10. Lewis-3458.
All three of NASCARs major series will be at Phoenix, Arizona.
Friday, November 5, Craftsman Trucks Chevy Silverado 150, race 23 0f 25, 150 laps/150 miles, 5:30 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Saturday, November 6, Busch Series Bashas Supermarkets 200, race 32 of 34, 200 laps/200 miles, 3 p.m. TV: NBC.
Sunday, November 7, Nextel Cup Checker Auto Parts 500k, race 34 of 36, 312 laps/312 miles, 3 p.m. TV: NBC.
Racing Trivia Question: Rusty Wallace announced that 2005 will be his last full season in racing. What is Wallaces home state?
Last Weeks Question: How many Winston Cup championships did Dale Earnhardt Sr. win? Dale Sr. has won seven Winston Cup Driving Championships.
Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter is a syndicated NASCAR columnist. You can read additional racing stories by Hodges at www.race500.com.
The entire NASCAR community and fans are mourning the death of victims of Hendrick Motorsports plane crash.
The twin-engine turboprop Beech 200 King Air crashed in thick fog just west of Martinsville, VA, about two miles from the nearest road, killing all 10 people aboard, including the son, brother and two nieces of owner Rick Hendrick.
Hendrick Motorsports identified the dead as: Ricky Hendrick, 24, Rick Hendrick's son; John Hendrick, Rick Hendrick's brother and president of Hendrick Motorsports; Kimberly and Jennifer Hendrick, John Hendrick's 22-year-old twin daughters; Joe Jackson, an executive with DuPont; Jeff Turner, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports; Randy Dorton, 50, the team's chief engine builder; Scott Lathram, 38, a pilot for NASCAR driver Tony Stewart; and pilots Richard Tracy and Elizabeth Morrison, 31.
The National Transportation Safety Board began its investigation Monday. Investigator, Brian Rayner, said no flight recorders were on the plane.
"It's my understanding that the airplane stuck a steep incline and that the airplane and all its associated parts are confined to an area approximately 200 feet long," said Rayner.
News of the crash halted Hendrick driver Jimmie Johnson's victory celebration after the Subway 500 in Martinsville as word of the deaths filtered through the Hendrick team, which also includes drivers Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte and Brian Vickers.
"It's hard to express how it feels to hear the news about the Hendrick plane crash," said Dale Earnhardt Jr. "It's like a hammer to the chest. It takes the wind out of you. The Hendricks are a great family and they've always been very generous to me and to everyone in NASCAR. It's helpful to have a strong family to surround you, and I know the Hendricks are a great family. For me, being in the garage is like being surrounded by your closest friends and family, and it really helped me through some rough times."
Hendrick Motorsports issued a statement late Sunday asking "that those affected be kept in your thoughts and prayers, and respectfully requests that privacy be considered throughout this difficult time."
Rick Hendrick did not go to the race because he wasn't feeling well Sunday morning, a team spokesman said.
Son, Ricky Hendrick was being groomed to take over the reins of the entire Hendrick organization.
At 21, Ricky became the youngest driver to win a Truck series race with his 2001 victory at Kansas Speedway. He had one top-five and three top-10 finishes in 38 Busch series starts.
None of it mattered to his father, who begged Ricky to quit racing.
It wasn't until a 2002 Busch series accident sidelined Ricky for eight weeks with a shoulder injury that his father got his way. When Ricky was ready to return to racing, Hendrick put his son through a series of grueling on-track tests.
When it was clear Ricky wasn't the same, that he had lost his nerve to race cars at speeds nearing 200 mph, he retired at 22.
"As a father, I'm not going to miss having to watch him race on Saturdays," Rick Hendrick said of the October, 2002 retirement announcement. "I can't tell you how proud I am of Ricky. When he realized that he wasn't physically able to do this, he showed a lot of character by making a tough choice."
But Fate doesnt always act the way it is supposed to.
"It's a tremendous loss to the Hendrick family, the Hendrick Motorsports organization and NASCAR as a whole," said Richard Childress. "It's really hard to imagine. We spend so much time together during the year that, when a tragedy like this strikes, it hits deep and it hits hard because we are so close to one another. We are like family and our thoughts and prayers go out to Rick and all of the families who lost loved ones.
The team spokesman said Hendrick's cars will race this weekend in Atlanta and that the company was spending Monday trying to finalize details for a memorial service.
No address has been given as to where to send cards or memorials, but the team address is: 4443 Papa Joe Hendrick Blvd., Harrisburg, NC 28075.
Following are results from the Tuesday, October 19 Ladies Lunch and Tuesday Nite Ladies Leagues at Maplewood Lanes, Montrose, PA.
Tuesday Ladies Lunch League
Leading points team is Rollers.
Top three Team Scratch Game Scores were: Rollers 606, Pin Splitters 602, Gutter Dusters 595.
Top three Team Scratch Series were: Gutter Dusters 1689, Pin Splitters 1678, Horsin Around 1653.
Top three Scratch Game Highs were: Juliet Loch 225, Judy Spadine 192, Cathy Oakley 179.
Top three Scratch Series were: Juliet Loch 541, Judy Spadine 502, Cathy Oakley 476.
Tuesday Night Ladies League
Leading points team is Town & Country Florist.
Top three Team Scratch Game Scores were: Stankiewicz Farm 636, Shermans Farm 612, Bell Brothers 607.
Top three Team Scratch Series were: Stankiewicz Farm 1843, Robinsons Market 1697, Shermans Farm 1667.
Top three Scratch Game Highs were: Yvonne C. Nuss 190, Carol L. Arnold 188, Dorothy C. States 186.
Top three Scratch Series were: Yvonne C. Nuss 533, Elizabeth A. Traver 495, Carol L. Arnold 478.
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