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Wilkes-Barre - Justin Herbert led the way among wrestlers from four county schools, but still felt the disappointment that comes with suffering the first loss of the season.
The Blue Ridge senior finished second at 160 pounds in the state's largest regular-season tournament, the Times Leader Invitational.
"I felt good up until the finals," said Herbert, who was fourth in the Times Leader Invitational last season and went on to finish sixth in the state in Class AA.
Herbert was one of seven county wrestlers to finish in the top eight in their weight classes at the 47-team event.
Elk Lake had three place-winners to lead all county teams by finishing tied for 24th with 77 points.
Mike Noldy (171) finished third while Tyrone Taylor (130) was sixth and Jason Miller (189) was seventh.
Herbert was joined by 130-pounder Louis Villela, who finished fourth at 130 pounds. They led the Raiders to 73 1/2 points and a 26th-place finish.
Mountain View's Matt Panasevich (189) was third and teammate Greg Nixon (145) was fourth.
The Eagles were 30th with 67 1/2 points.
Susquehanna placed 45th with 24 points.
Herbert started the tournament with two straight 15-0 technical fall victories. He followed that with a pin and a 15-6 decision over Andy Knerr of Norristown to reach the final.
In a match-up of defending District 2 champions in the final, Herbert scored first on an escape 11 seconds into the second period.
Woodall moved in front with a takedown with 40 seconds left in the second then took the lead for good on another with 11 seconds left in the period. Woodall wound up building his 9-3 win behind all four takedowns that were scored in the bout.
After handling all his previous opponents while working on his feet, Herbert scored his only points with three escapes.
"I guess I need to work on my feet," he said. "I got out on him well."
Noldy and Panasevich each advanced to the semifinals, lost a two-point decision, then recovered to win two straight bouts to take third.
After starting the tournament with three straight pins, Noldy took third by pulling out a 5-4 decision over Dave Paveletz of Hanover Area.
Panasevich was dominant in his six wins. He had three pins in a total of 4:15 and a pair of 15-0 technical falls.
Nixon used consecutive one-point victories to reach the semifinals where he lost to Lake-Lehman's Andy Josuweit. Nixon recovered to pin Berwick's Thomas Bomboy before losing the consolation final.
Villela also reached the semifinals at 130.
Taylor won two straight decisions Friday to reach the quarterfinals, then put two more decisions together in the consolation brackets Saturday to clinch a top-six finish. Villela defeated him, 12-2, in the consolation semifinals.
Miller took the longest route to a place finish after getting pinned in his first bout Friday. He needed and got five straight wins, including one- and two-point decisions, just to reach the top eight.
Council Rock North won the tournament with 207 1/2 points. Pittston Area, the top District 2 team, beat out Wyalusing for second place, 188 1/2-185.
Abington Heights led all Lackawanna League teams, finishing sixth with 159 points.
Elk Lake's Derreck Noldy (140) and Dylan Griffiths (145), Blue Ridge's Travis McArthur (112) and Larry Hardy (275), Susquehanna's Travis Cordner (103) and Mountain View's Levi Matulevich (171) also advanced through the first day of competition, which trimmed each weight class to eight winners' bracket and eight losers' wrestlers.
The tournament is organized by the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader with significant help from Blue Ridge school representatives.
Blue Ridge athletic director Jim Corse serves as event manager. Several other people with ties to the Blue Ridge program worked in volunteer roles while the school's baseball team ran the scoreboards and its cheerleaders served as runners.
It was the second straight busy tournament weekend for Mountain View.
Panasevich was voted Outstanding Wrestler a week earlier when he went 5-0 at the Towanda Duals.
Mountain View went 1-4 in the tournament and finished seventh of eight teams.
Nixon was also 5-0 in the tournament while Matulevich was 4-1.
Panasevich and Nixon each went into the Times Leader Invitational with just one loss.
Both were beaten in the Wilson Invitational in Easton by wrestlers who were among the best in their respective states.
Panasevich fell to Hudson Taylor of Blair Academy, New Jersey. Taylor is nationally ranked and headed to the University of Maryland.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Kevin Lee scored the 1,000th point of his career and helped Susquehanna knock off Mountain View, 61-51, in last week's Lackawanna League Division III opener.
Lee did a little of everything on his way to the milestone. He led the Sabers with 26 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and six steals. Lee hit three times from 3-point range and went 7-for-8 from the line.
Adam Schiffer added 12 points in the win.
L.B. Feduchak led Mountain View with 13 points.
Montrose emerged from its first week back in a small school division in a tie for first place with Lackawanna Trail.
The Meteors edged Elk Lake, 68-64, and handled Mountain View, 74-48.
Kyle Adriance led the win over Elk Lake by scoring 27 points.
Dave Bell led Elk Lake with 16, while Rich Nasser and Kirk Lunger added 15 each.
Chris Strohl scored 22 points and Tom Burgh added 20 in the romp over Mountain View.
Strohl went 12-for-17 from the line. Burgh also had five assists and three steals.
Brandon Pipher chipped in with 13 points and Justin Marbaker grabbed 10 rebounds.
Robbie Johnson led Mountain View with 12 points.
Blue Ridge kept Susquehanna from reaching 2-0 by hanging on for a 54-52 victory Thursday night.
Tom Donovan led Blue Ridge with 14 points.
Lee had 15 for Susquehanna.
In girls' basketball, Montrose remained unbeaten overall by ripping Mountain View in the division opener then stopping Dunmore, 40-30, in a crossover game.
Erika Brown scored 14 points and made five steals.
Montrose held Dunmore scoreless in the first quarter, then used 10 points by Brown in the second half to preserve most of its 13-point lead.
Amanda Lass added 13 points and seven rebounds.
In professional football, Chris Snee, a rookie guard from Montrose and Boston College, was out of the lineup for a third straight New York Giants game.
Snee was hospitalized most of the week with what is believed to be a gland infection. He reportedly has been bothered by high fevers and swelling in his throat and jaw.
Lawrence Tompkins, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound junior from Blue Ridge, is the captain and leading rebounder for the Marywood University basketball team.
Tompkins has played in all eight games, including five starts. He is 28-for-66 (42.4 percent) from the floor, 5-for-23 (21.7 percent) on 3-pointers and 9-for-11 (81.8 percent) on free throws.
In addition to averaging 8.8 points, Tompkins has 45 rebounds, 10 assists, six steals and four blocked shots.
Marywood is 3-5.
Tompkins played in 24 games, including 12 starts, last season while averaging 7.0 points and 3.2 rebounds.
Scott Summers, a 6-foot freshman guard from Blue Ridge, is also on the team.
Summers has played three minutes in one game and has one assist.
A LOOK AHEAD
A break from league play comes with the holidays and most county winter sports teams will participate in tournaments.
Montrose's division-leading basketball teams are among the teams in tournaments.
The Meteors will play in the Honesdale Jaycees Tournament, beginning Dec. 27. The Lady Meteors are in the Riverside Christmas Tournament, which starts the same day.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
JANET GUTHRIE: A Life At Full Throttle
Old-time NASCAR fans will remember 1977 as the year when Janet Guthrie became the first woman to qualify for the Daytona 500.
But there are many other aspects of her career – unknown to most racing fans – that bring her to the forefront of the automobile racing. Remarkably, she was only following her heart, or passion, as she calls it.
“It was very clear that in 1972, I was having a big mid-life crisis,” said Guthrie.
Guthrie had been racing for nine years, but in 1972, she quit a well-paying and secure job with an Aerospace company to go racing. To support herself, she relied on a series of odd jobs.
What made her do this?
“Passion is what life is about,” she continues. “I wanted to be where my passion was, and racing is where I found it.”
To understand why a woman would act as Guthrie did, you must first look into her early life..
Before becoming the first woman ever to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, Guthrie had a diversified background. By the time she was 16, she had her pilot’s license and was an accomplished parachute jumper.
“I was born adventuresome,” she said.
She was born in Iowa City, Iowa, on March 7, 1938. Her family moved to Miami, Florida when she was three. She attended Miss Harris' Florida School for Girls for all but one of her elementary through high-school years, and then graduated from the University of Michigan in 1960 with a BS in physics.
She went on to become a pilot and flight instructor, an aerospace engineer, a technical editor, and a public representative for some of the country's major corporations.
She joined Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, New York, as a research and development engineer, working on programs that were precursors to Project Apollo. In 1964, she applied for the first Scientist-Astronaut program, and got through the first round of eliminations. She treasures a letter from astronaut Deke Slayton, a memento of that attempt.
Her first racing experience came in a Jaguar XK 120 coupe in Sports Car Club of America races. Her career in physics slowly yielded to the allure of sports car racing, and by 1972 she was involved in racing on a full-time basis. Along the way, she posted two class victories in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
She had 13 years of experience on sports car road-racing circuits, building and maintaining her own race cars, before being invited to test a car for Indianapolis.
“I tested and qualified one of A.J. Foyt’s cars for the 1976 Indianapolis 500, and I made the field,” she said. “But come race day, A.J. decided to put a man in the car, and I no longer had a ride.”
Even though she didn’t get to race at Indy that year, the fact that she made the field was headline news coverage throughout the county. Her name was even overshadowing what was happening with NASCAR at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“Humpy” (Wheeler) was agitated that I was taking away press coverage from the World 600,” continued Guthrie. “A friend of mine worked at the speedway and she told a lady named Linda Ferreri, who in turn bought a car for me to drive.”
In 1977, she became the first woman to qualify for and compete in the Indianapolis 500; she was also the first woman and top rookie at the Daytona 500 in the same year. She finished ninth in the Indianapolis 500 in 1978.
“She was right up there with the best of the men,” said Bobby Allison.
She continued to race until 1983.
“I was very disappointed that I was unable to race more,” she said. “I wasn’t able to get sponsors and it was either quit or jump out a window, that’s how much passion I felt for the sport.”
Janet Guthrie's helmet and driver's suit are in the Smithsonian Institute, and she was one of the first athletes named to the Women's Sports Hall of Fame.
Her book, “Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle” is due out in April, 2005.
“I’ve been working on it for 20 years,” said Guthrie. “I never realized it would take so long. But I have put passion into it, and I want to portray to the public, what the passion of this sport is all about.”
Toyota Will Challenge For The 2005 Championship – Toyota spokesperson, Pat Wall says 2004 was a learning experience for the Toyota teams and they will go after the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title.
At the beginning of the season, everyone thought Toyota teams would dominate the series.
A lot of fans as well as teams who run the series thought the Japanese-based company was going to come in, outspend all their American competitors and take over the series.
But it didn’t happen.
Toyota’s arrival played a role in the series’ increased competition, but the Toyota trucks didn’t burn up the tracks.
Even though Toyotas won five races, the highest finishing driver was Travis Kvapil, who came in eighth, 472 points behind the winner, Bobby Hamilton.
“We’re better than we expected,” said Toyota’s Pat Wall. “We ended the season with five poles and four wins. This is an amazingly tough series and the other manufacturers had some really tough teams.
“Our goal from the outset was to win a race in 2004, while positioning one of our teams to win the 2005 championship.”
Todd Bodine and Kvapil each had two wins, but it’s safe to say that Toyota is not yet dominant. Dodge teams won 11 of the 25 races, while Chevrolet had six and Ford came in with four.
Hamilton gave Dodge its first championship after years of trying.
Racing Trivia Question: Who is the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series champion?
Last Week’s Question: What are Michael Waltrip’s future racing plans? Answer. Waltrip will leave the Dale Earnhardt Inc. team after 2005 to oversee his Busch team and begin a Cup team.
Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter is a syndicated NASCAR columnist. You can read additional racing stories by Hodges at www.race500.com.
Congratulations were extended to the Lady Chargerettes on winning the fifth annual Tony Aliano Basketball Tournament.
Congratulations, also to the following players selected to the All Tournament Team: Natalie Winters, Carbondale; Jocelyn Dearborn, Blue Ridge; Bridgette Stone, Susquehanna; Kelly Tratthen, Lakeland; Joya Whittington, Carbondale.
Natalie Winters was picked as tournament MVP.
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