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Susquehanna sophomore Amber Gaffey continued her recent dominating stretch in the pole vault Thursday when she went three feet higher than any other competitor while winning the Lackawanna League Championship Meet.
Gaffey cleared 11 feet while no other girls made it higher than 8-0.
Montrose's Nick Staats made it a county sweep in the pole vault by reaching 12-0.
Jessica Sekely of Elk Lake was the other county winner with a javelin throw of 111-10.
Montrose's Larry Lundy finished second in the shot put and third in the discus.
Khayla Shearer and Steffany Jahnke, also of Montrose, were tied for second in the pole vault and long jump.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Blue Ridge completed an unbeaten league season in girls' track with a 125-20 victory over Mountain View.
The Lady Raiders had one tie and shared the division title with Carbondale.
In junior high track, Julia Koloski of Montrose finished fourth in the District 2 championships by running the 100-meter dash in 13.3 seconds.
Elk Lake's Kimberly Caines and Emily Madrak had fifth-place finishes. Caines ran the 1600 in 5:45.9 and Madrak had a long jump of 14-10 3⁄4.
Susquehanna had the fifth- and sixth-place finishers in the discus. Ellen Biegert had a throw of 80-11 and Natalie Piercy threw 78-11.
The only boy to place was Montrose's Owen Fahy, who was fifth in the shot put with 44-5 3⁄4.
In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were unable to follow up on their upset of the Binghamton Senators.
The Penguins made the mistake of thinking game five with the Philadelphia Phantoms was over Friday night.
As a result, their season is over.
Philadelphia rattled off six goals in the final 11:23 to turn a three-goal deficit into a 7-4 victory that knocked the Penguins out of the Calder Cup playoffs.
"Never in my worst nightmare could I imagine something like this," Penguins captain Alain Nasreddine, who was on the ice for the last five goals, said. "To have a 4-1 lead and blow it … I don't care about Philly. We stopped playing.
“In this league, you can't stop playing."
That's exactly what the Penguins are forced to do after losing the best-of-seven, second-round series, 4-1.
There have been 1,184 games played in the American Hockey League this season. Friday's was the only in which one team scored six goals in a period.
Goalie Andy Chiodo, the leader of last season's run to the finals and one of the stars of this year's first-round upset of East Division champion Binghamton, allowed the first four goals of the onslaught in a span of 5:19.
"It's embarrassing," Chiodo said. "There's no way that should happen.
"There was a snowball effect from some of the mistakes."
The Penguins appeared to be in control when Tomas Surovy scored on the team's first shot of the third period just 37 seconds in to temporarily knock out goalie Antero Niittymaki.
Surovy, who also scored on the Penguins' first shot of the game, broke out of a scoring slump with two goals and two assists. He had not scored a goal in 15 games before leading the Penguins to a 4-1 lead that seemed to have the series headed back to Wilkes-Barre for Game Six tonight.
"We played like we didn't want any part of Game Six," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said.
Therrien saw trouble coming when Philadelphia took the next five shots after Surovy's second goal. He called timeout with his team still in front, 4-1, with 13:54 remaining.
"We started turning the puck over like we never did," Therrien said. "In the first five minutes, we turned the puck over four times."
Jeff Carter and John Sim each scored two goals in the outburst. Ryan Ready had a goal and two assists and Patrick Sharp had two assists.
LeeAnna Roberts, a sophomore from Elk Lake, was a starting outfielder for most of the season on the Moravian team that earned a return trip to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III softball tournament.
Moravian went 3-2 in the NCAA Regional at Roanoke, VA and was eliminated. She came off the bench in three games and went 1-for-2 during the tournament.
Moravian finished second in the nation last season when Roberts was a reserve.
After going 16-0 at home this season, Moravian (37-8) rolled through the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth League tournament by shutting out three straight opponents. A pair of 6-0 victories over Albright were sandwiched around a 7-0 win over Lebanon Valley.
Roberts started in left field and scored a run in the conference championship game.
On the season, Roberts played in 40 games and started in 30. She batted .310 with a double, a triple, a home run, 11 RBIs, eight walks and three sacrifices.
Roberts also pitched twice. She is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA. She has struck out three and walked two in seven innings.
Susquehanna's Gaffey and Montrose 1600 runner Tara Chiarella have top seeds for Thursday's District 2 track and field championships at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Chiarella is also the second seed in the 3200.
Blue Ridge shot putter Mindy Stanton is seeded second and 3200 runner Carly Devine is seeded third. The team's 3200 relay is seeded third.
Kyle Adriance and Lundy of Montrose are seeded in the top three in two events for the Montrose boys. Adriance is second in both the 110 high hurdles and high jump. Lundy is second in the shot put and third in the discus.
Adam Poodiak of the Meteors is second in the 300 hurdles and the Montrose 400 relay team is seeded third.
District 2 competition continues in several sports.
In baseball and softball, pairings will be determined at a Thursday meeting for the tournaments that start Monday.
Susquehanna has elected not to compete in softball even though there are open tournaments in both sports.
Elk Lake, Mountain View and Montrose are in Class AA in both sports.
In baseball, there are 19 teams in Class AA, requiring five rounds of action and a Monday start. The tournament continues May 25, 27 and 31 and June 2.
There are 16 teams in Class AA softball with games scheduled for Monday, May 25 and 27 and June 1.
Blue Ridge, Forest City and Susquehanna are in Class A.
The Class A baseball schedule calls for games Monday, May 25, May 27 and June 1.
The Class A softball schedule has games set for May 24, 26 and 31 and June 2.
Baseball finals are scheduled for a pair of doubleheaders at Lackawanna County Stadium June 1 and 2.
Softball finals will be June 1 and 2 at sites to be selected from Mid Valley, Hanover Area, Marywood University, King's College and Wilkes University.
After finishing up singles play this week, doubles competition in tennis will start Monday.
The volleyball tournament is scheduled to open with a pair of doubleheaders at the home of the two highest-seeded teams in the eight-team field Monday. The semifinals are scheduled in a doubleheader the next night at the home of the highest remaining seed.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
KAHNE Finally Gets First Cup Win
Richmond, VA – After six runner-up finishes, Kasey Kahne broke through for his first Nextel Cup victory in Saturday night’s Chevy 400.
Kahne held off Tony Stewart on a restart with seven to go and raced to a 1.6-second advantage by race’s end.
“Tony Stewart has helped me as much as any driver to get where I am,” said Kahne. “To be able to race with him all night long, and to end up beating him, it’s just all that much better.
“He’s as good as they get and we were able to hold him off tonight.”
Kahne passed Stewart for the lead on lap 295 of the 400-lap race, and led the remainder of the race.
His team was able to get him off pit road first after the final three pit stops.
The last stop came with just seven laps to go.
“I knew Tony was going to give me all he had,” continued Kahne. “He went to the outside and got a good run on me. I got a little loose off turn two, and he got his fender there, but I was able to clear him.”
Stewart was one of the first people to congratulate Kahne.
Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.
Greg Biffle finished sixth and is now in second place in the points, just 41 points back of the leader Jimmie Johnson
Johnson and his Hendrick teammate, Jeff Gordon, both had bad nights. Johnson hit the wall during lap 80 and finished 40th. Gordon also hit the wall as he attempted to miss the wreck. He did return to the track, but retired his No. 24 to the garage after lap 252.
Carl Edwards, winner of Friday night’s Busch race finished 21st, one-lap down.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Kasey Kahne, 2. Tony Stewart, 3. Ryan Newman, 4. Kyle Busch, 5. Kevin Harvick, 6. Greg Biffle, 7. Elliott Sadler, 8. Bobby Labonte, 9. Michael Waltrip, 10. Jamie McMurray.
Top ten Chase For the Nextel Cup Contenders: 1. Johnson-1562, 2. Biffle-1521, 3. J. Gordon-1438, 4. Sadler-1413, 5. Busch-1407, 6. Stewart-1397, 7. Newman-1370, 8. Harvick-1364, 9. McMurray-1351, 10. Martin-1344.
NASCAR Buddies Up To Wal-Mart – NASCAR became the first sports property to open an office in Bentonville, Arkansas, next to Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer whose corporate headquarters is located in Bentonville.
The NASCAR Office in Bentonville will also work to provide services to other mass retailers, such as Target and Kmart.
“Opening a new office in Bentonville is an exciting venture for NASCAR and the industry as a whole,” said NASCAR’s Vice Pres. of Licensing, Mark Dyer. “This office will work closely with other mass retailers and will benefit both corporate partners and licensees as the sport of NASCAR touches nearly every department at Wal-Mart in some way.”
Overall, NASCAR fans purchased $2.1 billion in NASCAR-licensed merchandise in 2004. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., NASCAR also has offices in Concord, N.C., Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, and now Bentonville, AR.
By having daily contact with Wal-Mart buyers, NASCAR will now be able to work with the giant chain to introduce new clothing and other merchandise before it is available to the public through other outlets.
EDWARDS Increases His Busch Lead – The top-10 Busch Series leaders after 12 of 35 races: 1. Edwards-1797, 2. Bowyer-1617, 3. Sorenson-1526, 4. Truex Jr.-1479, 5. Lewis-1443, 6. K. Wallace-1424, 7. Hamlin-1419, 8. Stremme-1386, 9. Biffle-1379, 10. Keller-1308.
The 21st Annual NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge will be Saturday, May 21, 9 p.m. , at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. Starting time is 7 p.m. on FX Channel. The total purse $3,216,700, with the winner receiving $1,004,350. The 2004 winner is Matt Kenseth. Jeff Gordon has three wins (1995, 1997, 2001), the most of any driver.
Eligible drivers: Race winners (drivers and owners) from the previous and current Nextel Cup seasons are eligible. Winner of the Nextel Open, a preliminary event for teams not qualified for the all-star event. Another Nextel Open driver who wins a fan vote into the all-star event. Past event champions. Nextel Cup Series champions from the previous 10 seasons (1995-2004) who are active drivers and have competed in at least one series event during the 2004 or 2005 seasons.
Eligible drivers: Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Dale Jarrett, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace, Michael Waltrip.
Format: 90 laps/135 miles. Three segments: 40 laps, 30 laps, 20 laps. No eliminations prior to final segment. Mandatory 10-minute pit stop between first and second segments. During pit stop, random drawing will determine a field inversion; from six to 12 cars will be inverted for the start of the second segment.
The only points racing this week is the Craftsman Trucks Series Charlotte 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Friday, May 20. Starting time is 8:30 p.m. EST and it will be televised on Speed Channel.
Racing Trivia Question: Which series is Ricky Craven driving in this year?
Last Week’s Question: Which Winston Cup team was Ray Evernham associated with before starting his own racing team? Answer. He was crew chief on the No. 24-car driven by Jeff Gordon.
You may read additional stories by the Racing Reporter at www.race500.com. You may write him at P. O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL 36616.
Wilkes-Barre, PA – Wilkes University senior third baseman Alexis Petite (Caldwell/Middletown, NJ) and junior outfielder Nadine Taylor (Susquehanna/Thompson, PA) have been named to the 2005 National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-East Region First Team. Sophomore pitcher Laurie Agresti (Central Dauphin East/Harrisburg, PA) was also honored with a berth on the All-Region second team.
By being named to the first team, Petite and Taylor are now eligible for NFCA All-American honors, which will be announced prior to the NCAA Division III World Series.
Taylor was named to the first unit after leading Wilkes with a .394 batting average. She had ten doubles, two triples, six homeruns and a .636 slugging percentage this season. Taylor contributed 24 runs batted in and 38 runs scored from her leadoff position in the Lady Colonels order. She also had a team-leading .418 on-base percentage and was successful on 17 of 19 stolen base attempts.
Montrose Area High School Tennis players Patrick Bayer, Brady Goldsmith, Sean Jones and Andrew Bookin have qualified for the district tennis tournaments to be held at Kirby Park in Wilkes Barre. Bayer, who played No. 1 Singles throughout the season, and Goldsmith who advanced during the regular season to No. 2 Singles, will be playing in the singles tournament on May 16 and 18.
The doubles teams of Bayer/Goldsmith and Jones/Bookin will compete in the doubles tournament to be held May 23 and 24.
HARRISBURG - Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) would like to remind area residents interested in outdoor recreation that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will be sponsoring its 2005 "Fish for Free Days" on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, June 5.
On these days, the Fish and Boat Commission will allow anyone to legally fish for some of Pennsylvania's top in-season species such as trout, walleye and panfish at no cost.
Although normal licensing requirements will be waived on the Fish for Free Days, anglers must still follow the normal rules and regulations, specifically those dealing with seasons, sizes and creel limits.
Fish for Free Days are the perfect opportunity to introduce a friend or relative to the lifelong sport of fishing. There's no better way to enjoy Pennsylvania's great outdoors than a day of fishing with friends or family.
For more information regarding details surrounding the days' events or tips to help plan for a successful day of fishing, access the state Fish and Boat Commission's Web site at www.fish.state.pa.us.
NASCAR and its Chase for the Championship may have hit a road block with NBC, its television partner, involving the series’ last ten races of the season.
NBC announced earlier in the week that it has agreed to pay the NFL $600 million for Sunday primetime telecasts. That’s about triple what it pays for NASCAR’s racing package.
This latest deal appears to hamper NASCAR’s president Brian France’s ability to boost his sport’s television income, which is currently about $400 million a year.
The entire NFL deal is worth $3.7 billion to the league, or about $125 million to each NFL team.
NASCAR team owners receive an annual payment of 25 percent of the TV package, or about $100 million. The money is only divided among the top teams, but NASCAR won’t reveal the percentages or amounts each team gets.
During the Winston Cup era, only the top-20 teams received money from television or radio.
Teams that run only a few races, receive very little if any of the TV money. This is a carry over from the system that NASCAR used back in the ‘50’s, to insure that top drawing drivers would be at the track on Sunday.
But what looms even larger is that with NBC’s return to the NFL, it won’t be using NASCAR races against primetime football games.
With NBC telecasting NFL games on Sunday primetime hours, it appears some of the luster from the last 10 races of the season will be lost. NASCAR has been moving towards running races later on Sunday in order to boost ratings, but now this seems to be out.
NASCAR has scheduled the last race of the season at Homestead for 6 p.m. NBC has one more year on its contract with NASCAR, and if NASCAR holds to that starting time, something has to give.
Does that mean NASCAR would have to switch more races to Saturday night?
That’s possible, but the Saturday night viewing crowd is the smallest of the entire week. And also, racing on Saturday nights would hurt racing at local tracks.
Maybe NASCAR should sign with Fox for the entire year, because Fox has reported a five percent ratings increase this season.
France is going to have some tough sell to maintain his plans of pushing the sport through to network television, like he has in the past.
If he is unable to push forward with new, larger television contracts in 2006, it will be felt in advertising dollars. Take away the big bucks major corporations pump into the sport, and you’re going to see a slowdown in its growth.
Maybe it’s time to take a reality check. Has the sport outpaced itself? Is there a slowdown in sight?
We’ll have to wait and see, but I think next year’s TV package will be a major indicator of just where the sport is, and where it is headed.
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