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In our issue of February 8, 2006, depicting our January Athlete of the Month, Dylan Griffiths, we inadvertently stated Dylan’s father as Dave Curley. In fact, Dylan’s father is Dave Griffiths. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Mountain View's Matt Panasevich made his third straight District 2 Class AA wrestling championship his best Saturday night at Scranton Prep's Larkin Center.
Panasevich added the Outstanding Wrestler award to his collection of gold medals when he remained unbeaten by defeating Hanover Area's Mike Piontek, 5-1, in the 189-pound final.
One year after the Susquehanna County produced half of the district's 14 championships, Panasevich's title was the only one by a county wrestler.
The Mountain View senior and Cornell recruit dominated the competition until being challenged by Piontek in the final.
Panasevich had a pair of first-period pins Friday night then won by technical fall in Saturday morning's semifinals.
The first night was a breeze with pins in 1:06 against John Yedinak of Western Wayne and in 1:07 against Adam Sulewski of Dallas.
Panasevich then defeated Joe Barrase of Scranton Prep, 15-0, in 4:20 of the semifinals.
Montrose 145-pounder Anthony Sellitto joined Panasevich in the finals and took second place.
Elk Lake's John Brooks (119), Rich Harvey (140) and Derek Noldy (152) joined Blue Ridge's Travis McArthur (130) in capturing third-place finishes to extend their seasons into this weekend's Class AA Northeast Regionals.
With half of the county's six regional qualifiers, Lackawanna League Group B champion Elk Lake also had the county's top team finish. The Warriors were eighth with 97 1/2 points. Susquehanna was 11th in the 17-team field with 78 points, Montrose was 12th with 49, Mountain View was 13th with 33 1/2 and Blue Ridge was 15th with 29.
Lackawanna Trail upset District 2 Dual Meet champion West Scranton to take its first District 2 team title. The Lions had 199 1/2 points to outscore Dallas (186 1/2) and West Scranton (174 1/2).
Sellitto pulled off one of the tournament's bigger upsets to reach the final. He knocked off Elk Lake's Dylan Griffiths, 10-8, in overtime in the semifinals.
Griffiths, a two-time regional qualifier, had posted his 102nd career victory earlier in the tournament to set a school record.
Western Wayne's James Histed pinned Sellitto in 4:56 of the finals.
With regional berths at stake, county wrestlers went 4-3 in the consolation finals. Susquehanna's Craig Price (103), Travis Cordner (112) and Dustin Perry (135) each finished fourth, coming one win short of advancing.
Harvey and McArthur left little doubt they were ready to move to the next step.
After McArthur pinned Lake-Lehman's Jordan Jiunta in 2:19, Harvey recorded a 19-4 technical fall over Lake-Lehman's Nathan Walsh in 3:44.
Brooks advanced with an 8-2 decision over Wilkes-Barre GAR's Rahsaan Evans.
Noldy shut out Joe Baranoski of Wilkes-Barre Meyers, 5-0.
Price, a sophomore, came the closest to advancing among the Susquehanna wrestlers. He dropped a 5-4 decision to Nanticoke's Brandon Jimmerson.
Mark Frank of Meyers pinned Cordner in 4:37.
Kahlil Lewis of Meyers decisioned Perry, 11-5.
Cordner and Montrose's Jeff Oleniacz, a pair of defending champions, wound up together in one of the tournament's toughest weight classes at 112 pounds. The returning champions met, but in a consolation semifinal where Cordner pinned Oleniacz with 24 seconds left.
Griffiths wound up taking fifth place, along with Blue Ridge's Tim Esposito (103), Susquehanna's Brant Thomas (140) and Montrose's D.J. Brown (215).
Oleniacz finished sixth where he was joined by teammate Mylon Spolar (135) and Elk Lake's Shane Bayak (103) and Jason Miller (171).
WEEK IN REVIEW
The county's two divisional basketball champions and one surprise addition were able to advance through the first week of District 2 tournament play.
Sixth-seeded Forest City, which knocked off third-seeded Old Forge, 44-42, Friday night advanced in Class A boys' play.
The Mountain View boys and Montrose girls, each coming off Lackawanna League Division III titles, advanced to the semifinals in Class AA.
In boys' basketball, Mountain View had no trouble in the first two rounds. The Eagles eliminated Blue Ridge, 62-40, in the quarterfinals.
Mountain View and Blue Ridge reached the quarterfinals with comfortable wins in the opening round.
The Eagles topped Lakeland, 67-46.
Dave Ostrowski and Azim Griffin scored 19 points each as Blue Ridge topped Lake-Lehman, 65-54.
Montrose, Elk Lake and Susquehanna were eliminated in the first round.
Bishop Hoban ripped Montrose, 69-20, in Class AA.
The top-seeded Argents roared out to leads of 27-4 after one quarter and 45-11 at halftime. Dean Moore scored six points to lead the Meteors.
Dunmore downed Elk Lake, 56-30, in Class A.
Bishop O'Hara eliminated Susquehanna, 61-41, in a Class A game.
Blue Ridge finished the season with a 12-14 overall record. Susquehanna finished 10-15, Elk Lake 6-18 and Montrose was 1-23.
In girls' basketball, Montrose had a first-round bye then defeated Wilkes-Barre Meyers, 60-38, behind 19 points by Amanda Lass and 13 points by Ashley Jones.
Meyers prepared for its game with Montrose by rolling over visiting Blue Ridge, 62-26, in Thursday's opening round.
Mountain View, Elk Lake and Susquehanna also went on the road to play against higher-seeded teams in the opening round.
All three had leads at halftime and 12th-seeded Mountain View added a strong finish to upset fifth-seeded Wyoming Seminary, 46-35, in Class AA.
Whitney Williams had seven of her 25 points in the fourth quarter when the Lady Eagles broke away from what had been a 27-27 tie.
Erika Lewis added eight points for Mountain View.
The Lady Eagles took a 21-18 lead at halftime.
Mountain View was eliminated in the quarterfinals when it lost to Carbondale, 59-31.
Elk Lake fell at Northwest, 39-30, in a Class AA game after taking a 14-13 lead at halftime.
Mandee Shingler led the Lady Warriors with 14 points.
Hannah Price scored 21 points, but Susquehanna lost at Old Forge, 59-51, in Class A.
Forest City had a first-round bye in Class A, then was eliminated by Bishop O'Hara, 47-36.
The Lady Foresters ended their season with a 14-11 overall record. Blue Ridge went 9-14, Mountain View 8-15, Elk Lake 8-16 and Susquehanna 3-19.
Larry Lundy and Kyle Adriance, freshmen from Montrose, are members of the indoor men's track and field team at Division I Monmouth University in New Jersey.
Lundy, a thrower, has had several top-three finishes and received Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week honors in early January.
Adriance is competing as a jumper.
Lundy and Adriance each qualified for last year's state high school meet in two events. Lundy competed in the shot put and discus, placing 15th in Class AA in each. Adriance was a state qualifier in the high jump and 100 hurdles.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The remaining county wrestlers will compete in the Northeast Regionals at Williamsport Friday and Saturday.
Panasevich will be trying to continue his perfect season and earn a return trip to the state tournament in Hershey the following week. The top three in each weight class advance to Hershey.
In girls' basketball, top-seeded Montrose will play fourth-seeded Carbondale Wednesday in a District 2 semifinal.
The Lady Meteors need wins either Wednesday or Saturday to reach the state tournament because the top three teams will advance.
In boys' basketball, Mountain View also gets two shots if necessary to pick up the one more win it will need to make the state tournament. The second-seeded Eagles were scheduled to face 14th-seeded Wilkes-Barre, the surprise of the tournament, in Tuesday's semifinals.
Forest City was scheduled to meet second-seeded Bishop Hannan in Class A where it had to win the semifinal to make the state tournament because just two District 2 teams advance.
All boys' championship games - and the third-place games in Class AAA and AA - are scheduled for Friday.
In swimming, Elk Lake will compete in the District 2 Class AA championships in Wilkes-Barre Saturday.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
ROUSH Teams Sweep California Races, Fontana, CA – Matt Kenseth held off Jimmie Johnson in a green/white/checkered finish to win Sunday’s Nextel Cup Auto Club 500, as Roush Racing swept all three weekend events at California Speedway.
“I feel bad for Greg (Biffle), he had the fastest car, but the guys in the pits did a great job and really stood behind me on all my stops today,” said Kenseth. “Our people work hard and want to win. Maybe we can get us another championship.”
Matt Kenseth celebrates after winning Sunday's Auto club 500 at California Speedway.
Kenseth inherited the lead from his teammate Greg Biffle, on lap 230 of the 250-lap race, after Biffle’s No. 16 Ford lost an engine.
Kenseth was leading the race when the last caution flag flew during lap 246 after Scott Wimmer’s No. 4 Aero Exhaust Chevrolet put oil on the track from a blown engine.
There was a green/white/checkered finish that added two laps to the race, but Kenseth was clearly in charge as Jimmie Johnson, driver of the second-place car and winner of last weekend’s Daytona 500 was not able to close the gap.
“I knew Carl (Edwards) was coming there at the end on my outside and I had to make it stick,” said Johnson. “We almost won another race, so it’s a good day for the entire team.”
Carl Edwards rebounded from his poor finish at Daytona last week to finish third.
“It was paramount that we bounce back from Daytona,” said Edwards. “This is exactly what we needed. We had a fun day, didn’t wreck anything and hopefully, this helps us out in the points.”
Tony Stewart lost the engine in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet with 37-laps to go, and wound up finishing last. It was the first race he had failed to finish since April, 2005.
“We had a good day, but also a bad day,” said Stewart. “In addition to a flat, we had a miscue in the pits, and then the engine. I don’t think we had anything for Biffle.”
Jeff Gordon battled an electrical problem, before his crew changed the battery in his No. 24, late in the race, allowing him to finish 13th.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. led a few laps but was never a threat to the leaders. He finished 11th.
Unlike the Daytona 500, the entire 500-mile race was run under calm conditions. There were no apparent racing miscues or temper problems between drivers.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Matt Kenseth, 2. Jimmie Johnson, 3. Carl Edwards, 4. Kasey Kahne, 5. Jeff Burton, 6. Jamie McMurray, 7. Casey Mears, 8. J.J. Yeley, 9. Mark Martin, 10. Kyle Busch.
Top ten unofficial points leaders after 2 of 36: 1. Johnson-355, 2. Mears-316, 3. Kenseth-308, 4. Kahne-295, 5. Earnhardt-287, 6. Martin-275, 7. Newman-273, 8. Bowyer-271, 9. Vickers-260, 10. Sadler-259.
GREG BIFFLE Wins California Busch Race, Fontana, CA – Greg Biffle won Saturday’s Busch Series Stater Bros. 300, after then race leader Carl Edwards pitted with 16-laps remaining for new tires.
After the restart on Lap 139 of 150, Edwards was unable to run down Greg Biffle, who won by 2.256 seconds.
"We weren't that great off the truck and we worked a lot on it,” said Biffle. “In the beginning of the race, I was a little bit loose and I should have known the track was going to tighten up.”
The win was Biffle’s 18th Busch victory and third at California Speedway
Ryan Newman finished second, Edwards third, Jeff Burton fourth and Jamie McMurray completed the top-five.
Top-10 Busch leaders after 2 of 35: 1. Harvick-302, 2. J.J. Yeley-293, 3. Bowyer-285, 4. McMurray-275, 5. Kluever-273, 6. Lamar-270, 7. Wood-269, 8. Sorenson-268, 9. Biffle-265, 10. Hamlin-255.
MARTIN Is Two-For-Two In Truck Races – Mark Martin, who has said he plans to run a full Craftsman Truck Series, next year is two-for-two. He won the first race at Daytona and came home ahead of Todd Bodine and Ted Musgrave, Friday night at California Speedway.
Top-10 Craftsman Truck leaders after 2 of 25: 1. Martin-380, 2. T. Bodine-350, 3. Musgrave-335, 4. Sprague-320, 5. Reutimann-303, 6. Crawford-285, 7. Skinner-282, 8. Darnell-280, 9. Benson-268, 10. Wood-262.
Lifetime Suspension For SHANE HMIEL, Fontana, CA – Former Busch Series driver Shane Hmiel has been given a lifetime suspension from NASCAR for violating their substance-abuse policy.
Hmiel, who was indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on June 3 last season following a second violation of the substance-abuse policy, had been participating in a rehabilitation program directed by NASCAR.
While in that program, Hmiel failed a random drug test last month, prompting the lifetime suspension, NASCAR officials confirmed.
"Shane failed to fulfill the prescribed rehabilitation program outlined by NASCAR. As a result, Shane has forfeited his opportunity to compete in any NASCAR-sanctioned events," said NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston.
Hmiel was first suspended in September, 2003 after failing a substance-abuse test. He completed a prescribed rehabilitation program and was reinstated for NASCAR competition in February, 2004.
The only live televised NASCAR racing this weekend will be the Busch Series from Mexico City.
Sunday, March 5, Busch Series Mexico 200, race 3 of 35, 80 laps/201 miles, 2 p.m. TV: Fox.
Racing Trivia Question: Name the two Petty Racing Cup drivers.
Last Week’s Question: Who was the winner of the 1997 inaugural race at California Speedway? Answer. It was Jeff Gordon.
You may read additional stories at the Racing Reporter’s website, www.race500.com.
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