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Local Sports Scene

Lackawanna County Runners Sweep Steamtown Marathon Titles
By Tom Robinson

A pair of former Lackawanna League high school cross country standouts swept the titles Sunday in the 13th annual Steamtown Marathon.

Mid Valley graduate Kevin Borrelli and Riverside graduate Heidi Wolfsberger won the titles of the 26.2-mile run from Forest City to downtown Scranton.

Borrelli, a 26-year-old from Throop, finished the course in 2:22:41. Keith Pierce of Krum, Tex. was second in 2:23:07.

Wolfsberger, the assistant cross country coach at Marywood University, became the first women’s winner from northeastern Pennsylvania. The 28-year-old from Moosic finished in 2:44:28, beating Tammy Slusser of Monroeville by 9:21.

Lucas McAneney of Shelby, N.C. was third overall in 2:25:40. He was followed by two-time champion Matt Byrne, a former Scranton High runner who now lives in Philadelphia.

Jeffrey Hall, 51, from Jackson, led Susquehanna County runners by finishing 402nd in 3:32:51.

Ashley Tierney, 24, from Kingsley, was 416th in 3:33:59. She was sixth out of 37 women in the 24-and-under age group.

Cynthia Bosscher, 40, from Springville, was the only other woman from the county to finish. She was 1274th in 4:41:22.

The other county men to finish, listed with their place finish, name, age, hometown, and time: 491, Frederick Malloy, 43, Montrose, 3:38:36; 573, Joseph Dafcik, 29, Springville, 3:44:10; 658, Donald Burchell, 36, New Milford, 3:49:36; 802, Douglas Overfield, 51, Montrose, 3:57:38; 813, Paul Truskolaski, 24, Susquehanna, 3:58:03; 977, Theron Page, Jr., 44, Hallstead, 4:10:35; 1090, Fran Graytock, 60, Forest City, 4:20:36; 1542, Thomas Hamlin, 62, Brackney, 5:43:39; and 1574, David Burnis, 54, Forest City, 6:05:24.

A total of 1,582 runners finished the race out of a field of about 1,900.


Forest City clinched a repeat of the Lackawanna League Division 3 boys’ soccer championship when the unbeaten Foresters defeated second-place Blue Ridge, 2-0, Thursday.

Mike Chiovari scored late in the first half and early in the second half to back the play of goalkeeper Chris Stoklosa, who made seven saves in the shutout.

In high school football, Susquehanna rolled to its second win of the season – and its first in Division 3 of the Lackawanna Football Conference – when it defeated host Lackawanna Trail, 34-13, Friday night.

Dan Kempa scored two early touchdowns – on a 46-yard run and a 34-yard interception return – to get the Sabers started toward their win.

Stephen Andujar, who rushed for more than 200 yards, added another touchdown for a 20-0 lead.

Montrose forced a halftime tie before falling to Valley View, 48-13, in an LFC Division 2 game.

Rob Volk and Andy Burgh connected on two first-half touchdown passes for the Meteors. Volk finished 10-for-21 for 172 yards with four of the completions going to Burgh for 110 yards.

Volk hit Burgh for an 85-yard touchdown on Montrose’s third offensive play to respond to a Valley View touchdown on the opening drive and keep the Meteors within 7-6.

The Cougars took a 13-6 lead with more than eight minutes left in the half, but Montrose forced a tie two seconds before halftime when Burgh made a diving catch for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

In girls’ tennis, the Montrose team of Emma Steed-Courtney Hinds advanced to the District 2 Class AA quarterfinals before falling to the top-seeded team.

Steed-Hinds received a first-round bye then eliminated Hunter Cole-Karley Mosier of Elk Lake, 6-0, 6-2. The team then advanced with an upset of eighth-seeded Sarah Calabro-Jenn Gooch of Valley View, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

Scranton Prep’s Annie Cognetti-Amanday Holyk eliminated Birchard-Steed, 6-0, 6-3.

Two other Susquehanna County doubles teams each won a match before falling to second-seeded Sara Lynn-Megan Nastelli of Berwick.

Montrose’s Kristy Birchard-Emily Gow blanked Wilkes-Barre GAR’s Nancy Pacheco-Jessica Pacheco before falling to Lynn-Nastelli by the same score.

Lynn-Nastelli went on to defeat Elk Lake’s Jordan Cole-Cindy Good, 6-1, 6-1.

Cole-Good received a first-round bye and defeated Riverside’s Megan Loftus-Caitlin Moran, 6-2, 6-4.

Elk Lake finished the regular season in sixth place out of 16 teams in the Lackawanna League.

The final team standings were: Wallenpaupack, 15-0; Scranton Prep and Valley View, 13-2; Abington Heights and Western Wayne, 12-3; Elk Lake, 10-5; Delaware Valley, 9-6; Montrose, 7-8; North Pocono, Scranton and Holy Cross, 6-9; Honesdale, 5-10; Riverside, 3-12; West Scranton, 2-13; Dunmore, 1-14; and Mid Valley, 0-15.

In boys’ cross country, Elk Lake posted wins over three teams that came into the day with just a single loss on the season.

Ryne Carney, Tyler Williams and Mike Badell finished second, third and fourth in the six-team meet to help the Warriors defeat Abington Heights, 16-39; Valley View, 21-38; and North Pocono, 21-38.

Elk Lake was 17-1 and second to Scranton Prep (19-0) in the 23-team league heading into the final week of the regular season.

In girls’ cross country, Abington Heights defeated Blue Ridge, 18-39, in a meeting between the league’s last two unbeatens.

Allison Hall finished third in the meet, leading Blue Ridge to comfortable wins over North Pocono and Valley View in the process.

Abington Heights was 18-0, Honesdale 18-1 and Blue Ridge 17-1 entering this week.

In girls’ soccer, Julia Koloski had a hat trick in Montrose’s 5-0 victory over Forest City.

In the American Hockey League, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had a tough night in the season opener, losing at home to the Hershey Bears, 8-4.

Graham Mink had three of Hershey’s five power-play goals, the most ever scored against the Penguins in a game, and added two assists.

Ryan Stone had two goals and an assist in the loss.

The Binghamton Senators won their opener on the road, 2-1, over the Toronto Marlies in a shootout.

Brian Elliott made 33 saves in the win.


Karl Sussman, a senior forward from Elk Lake, and Matt Powell, a freshman from Forest City, have each appeared in one game for the Keystone College soccer team.

Sussman played in 10 games and had a goal last season.

Powell is on the Keystone roster as a goalie, but he made his first appearance as a field player and took a shot.

Keystone is 1-6-1.


Montrose and Susquehanna are both home in football this weekend.

The Meteors (3-4) play Friday night against North Pocono (0-7) in a non-league game.

The Sabers (1-1 in division, 2-5 overall) play Holy Cross (0-2, 1-6) Saturday in a Division III game, trying to repeat a non-league victory over the Crusaders earlier this season.

Our high school football predictions were perfect for the second straight time and the third time in four weeks. We were 10-0 last week to improve to 46-2 (95.9 percent) in the past four weeks and 74-12 (86.0 percent) on the season.

This week’s predictions, with home team in CAPS: North Pocono 28, MONTROSE 15; SUSQUEHANNA 44, Holy Cross 24; DELAWARE VALLEY 34, West Scranton 14; Abington Heights 25, SCRANTON 21; Wallenpaupack 36, HONESDALE 20; RIVERSIDE 52, Western Wayne 0; Dunmore 35, VALLEY VIEW 19; OLD FORGE 50, Lackawanna Trail 0; MID VALLEY 30, Carbondale 28; SCRANTON PREP 31, Lakeland 18.

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

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By Gerald Hodges

The Racing Reporter

Burton Wins At Charlotte, Concord, NC – Jeff Burton won Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway ahead of Kasey Kahne. The victory was his second of the season and the 21st of his career. It moved him into second place in the standings, 69 points behind Jimmie Johnson with five races left in the Chase.

“We’re halfway (to the end of the Chase),” said Burton. “It’s way too early to be handing anyone the trophy. It’s our job to put ourselves in position to go to Homestead (the season's final race) with a chance to win.”

Jeff Burton, winner of Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte.

Photo courtesy of NASCAR

Burton kept the lead with a gas-and-go on his final pit stop on Lap 298.

“That’s what won the race for us,” said Burton, who led the final 57 laps of the 334 lap race, after passing Biffle for the top spot on Lap 278.

The top 10 finishers were: 1. Burton, 2. Kahne, 3. Kurt Busch, 4. Kyle Busch, 5. Jamie McMurray, 6. Jimmie Johnson, 7. Greg Biffle, 8. Jeff Gordon, 9. Mark Martin, 10. David Ragan.

Greg Biffle’s seventh place finish allowed him to remain third in the points.

Carl Edwards dropped from second to fourth in the standings.

For Edwards, it was a bad week. On Thursday, he scuffled with Kevin Harvick in the garage. During the race, tire and electrical problems forced him to lose 15 laps.

“There’s only one thing to do, and that’s to learn from everything this week,” Edwards said. “That’s for sure. I can guarantee you that if I had the week to do over again, the last seven days would be a lot different. But you just have to do what you think is right at the time and move on after that.

“Today’s race didn’t help at all. That car right there is a great racecar. I don’t know if we’ve ever had the problem that we had there. It was something with the ignition system, so it’s very frustrating, but nobody got hurt at least, I guess.”

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. cut a tire and slammed into the Turn 2 wall on lap 103. He finished 36th, 45 laps down.

“No warning – it just popped,” Earnhardt said. “I was running about 90 percent really, not running hard at all. The car was handling pretty good, just popped a tire up there… might have run over something.”

Top 10 Chase contenders with 5 to go: 1. Johnson-5878, 2. Burton-5809, 3. Biffle-5792, 4. Edwards-5710, 5. Bowyer-5693, 6. Harvick-5671, 7. Stewart-5650, 8. J. Gordon-5633, 9. Kyle Busch-5552, 10. Earnhardt-5524.

It would appear that only the top 5 drivers, Johnson, Burton, Biffle, Edwards, and Bowyer, have a realistic shot at this year’s title.

Top 10 Nationwide Series leaders after 31 of 35: 1. Bowyer-4552, 2. Edwards-4356, 3. Keselowski-4266, 4. Bliss-4017, 5. Ragan-4013, 6. Kyle Busch-3931, 7. Reutimann-3882, 8. M. Wallace-3633, 9. Leffler-3599, 10. Ambrose-3574.

Photographer T. Taylor Warren Passes Away – Lifelong NASCAR photographer, Thomas Taylor Warren died Wednesday. He was 83. Known as T. Taylor in the NASCAR community, he began photographing racing before NASCAR itself was born.

Warren started shooting Sprint and Midget racing at the Milwaukee Fairgrounds in 1947 when he lived in Wisconsin. Over the next 60 years, Warren saw, and shot, it all. From his photo of the three-wide finish of the first Daytona 500 in 1959, to images from this year’s 50th anniversary Daytona 500 that he shot with a digital camera, Warren rolled with the changes in NASCAR and kept on going.

Does NASCAR Really Listen To Fans? – NASCAR recently announced they would award a second race date to the Kansas Speedway, which is owned by International Speedway Corp. and controlled by the France family.

In order to do so, one of the current ISC tracks will lose a race. The track that will lose a race hasn’t been announced, but speculation is that Martinsville, New Hampshire, California, and Michigan are being looked at.

The decision to award a second date was based on the Kansas track getting a State License to open a Hard Rock Casino on the property.

Business wise, it makes sense. The France family will rake in mega-bucks.

Based on the e-mails I have received, the majority of the fans don’t like the idea of a race being taken from an existing track.

At the beginning of the season, Brian France, NASCAR’s CEO said the organization wanted to get back to the grassroots fans. This is hardly the way. While the second date would be welcome news to Kansas fans, it will be sad news to Martinsville Speedway fans, if that track loses one of its two races.

In 2004, Darlington Raceway, one of the most historic tracks on the circuit had the Southern 500 Labor Day race taken away and given to California. Rockingham (North Carolina) was removed from the schedule, leaving those fans to attend races in Charlotte.

Kansas is a relatively new track, having been built in 2001. It and the Chicago track both opened the same year.

Forget the fans. NASCAR is going where the money is. Taking a race away from another track and moving it to Kansas in order to own part of a multi-million dollar casino, was a no-brainer for the France family.

The casino will operate 24/7, and generate profits each day. There will be no off season.

Throw in the new Chase system, Car of Tomorrow, major commercialization of the sport, and you’ve got more reasons fans are getting fed up.

It’s getting more and more expensive. A few tracks have tickets for $50, but they are way down low in the far corners. Expect to pay upwards of $125 for a good ticket. Add in drinks, eats, parking and miscellaneous, and it becomes apparent NASCAR and the tracks are more interested in the fans’ dollars than they are the fans themselves.

The TV coverage is more focused on commercials than about the race.

And finally, there is the lack of NASCAR’s consistency. There are fines for some, but not for others, for the same infraction.

NASCAR racing used to be fun and exciting. But racing is becoming more and more boring. Racing at some tracks, like Kansas, do nothing to excite the fans. Take away the last 10-15 laps of the race and you could sleep through it and not miss any excitement.

According to feedback that I receive, if NASCAR continues down its present path, more and more fans will fade out of the picture.

Maybe there are new fans that will move the sport forward. We’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

Not everything NASCAR does is bad, but it’s become apparent they need to make some serious changes, and soon, for the overall health of all three top series.

Next Week: What’s the Scoop on Dale Earnhardt, Jr.


The Nationwide and Cup teams will be at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte this weekend. The Craftsman Trucks have an off week.

Friday, October 10: Nationwide Series Dollar General 300, 7:30 p.m. TV: ESPN2.

Saturday, October 11: Sprint Cup Bank of America 500, 7 p.m. TV: ABC.

Racing Trivia Question: Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland are the current Yates Racing drivers. Who will be the third Yates driver in 2009?

Last Week’s Question: Who does David Ragan drive for? Answer: He drives the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at:

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