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SCRANTON – The series of technical difficulties that plagued District 2 track and field officials throughout Saturday’s Class AA championships may have been the only thing that kept Montrose’s Julia Koloski from going 4-for-4 in setting records.
Instead, Koloski had to settle for 4-for-4 in terms of winning gold medals.
“It was perfectly smooth,” Koloski said of her day, which included record-setting wins in the long jump and triple jump, a major part of a record effort in the 400 relay and a win in a 100-meter showdown with Hanover Area’s Amanda Kuhl, the meet’s other top performer.
Koloski prevented Kuhl from sweeping the 100, 200 and 400 for the second straight year by winning the 100 with a time that was recorded somewhere between 12.11 and 12.20 on hand-held watches because the electronic timing system was malfunctioning at the time. When hand-held timing is used, results are rounded to the higher tenth and .24 seconds are added. That addition put Koloski’s time in the record books at 12.44, falling short of breaking the record of 12.34 set by Hanover Area’s Sacara Tinsley in 1990 and matched by Jennifer Buckley of Bishop Hoban.
“I don’t mind,” Koloski said. “I still have next year.
“I’m happy with what I got.”
Koloski’s long jump of 17-11 3/4 broke the record of 17-10 set by Rose Morgans of Wilkes-Barre Meyers in 2004. Her triple jump of 38-7 1/4 topped the record of 38-4 3/4 by Bernitta Johnson of Wilkes-Barre Meyers in 2000.
With Montrose getting every extra foot it could out of Koloski, it won the 400 relay in 50.49 seconds, topping the mark of 50.65 by Meyers in 2004. Koloski takes the baton as early as possible in the first exchange zone and hands it off as late as possible in the second.
“You have to be on with your handoffs to do that,” Koloski said. “I came into the relay about halfway through the season and that’s been our main focus.”
Koloski took the baton from Jacey Blom and handed it to Alex Lewis. Angela Short ran the anchor leg.
More breakdowns in the scoring system temporarily held up the final development of the meet, Blue Ridge’s record time in the 1600 relay to move into second place out of 18 teams in the final team standings.
Allison Hall, Meghan Ragard, Lauren Findley and Kaitchen Dearborn ran that relay together and also got to the state meet on their own. Hall, Ragard and Findley were also part of the winning 3200 relay team.
The Lady Raiders held up despite what others would consider grueling workloads on the track.
Hall anchored both relays, won the 800 and finished second in the 1600.
Ragard qualified for the state meet in the triple jump by going 37-0 1/2 more than a foot-and-a-half better than the standard needed for non-winners to advance. She also placed fourth in the 400.
Findley ran the best split in each relay, coming in a fraction of a second under a minute as the leadoff of the 1600 relay and running a 2:26 in the second leg to take over the lead in the 3200. She also met the state qualifying standard while finishing second to Hanover Area’s Kuhl in 59.06 in the 400 and took fifth in the 800.
Dearborn won the javelin with a record heave of 142-1 to break the record of 138-6 that Morgans set for Meyers in 2003. She also finished sixth in the high jump.
In addition to running on the winning 3200 relay, Kleiner joined Katie Drake, Kailey Ragard and Nicole Whitney for eighth place in the 400 relay. Drake added a fourth in the pole vault while Whitney was sixth in the 100 hurdles.
Maegan Lewis was eighth in the 3200.
Lake-Lehman won team title with 97 points. Hanover Area finished two points behind Blue Ridge.
Montrose was fourth with 69 1/2 points. Elk Lake was seventh with 48, Mountain View tied for 15th with nine and Susquehanna 17th with two.
Koloski and the rest of the 400 relay team will be joined at the state meet by Montrose high jumper Sarah Kimsey, who won the district title. Kimsey was also seventh in the triple jump.
Lewis added a fourth-place finish in the high jump to her relay win.
Christy DiMichelle took third and Alyssa Allis tied for fifth in the pole vault. The 3200 relay team of Rina Nikolidas, Hannah Cronk, Brenda King and Carine Gregory took seventh.
Maria Trowbridge, the meet’s only freshman individual champion, and Caitie Good led the way for Elk Lake.
Trowbridge ran away from the pack to win by more than 18 seconds in the 3200.
Good was second in the 200, third in the 100 and part of the second-place 1600 relay team.
Kimberly Caines, Kelsey Hermick and Cindy Good were also on the 1600 relay team. Caines was third in the 800 and Hermick was sixth in the triple jump.
Cassie Van Etten was fourth in the 400.
Mountain View’s points came from Alex Lynn finishing fifth in the long jump and Olivia Zick placing both six in the javelin and seventh in the discus.
Kayla Valentine was seventh in the pole vault for Susquehanna’s two points.
In the boys’ meet, Sean Carney won the 400 and rallied the 1600 relay team to a win in his anchor leg as Elk Lake finished third of 20 teams scoring 65 points to finish behind Valley View (106) and Holy Redeemer (86).
Ryne Carney won the 3200 for Elk Lake and Cody DeBoer won the 100 for Montrose.
Derek Stang, Paul Cron and Brad Moore joined Sean Carney on Elk Lake’s 1600 relay team. Stang was also seventh in the 400.
Sean Carney, Tyler Williams, Mike Bedell and Bryan Grosvenor formed Elk Lake’s second-place team in the 3200 relay. Williams was also second in the 800. Bedell was seventh in the 1600 where Brent Salsman was eighth.
Jeff Madrak was third in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump.
Josh Ralston was fourth in the discus.
Montrose was eighth with 39 points, Blue Ridge was 10th with 32, Mountain View was 18th with three and Susquehanna tied for 19th with one.
DeBoer added second place in the 100 to his long jump win.
Andy Burgh was fourth in the 200 and sixth in the high jump.
John Maurey tied for second in the pole vault where Mike Rihl was sixth.
Tony Bistocchi was seventh in the discus.
The 3200 relay team of Bryce Calrton, Tim Strayer, Chris Preston and Ed Arnold was eighth.
Zach Kruger led Blue Ridge by taking second in the 300 hurdles and fourth in the 100 hurdles while running a leg on the seventh-place 1600 relay team.
Jordan Green took third in the 400 and ran on the relay.
Dan Kempa, who was seventh in the javelin, and Mike Schell were the other relay members.
Jared Conklin was fifth in the discus and seventh in the shot put.
Eric Onyon was sixth in the discus.
Mountain View’s Justin Cerra was sixth in the 110 high hurdles and Susquehanna’s Nick Vales was eighth in the pole vault.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Kurt Post held Susquehanna to one run on three hits over the final five innings, allowing Blue Ridge time to rally for a 7-4 victory and complete its perfect Lackawanna League Division 3 baseball season.
The Raiders went 14-0 for the only unbeaten record in any of the league’s three divisions.
“It feels good to come this far,” said Blue Ridge coach Josh Carpenter, who started coaching the school’s junior high team when the current seniors were seventh-graders then moved to the varsity when they were sophomores.
Four-year starter Sam Longacre drove in four runs in an 11-2 win over Forest City earlier in the week. Chris Empett is a three-year starter and the other seniors in the group are Post, Blaise Ross, John Michael Zawiski and Zack Mansfield.
The final division standings were: Blue Ridge 14-0; Lackawanna Trail 11-3; Elk Lake 9-5; Mountain View 7-7; Western Wayne, Susquehanna and Montrose 5-9; Forest City 0-14.
In softball, Emily Knott threw a three-inning perfect game as Blue Ridge smashed Forest City, 15-0, to clinch the Lackawanna League Division 3 title.
The final standings were: Blue Ridge 13-1; Elk Lake 12-2; Montrose 9-5; Western Wayne 8-6; Lackawanna Trail 6-8; Susquehanna 4-10; Mountain View and Forest City 2-12.
In boys’ volleyball, Mountain View clinched the Lackawanna League title May 12 when it defeated Blue Ridge. The Eagles went on to add another win over Forest City.
The final standings were: Mountain View 11-1; Lackawanna Trail and Western Wayne, 9-3; Blue Ridge 7-5; Susquehanna 7-5; Forest City 2-10; Elk Lake 0-12.
In boys tennis, two Montrose teams lost tough matches in their first outings in the District 2 Class AA doubles tournament.
Matt Hromchak-Chris McGavin of Wilkes-Barre Meyers beat Zach Warriner-Steve Luecke, 6-4, 6-4, while Jack Cornell-Will Daugherty of Holy Redeemer beat David Harris-Ben Hinds, 6-3, 6-3.
Elk Lake’s Kyle Traver-Seth Canfield did not win a game while being eliminated by fifth-seeded Ronil Patel-Paranjay Malhotra, an eventual semifinal team from Scranton Prep.
The final Lackawanna League tennis standings were: Scranton Prep 15-0; Abington Heights 14-1; Valley View 13-2; Scranton 12-3; Dunmore, Western Wayne, Delaware Valley 10-5; Wallenpaupack 8-7; Honesdale 7-8; West Scranton 6-9; North Pocono 5-10; Montrose 4-11; Riverside 3-12; Holy Cross 2-13; Mid Valley 1-14; Elk Lake 0-15.
In high school track, the final standings for Lackawanna Track Conference divisions that included Susquehanna County teams were:
Division 2 boys: Valley View 6-0; Scranton 5-1; Dunmore 4-2; Riverside 3-3; West Scranton 2-4; Montrose 1-5; Western Wayne 0-6.
Division 3 boys: Mid Valley, Elk Lake 6-1; Carbondale 5-2; Blue Ridge 4-3; Lackawanna Trail, Holy Cross 3-4; Mountain View 1-6; Susquehanna 0-7.
Division 2 girls: Western Wayne 6-0; Scranton, Valley View, Montrose 4-2; Dunmore 2-4; West Scranton 1-5; Riverside 0-6.
Division 3 girls: Blue Ridge 7-0; Elk Lake 5-1-1; Lackawanna Trail 5-2; Holy Cross 3-3-1; Mid Valley, Mountain View 3-4; Carbondale 1-6; Susquehanna 0-7.
In professional hockey, the Hershey Bears shut out the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 3-0, in each of the last two games to rally to win the Calder Cup quarterfinal series in seven games.
Sean Brewer, a junior right-hander from Montrose, was the winning pitcher when Keystone College won its National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Mid-Atlantic Region opener, 2-1, over Alvernia.
Brewer (8-2) threw 2 2/3 perfect innings and struck out four.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Blue Ridge is the top seed in the 16-team District 2 Class AA baseball tournament and will open at home Wednesday against Mid Valley.
If the Raiders win, they are home again Friday against the GAR-Holy Cross winner. The semifinals are set for Tuesday, May 26.
Mountain View is seeded 10th and playing at seventh-seeded Elk Lake while Montrose is 13th and playing at Lake-Lehman.
Susquehanna and Forest City were scheduled to open Tuesday in Class A semifinals. Third-seeded Susquehanna was home with Northwest while seventh-seeded Forest City was at Old Forge with the winners scheduled to meet Thursday.
In softball, Blue Ridge is the top seed in Class A, earning a bye to May 26.
Fifth-seeded Forest City is at fourth-seeded Susquehanna and sixth-seeded Mountain View is at Lackawanna Trail in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
The Class AA playoffs were scheduled to start Monday. If third-seeded Elk Lake beat Mid Valley, it would advance to the Wednesday quarterfinals against the Dunmore-Holy Cross winner. If seventh-seeded Montrose beat Lakeland, it would play the Nanticoke/Lake-Lehman winner Wednesday.
In boys’ volleyball, Mountain View was the second seed in an eight-team District 2 Class AA tournament going into Monday. A win over Coughlin would put the Eagles in the semifinals Wednesday. The finals are set for Friday.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Stewart Wins All-Star Race
CONCORD, N.C. - Tony Stewart led only once for two laps in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but they were the most important ones, as he paced the final two circuits around the 1.5-mile oval after getting by Matt Kenseth for the lead on lap 98 of the 100-lap event.
Tony Stewart winner of All-Star race at Lowe's.
Stewart, who started 15th, was in the top-10 for much of the night, but didn’t become a factor at the front of the pack until he began battling with Kenseth in the final five laps of the event.
“I can’t believe he (Kenseth) gave me the bottom,” Stewart said. “We got a run on him two laps before and got a run off of (turn) two at the bottom and got beside him. I overdrove it in (turn) three and just got down there and got loose trying to clear him, and he was able to get back by us. Then he went to the bottom in (turns) one and two the next lap. I don’t think he was great down there, but he was good enough, I think, to hold us off. But the next lap we go back through there and we got a run off of (turn) four on him.”
It was Stewart’s first victory as driver/owner for Stewart-Haas Racing. It was also the first All-Star race win for Stewart, who had four top-10 finishes in 10 previous starts in the event. Stewart became the second driver/owner to win the All-Star Race, joining Geoff Bodine, who accomplished the feat in 1994.
Matt Kenseth, who ran in second position the majority of the race’s second half, took the lead with five laps remaining, but was unable to hold off the advance of Stewart’s No. 14 car.
“It’s better to run second than anywhere else but first,” said Kenseth. “On the other hand, it’s disappointing when you take two to go on the track and you’re in the lead and you come home second. I feel bad that we got beat, but I think I could do it 100 times and I couldn’t hold him off.”
Stewart’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army/Haas Automation Chevrolet, finished a disappointing 18th after battling with the leaders in the closing stages of the race. On lap 93, Newman made contact with the wall while engaging in a three-way battle for the lead with Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch. The damage to Newman’s car sent him to the garage, seven laps shy of the finish.
Following Stewart and Kenseth across the stripe was Kurt Busch, while Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Mark Martin, Kyle Busch, rookie Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., comprised the remainder of the top-10.
Sam Hornish won the preliminary Sprint Showdown to advance to the Sprint All-Star Race.
HORNADAY RALLIES FOR LOWE’S WIN
Ron Hornaday rallied from a lap down to win the Craftsman Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway over Kyle Busch. The win was Hornaday’s first of the 2009 season, and moved him into the points lead over Mike Skinner.
Top-10 leaders after 6 of 25: 1. Hornaday-966, 2. Skinner-882, 3. Crafton-877, 4. Ky. Busch-852, 5. Bodine-837, 6. Cook-786, 7. Benson-779, 8. McCumbee-770, 9. Compton-762, 10. Scott-759
WHAT’S THE STORY ON DALE JR.
What has happened to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his team this season? Week after week, they turn in a poor performance. He faces many questions for which he still has no answers, like why isn’t he up front and challenging for wins?
He headed into last weekend’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway 18th in the Sprint Cup points standings after a 27th-place finish at Richmond. He has not won in nearly a year, dating back to June 15, 2008 at Michigan, and has only one top-five finish this season.
At Darlington, he missed his pit stall – again – during his first pit stop. Then he fell behind when his crew let a tire get away during another pit stop. Later, to cap things off, he wrecked.
Two pit mistakes and a wreck. Sadly, it was pretty much par for the course for Junior and his beleaguered team. He finished 27th and dropped two spots to 18th in points. About what you’ve come to expect from this disappointing driver and crew.
This mediocre performance is not what anyone had in mind when he left Dale Earnhardt Inc., to join powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports at the start of 2008. The assumption that wins and championship runs would follow now seems hopelessly optimistic.
But the pressure of expectations remains, and the strain might be showing.
Asked by reporters at Darlington why he was frustrated or on edge, Earnhardt said, “You go sit in that car. It’s not fun.”
There has been plenty of criticism of Earnhardt’s crew chief, Tony Eury, Jr. Earnhardt has mostly offered public support for his cousin. But he was critical of his racecar at Richmond, and not merely because there were problems making adjustments to the car during the race.
“We’ll, ya’ll saw what happened,” Earnhardt said. “Why do I got to comment on it? It don’t help nothing to talk about it. Not for me. My team has had enough crap from everybody else. I don’t need to weigh in on it. Ya’ll saw what happened and ya’ll can say what you want to say. We’re working on it and we’re trying to fix it.”
There have been rumors that team owner Rick Hendrick will make a drastic change in the No. 88 race team, swapping Eury with Alan Gustafson, the crew chief for Mark Martin in the No. 5. Both Martin and Gustafson downplayed that scenario when asked about it at Darlington.
“I know everybody’s impatient,” said Hendrick. “I’m impatient. I’m by nature a little bit of a procrastinator. And until I can see that we’ve done everything we can, the last thing I want to do is tear something down because it’s been good before... I’m doing everything I can do right now. Hopefully, after the next two or three races, we’re going to see big improvement.”
His fans can only wait and hope.
Next Week: Stewart/Haas Racing; A Big Surprise.
Weekend Racing: The Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams are at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway. For the Cup teams, this weekend’s Coca Cola 600 will be their longest race of the year (600 miles).
Sat., May 23, Nationwide Series Carquest Auto Parts 300, Starting time: 7:30 p.m. (EDT); TV: ESPN2.
Sun., May 24, Sprint Cup Coca Cola 600, Starting time: 5 p.m. (EDT); TV: FOX.
Racing Trivia Question: Why has NASCAR suspended Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield?
Last Week’s Question: How many Cup wins does Casey Mears, driver of the 07 Chevrolet have? Answer. His only cup win came at Charlotte in 2007.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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