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HERSHEY - Elk Lake followed up last year’s boys’ state championship with another strong effort and gave hints that the team can be expected back again during Saturday’s Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Cross Country Championships on the Parkview Course.
The Warriors, with just one senior in the seven-man lineup, finished third in the state in Class AA.
Mike Bedell led the way claiming a state medal that goes with a top 25 finish when he took 23rd.z
While the Elk Lake boys produced District 2’s best team finish, two girls gave Susquehanna County its top individual effort.
Maria Trowbridge of Elk Lake was ninth in the state while Allison Hall of Blue Ridge was 11th.
The Elk Lake girls, two years removed from a state runner-up finish, were 11th as a team with a lineup that featured three freshmen and two sophomores.
District 2, which had produced seven of the previous 10 state championship teams, again shined in Class AA boys.
Aaron Wilkinson of Valley View finished fourth while joining Bedell and Holy Redeemer’s A.J. Limongelli (24th) as medalists. Holy Redeemer followed Elk Lake in the standings, giving the district two of the state’s top four teams.
Wilkinson, who helped Valley View finish third in the District 2 meet a week earlier, said the presence of team’s like Elk Lake and Holy Redeemer in meets close to home helped make him one of the best in the state.
“It really does,” said Wilkinson, the top individual from District 2. “Plus, two teammates going all out, too.
“It helps to have people pushing you along. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”
Elk Lake was the only team to get all seven of its runners in the top 79 out of the 170 who figured in the scoring for the 25 team entries.
York Suburban and Quaker Valley, however, were stronger in the top five which combines to make the team score (the sixth and seventh runners can only displace opponents and make other team’s scores higher). York Suburban outscored Quaker Valley, 76-99, while Elk Lake had 135 points and Holy Redeemer 151.
Bedell was 23rd out of 289 overall and ninth among the team representatives with a time of 17:16 for the 3.1-mile course.
Tyler Williams, the only senior in the lineup, was 13th among team competitors and 30th overall in 17:24.
The rest of the Elk Lake team was: Will Bennett, 22nd, 50th, 17:40; Cody Butler, 39th, 87th, 18:05; Bryan Grosvenor, 52nd, 109th, 18:14; Sean Carney, 73rd, 154th, 18:32, and Jeff Horvath, 79th, 160th, 18:38. Bennett is a sophomore and the other five in the lineup are juniors.
Trowbridge, in her fourth race on the Parkview Course, had her best time by more than 20 seconds, finishing in 19:46.
“I was hoping to medal,” she said. “I just came down to do my best.”
Trowbridge, a sophomore, was fifth out of 165 who were part of the team scoring and ninth of the 292 total runners in the field.
The rest of the Elk Lake team was: freshman Lainey Bedell, 42nd, 86th, 21:24; sophomore Abby Zdancewicz, 53rd, 105th, 21:38; freshman Kirsten Hollister, 68th, 134th, 21:52; senior Laura Nulton, 84th, 178th, 22:34; freshman Kellie Grosvenor, 87th, 182nd, 22:36; and senior Hannah Owens, 102nd, 205th, 22:54.
Elk Lake was just outside the top 10 with 252 points. Elk County Christian was ninth with 243 and Saucon Valley was 10th with 248.
Central Cambria ran away with the team title with 72 points, less than half of the total by second-place Union City, which had 153.
Blue Ridge had two individual qualifiers in the race.
In addition to Hall’s 19:49 finish for 11th, Vikki Hartt closed out her career with a 174th-place finish in 22:29.
WEEK IN REVIEW
OLD FORGE - The Susquehanna Sabers had no trouble moving the ball against the Lackawanna Football Conference’s most effective defense.
Holding on to the ball was a different story.
Turnovers ended each of the first four possessions, leading to touchdowns each time and preventing the Sabers from pulling off an upset when Old Forge completed the regular season as unbeaten LFC Division 3 champions with a 36-22 victory.
The 22 points and 208 rushing yards by the Sabers were the most against Old Forge this season. The Blue Devils came in allowing a league-low 7.3 points per game after holding seven of their first nine opponents to a touchdown or less.
“We stopped ourselves,” Susquehanna coach Dick Bagnall said. “They didn’t stop us.”
The Sabers outscored the Blue Devils over the final three quarters and closed within 10 points in the third quarter before having a two-point conversion attempt stopped.
Although unable to pull off the upset that could have extended the season into the playoffs, the Sabers did finish with a strong showing at the end of a 6-4 season that is the best since the 2000 team went 8-3.
“The second half was a different Susquehanna team,” Bagnall said. “This game was a building block for next year.”
Old Forge had just a 98-89 advantage in total offense after one quarter but was in front, 18-0.
A.J. Grasso recovered a fumble on the third play and Michael Mancuso scored on a 1-yard sneak seven plays later to make it 6-0 with 7:41 left in the quarter.
Malkolm Blackshear weaved his way up the field, breaking tackles in the process, on a 71-yard interception return for a touchdown and 12-0 lead with 3:19 left.
Michael Tagliaferri stripped the ball away at the Old Forge 45, the Blue Devils pulled off a successful fake punt and Blackshear threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Connor Fultz to make the lead 18-0 with 1:06 left.
Klaus Woodeschick made an interception at the Old Forge 15, stopping the Sabers after they crossed midfield for the third time in four drives.
Brian Morris got the scoring drive started with three runs for 52 yards and Blackshear finished it with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Paulish.
Susquehanna immediately went to work cutting into the 24-0 deficit.
Brad Weaver’s 47-yard kickoff return led to a 15-yard Dan Kempa touchdown. Kempa then hit Nick Felter with the two-point pass to bring the Sabers within 24-8 at halftime.
Kempa, who finished with 101 yards on 22 carries, had runs of nine, seven and six yards on the drive before his touchdown.
Nick Marco rushed the passer and Cole Mallery broke up a pass in the end zone on the final play of the half to keep the Sabers within striking distance.
John Herbert recovered a fumble at the Old Forge 49 on the third play of the second half to set up a nine-play scoring drive by the Sabers.
Kempa hit Cole Mallery for 19 yards and carried five times for 21 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown on the drive.
John Salinkas, who finished with 59 yards on eight carries, added two carries for 13 yards on the scoring drive.
Because Old Forge had missed all of its extra-point attempts, Susquehanna had a chance to move within a score by converting a two-point conversion. Louis Febbo sacked Kempa to keep Old Forge up by 10 with 5:35 left in the third quarter.
Morris, who had 123 yards on 18 carries, had short touchdown runs late in the third and early in the fourth quarter to put Old Forge in control, 36-14.
Salinkas had a 24-yard run to key a 12-play, 67-yard scoring drive. Kempa hit Mallery to convert a fourth-and-seven and ran for a conversion on third-and-eight to keep the drive alive.
Felter scored from the 4 and Kempa ran for the two-pointer.
Old Forge managed to cover the kickoff, then ran the final 4:46 off the clock to preserve the victory, the division championship and its first unbeaten regular season since 1987.
Montrose’s season came to an end with a 54-12 loss at Lakeland.
The Chiefs opened a 35-0 lead at halftime. The Meteors were outscored, 229-0, in the first half of the last six games, the last five of which were in the Mercy Rule as of the second-half kickoff.
Final LFC standings, with league and overall records, for the divisions that include the two Susquehanna County teams, are:
Division 2: Dunmore 6-0, 10-0; Lakeland 4-2, 7-3; Scranton Prep 4-2, 7-3; Valley View 3-3, 4-6; Western Wayne 2-4, 4-6; Riverside 2-4, 3-7; Montrose 0-6, 1-9.
Division 3: Old Forge 5-0, 10-0; Carbondale 4-1, 6-4; Mid Valley 3-2, 7-3; Susquehanna 2-3, 6-4; Lackawanna Trail 1-4, 1-9; Holy Cross 0-5, 1-9.
Susquehanna finished sixth and Montrose last in the 12-team race for the four District 2 Class AA playoff spots.
The final records and playoff point totals of those teams: Dunmore 10-0, 1510; GAR 8-2, 1020; Lakeland 7-3, 940; Mid Valley 7-3, 900; Carbondale 6-4, 780; Susquehanna 6-4, 700; Hanover Area 5-5, 650; Valley View 4-6, 620; Lake-Lehman 4-6, 410; Holy Redeemer 2-8, 200; Nanticoke 1-9, 170; Montrose 1-9, 90.
In girls’ soccer, Montrose beat a pair of championship teams to win the District 2 Class AA championship.
The Lady Meteors knocked off top-seeded Lakeland, the Lackawanna League North Division champion, 2-1, in the semifinals then won the district title with a 1-0 victory over defending champion Mountain View.
Lakeland had a 1-0 halftime lead, but Montrose rallied when Katie Ormsby scored on a Dallas Ely assist then Raina Upright converted a corner kick by Mimi DiPhillips.
Katelyn Spellman made 12 saves in the semifinal win then had 16 more in the championship game shutout of Mountain View.
Ely scored on a 30-yard direct kick with 22 minutes left.
Staci Rihl, Alex Lewis, Katie Groover and Becca Maxey formed the defense that helped Montrose avenge a shootout loss to Mountain View in last year’s district final.
In boys’ soccer, Holy Cross defeated Montrose, 3-0, in the District 2 Class A final.
Montrose beat top-seeded Hanover Area, 4-1, in the semifinals while Holy Cross got past undefeated Lackawanna League Division 3 champion Forest City, 5-4, in overtime.
In girls’ volleyball, MMI eliminated top-seed and host Mountain View in the semifinals on the way to the District 2 Class A championship.
Brone Lobichusky, a 6-foot senior middle hitter, had 24 kills and seven blocks to lead MMI to a 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 25-19 victory on the way to the school’s first district championship in any sport since the 1973 boys’ basketball team won a state title.
Kayla Kazmierski led Mountain View with nine kills, four aces and two blocks. Alex Lynn and Kate Webster each had five kills while Melissa Monahan had four.
Mountain View had leads of 12-5 and 15-12 in Game Three before MMI rallied for the win.
Lackawanna Trail eliminated Forest City, 25-13, 25-23, 25-22, in the other semifinal.
Forest City opened a 7-0 lead in Game Three, but could not hold on.
Kiersten Collins led Forest City with seven kills and four blocks. Amanda Collins, who had five assists, and Jessica Strickland each had three kills.
Brackney Brotzman, a sophomore forward from Montrose, was a big part of a successful field hockey season at Keystone College.
Keystone won 11 straight games and went 8-0 in the regular season in the Colonial States Athletic Conference before being upset in the league semifinals.
Brotzman tied for the team lead with four game-winning goals and was tied for second in total goals with seven. She started in 16 of 17 games and also had an assist.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Wallenpaupack, Abington Heights, North Pocono, Dunmore, Mid Valley, Lakeland, Old Forge and Riverside will represent the LFC in District 2 football playoffs. Scranton Prep, Carbondale and Delaware Valley will participate in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Our high school football predictions were 9-1 to finish the regular season 98-21 (82.4 percent). The predictions will continue until the last LFC team is eliminated. This week’s predictions, with home teams in CAPS: DUNMORE 32, Mid Valley 6; Lakeland 25, WILKES-BARRE GAR 24; OLD FORGE 37, Riverside 13; CARBONDALE 26, Hanover Area 7; Scranton Prep 16, NORTHWESTERN LEHIGH 13; EMMAUS 27, Delaware Valley 0; PARKLAND 34, Wallenpaupack 6; North Pocono 20, DALLAS 17; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 29, Berwick 12.
In girls’ soccer, Montrose was scheduled to meet District 4 champion Lewisburg at Hughesville Tuesday night. The winner of that game will play the winner between Upper Dauphin and St. Pius X in Saturday’s state Class AA quarterfinals.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
The Other Busch Wins Texas Race
FT. WORTH, Tex. - Kyle Busch had the fastest car and the lead, but with two-laps remaining in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Dickies 500, he ran out of fuel. Brother Kurt, who was running second assumed the lead and went on to victory lane.
Kurt had pitted two laps later than Kyle and most of the other drivers, so he still had fuel when Kyle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., David Reutimann, and others ran out.
“I knew we had the fuel mileage to get to the end,” said Kurt Busch. “I was confident. I knew that Kyle couldn’t make it. We were fast and were playing cat and mouse with Kyle on the restarts.
“For us to come away with the win and knock him off his sweep, it’s bittersweet.”
It was Kurt’s first win at Texas Motor Speedway, and his second of the 2009 season.
Denny Hamlin finished second.
“We had a really good car, but we had some problems on pit road,” said Hamlin. “We just dropped so many spots on pit road that we couldn’t get near the front. I hit the wall and killed our car, but the good part about that was I was able to save fuel, and that’s what got us here.”
The top-10 finishers: 1. Kurt Busch, 2. Denny Hamlin, 3. Matt Kenseth, 4. Mark Martin, 5. Kevin Harvick, 6. Tony Stewart, 7. Clint Bowyer, 8. Greg Biffle, 9. Jeff Burton, 10. A. J. Allmendinger.
Kyle Busch had won both the Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series races at TMS, and appeared to be headed for his third win of the weekend before losing fuel pressure on the track and finishing 11th.
Chase leaders Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards were victims of a Juan Montoya mishap. Edwards hit the outside wall, and wound up with a DNF, while Gordon finished 13th.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a good run, before running out of fuel on the backstretch with three laps to go. His car stalled on pit road and he finished 25th.
The Championship Chase took a dramatic turn as points leader Jimmie Johnson was bumped by Sam Hornish on lap 3, and pushed into the outside wall. Johnson’s car was almost a total wreck. When his team was able to get it repaired and he returned to the track, he was 120 laps down.
“I hate that we gave up all those points, but Sam just lost it,” said Johnson. “I wish he could have waited a little longer before losing it, but that’s just the way it was.”
Johnson’s lead dropped from 181 down to just 73 points over teammate Mark Martin, with two races remaining.
Top-12 Chase Contenders: 1. Johnson-6297, 2. Martin-6224, 3. J. Gordon-6185, 4. Kurt Busch-6126, 5. Stewart-6119, 6. Montoya-6061, 7. Biffle-6050, 8. Hamlin-5975, 9. Newman-5973, 10. Kahne-5898, 11. Edwards-5857, 12. Vickers-5777.
KYLE BUSCH GETS TEXAS NATIONWIDE WIN
Kyle Busch scored his eighth Nationwide win of the season at Texas and increased his points lead to 272 over rival Carl Edwards with just two races remaining. All Busch needs to do is finish 15th or better next week to clinch the title.
Top-10 points leaders after 33 of 35: 1. Kyle Busch-5374, 2. Edwards-5102, 3. Keselowski-5082, 4. Leffler-4349, 5. Allgaier-3831, 6. Bliss-3818, 7. S. Wallace-3726, 8. Keller-3701, 9. Gaughan-3678, 10. Annett-3395.
HORNADAY TO WRAP UP FOURTH TRUCK TITLE
Last season, Ron Hornaday battled Johnny Benson to the last lap of the last race in the Camping World Truck Series, but finished second to Benson, by seven points.
This year, it’s different. Whether for lack of competition, or the sheer strength of his Kevin Harvick Inc. team, Hornaday has run away with the title..
He has finished no worse than seventh in the standings since joining the group in 2005 and gave the organization its first title in 2007. The group has worked together to earn 19 wins during the span, and Hornaday has become the series-leading winner with 45 victories.
Both Hornaday and crew chief, Rick Ren continually point out the Harvicks’ work ethic and their commitment to looking forward instead of backwards when it comes to making changes or recovering from a setback. They simply refuse to dwell on what might have been. Instead, they look over any mechanical failures, dismiss any incidents that were out of their control and move on to the next race.
It has clearly been a winning formula. Hornaday has 82 top-10 finishes since joining the team, 55 of them top fives, as well as the wins.
Top-10 points leaders after 23 of 25: 1. Hornaday-3657, 2. Crafton-3460, 3. Skinner-3302, 4. Bodine-3150, 5. Braun-3089, 6. Scott-3050, 7. Sauter-3033, 8. Peters-3009, 9. Starr-2987, 10. Crawford-2928.
“DANICA MANIA” OVERTAKES NASCAR
The talk this past weekend in the media center at Texas Motor Speedway focused more on Danica Patrick, the open-wheel Indy-car racer, than on aspects of the NASCAR Chase.
Patrick’s NASCAR future was a hot topic this week, and most Sprint Cup drivers believe her arrival would be a good thing.
Even Eddie Gossage, president of TMS got into the discussion.
“She is a figure that has grabbed the American attention and I think she'll be really good for NASCAR if she comes here,” said Gossage. “At the same time as an IndyCar promoter, I really hate to lose her more over there than I would like to gain her over here because she is an incredibly valuable, marketable icon for IndyCar racing.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his JR Motorsports team are negotiating with her about driving a partial Nationwide Series schedule in 2010 and he believes there’s competition to land Patrick.
“We’ve been talking to her,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “Other teams are talking to her as well. She’s really serious about coming to NASCAR. A lot of people, I guess, thought that it was just a media hoax or her kind of blowing smoke.
“She’s really serious about it, and she’s going to do it with somebody. We’re working on details and trying to be part of that puzzle. We’ll know more in the future.”
Weekend Racing: All three of NASCAR’s major series will be in action at the 1.0-mile Phoenix Raceway.
Fri., Nov. 13, Camping World Lucas Oil 150, race 24 of 25; Starting time: 7:30 p.m. (EDT); TV: Speed Channel.
Sat., Nov. 14, Nationwide Series Arizona 200, race 34 of 35; Starting time: 4 p.m. (EDT); TV: ESPN2.
Sun., Nov. 15, Sprint Cup O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, race 35 of 36; Starting time: 2:30 p.m. (EDT); TV: ABC.
Racing Trivia Question: Which driver has the most Sprint Cup championships?
Last Week’s Question: Wendell Scott, the early African American driver won one major NASCAR race. Where did he win it? Answer. Jacksonville, Florida in 1963.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allison Hall had already been the best Class AA girls’ cross country runner in District 2.
She set out this season to be recognized as the best in the entire Lackawanna League, regardless of school size.
“That was one of my goals,” said Hall, a junior at Blue Ridge. “Last year, (Wallenpaupack’s) Rachel Schmalzle was the Runner of the Year and she graduated.
“I wanted to win that this year.”
Hall did just that, gaining recognition from Lackawanna coaches as their Runner of the Year.
She was not done. When the regular season ended, Hall added a repeat of her District 2 title.
For those efforts, Hall was selected as the Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month for October.
Hall ran the entire regular season with Elk Lake’s Maria Trowbridge, who finished ninth in the state, as part of the Lackawanna League’s cluster scheduling format. Trowbridge was the only runner to ever finish ahead of Hall, but Hall was first more often, including the only time Blue Ridge and Elk Lake were scored against each other. That meant in the scoring of 22 league meets, Hall was the first-place finisher every time.
“I like it a lot,” Hall said of the challenge of running with district team champion Elk Lake in every race of the regular season. “It keeps you sharp.
“(Trowbridge) makes me better and I hope I make her better.”
Hall has shown she can also succeed while running at other distances.
Although she says she prefers the sport of cross country, Hall is comfortable running races of 400 and 800 meters in track season.
Saturday’s 11th-place finish in the state Class AA meet gave Hall her first state medal in cross country. She already has four as a member of the Blue Ridge track team.
Hall was part of an eighth-place 1600 meter relay team in state track as a freshman. She added a fourth in the 1600 relay, a fifth in the 800 and a sixth in the 3200 relay as a sophomore.
Allison is the daughter of Jeffrey and Carolyn Hall of Jackson.
1st Team: Kate Webster, Mt. View, outside hitter; Shannon Nolan, Western Wayne, outside hitter; Esther Michel, Western Wayne, libero; Karley Caines, Elk Lake, middle hitter; Nicole Korgeski, Dunmore, outside hitter; Amanda Collins, Forest City, outside hitter; Courtney Dininny, Susquehanna, setter; Ashley Loss, Lackawanna Trail, outside hitter.
2nd Team: Alex Lynn, Mt. View, middle hitter; Heidi Roegner, Western Wayne, outside hitter; Colleen Carr, Dunmore, outside hitter; Kimberly Dempsey, Dunmore, setter; Lyndsey Hall, Dunmore, libero; Courtney Bishop, Lackawanna Trail, outside hitter; Meghan Ragard, Blue Ridge, middle hitter.
MVP: Nicole Korgeski, Dunmore.
Honorable Mention: Kayla Kazmierski, Mt. View, middle hitter; Christina Voorheis, Mt. View, middle hitter; Sara Kimsey, Montrose, outside hitter; Marissa Robinson, Montrose, setter; Sarah Ruane, Dunmore, middle hitter; Courtney Andrews, Forest City, setter; Kiersten Collins, Forest City, middle hitter; Elizabeth Stuenzi, Lackawanna Trail, setter; Alyssa Dippel, Lackawanna Trail, middle back; Shayna Hettinger, Blue Ridge, middle hitter.
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