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Issue Home March 24, 2010 Site Home

Local Sports Scene

Elk Lake Sophomore Phillips Takes 24th In State Swim Event
By Tom Robinson

Elk Lake sophomore Adam Phillips finished 24th in the Class AA boys’ 100-yard breaststroke at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Swimming and Diving Championships at Bucknell University.

Phillips was one of 32 swimmers from around the state to qualify for the PIAA championships in the event. He fell short of being one of the eight finalists or finishing among the top 16 to race again in the consolation finals with team points at stake. Only one other sophomore and one freshman finished ahead of Phillips.

The Scranton Prep 200 freestyle relay team claimed the only gold medal for the Lackawanna League with a time of 1:37.79.

Sophomore Rebekah Campo, who had the top girls’ individual performance with a fourth-place finish in the 50 freestyle, led off the gold-medal relay. She finished with two individual and two relay medals.

Emma Blake, Maria Telincho and Megan Jones completed the winning relay team.

Gabe Thran of Abington Heights had the league’s best boys’ performance. He was second in the 200 free and was also part of the second-place 200 freestyle relay team with Stephen Sorokanich, Thomas Devereaux and Sean Kennedy.


The winter high school sports season came to an end for the last of the District 2 competitors Saturday when, along with the conclusion of state swimming, the last three basketball teams were eliminated.

A total of seven Lackawanna League teams won District 2 titles then reached the second round of the state tournament. Of those teams, five advanced to the state quarterfinals but all of them were eliminated Friday and Saturday.

The Scranton (Class AAAA), Abington Heights (AAA) and Holy Cross (AA) boys reached the state quarterfinals along with the Dunmore (AA) and Old Forge (A) girls.

The Old Forge boys and Abington Heights girls reached the second round.

Old Forge got through the second round in Class A girls when it posted a 40-35 victory over a Greenwood team coached by Montrose graduate T.J. Weller.

Greenwood went 23-9, winning 16 straight at one point, and finished second in District 3.


Mason Webster, a sophomore from Mountain View, is a pitcher on the Marywood University baseball team.

Webster has worked two scoreless innings in one game during Marywood’s 3-7 start. He gave up one hit and three walks while striking out one.

Last season, Webster set a school record for strikeouts in a game with 16 against Alvernia. He finished 3-3 with a 5.45 earned run average and 48 strikeouts in 38 games.


Lackawanna League play is scheduled to begin in the next week in track and field, boys’ tennis and boys’ volleyball.

Track and field opens Friday.

Elk Lake will be at Blue Ridge in girls’ track in a meeting of the top two teams in Division 3 last season. Blue Ridge went 7-0 to win last year when Elk Lake was 5-1-1.

Mountain View is at Susquehanna in another Division 3 opener.

Those four schools are joined in the division by Carbondale, Lackawanna Trail, Mid Valley and Holy Cross.

Montrose, which opens Friday against West Scranton, is in Division 2 with Dunmore, Riverside, Scranton, Valley View, Western Wayne and West Scranton.

In boys’ tennis, one combined league has been split into two divisions this season.

Elk Lake and Montrose are in Division 2 with Dunmore, Holy Cross, Honesdale, Mid Valley, Riverside, Scranton Prep, Valley View and Western Wayne.

Elk Lake, which went 0-15 last year, is at Valley View in a Monday, March 29 opener against the team that had the best record last year (13-2) among those that are now in Division 2.

Montrose opens at home against Holy Cross.

In boys’ volleyball, defending champion Mountain View has a bye when the season opens Tuesday, March 30.

Western Wayne is at Susquehanna, Lackawanna Trail is at Elk Lake and Blue Ridge is at Forest City on Opening Day.

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

Check Off Another One For Johnson

BRISTOL, Tenn. - You may call it luck, or you may call it being at the right place at the right time, but in the end it didn't matter because Jimmie Johnson drove away from the field in a 10-lap shootout to win Sunday’s Food City 500.

The win was the third of the season for Johnson, but the first of his career at Bristol.

Jimmie Johnson, Bristol winner.

“Oh boy was this special,” said Johnson. “We’ve come here 16 times and left without a win.

“I really didn’t know if we made the right call or not by taking on four tires, but it paid off. I thought we were in trouble, but we were able to get back to the front, and then get by Tony (Stewart).”

The race-deciding caution came out on lap 482 of the 500 lap race. Kurt Busch was the leader, followed by Johnson. Both of these teams took on four fresh tires. Several other teams elected to only take on two tires.

When green flag racing resumed on lap 490, the leaders were Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, and Johnson.

Stewart was able to move into second right after the restart, with Johnson right on his rear bumper. Within one lap, Stewart had taken the lead from Biffle, and one lap later, Johnson passed Stewart.

“It was definitely a 10-lap sprint to the finish,” said Stewart. “We were a little too loose on the previous run. They left it up to me, so whether I made the right tire call or not, I don’t know. It was hard. We struggled on restarts.”

Kurt Busch, the Atlanta winner was third. He led 278 laps, but was not able to get by Stewart in the closing laps, in order to challenge Johnson.

“We were pretty solid all day, we just got beat at the end on the luck of the draw,” said Busch. “Its random luck on which lane is going to go, and we were in the wrong one.

“I’d rather lose to any of the other 41 cars out there than the 48 car. I thought we had them beat. I gave it my heart today, and even though we came up short, I’m still happy.”

Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, and Jeff Burton were the remaining top-10 finishers.

Top-12 Chase leaders after 5 of 36: 1. Kenseth-778, 2. Harvick-774, 3. Johnson-760, 4. Biffle-750, 5. Stewart-685, 6. Kurt Busch-677, 7. Burton-677, 8. Earnhardt-626, 9. Menard-614, 10. J. Gordon-608, 11. Kyle Busch-606, 12. Bowyer-601

Tempers appeared to remain intact, at least on the track, even though there was a 13 car pileup on lap 341.

Polesitter, Joey Logano had several mechanical problems and finished 27th.


Penske Racing’s Justin Allgaier passed and then held off his teammate Brad Keselowski to win Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Bristol to earn his first career Nationwide Series win in his 43rd start.

Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Reed Sorenson, Mike Bliss, Jason Leffler, and Scott Wimmer were the remaining top-10 finishers.

Top-10 points leaders after 4 of 35: 1. Edwards-670, 2. Keselowski-644, 3. Allgaier-639, 4. Kyle Busch-594, 5. Harvick-569, 6. Biffle-563, 7. Menard-528, 8. S. Wallace-472, 9. M. Wallace-458, 10. Vickers-457


Lately there has been lots of talk about self policing and retaliation. In the past Kyle Busch has been criticized for rough driving. This past weekend, he answered questions about whether there are lessons to be learned from those situations.

“I was racing at Loudon a few years ago with Kasey Kahne,” said Busch. “Unfortunately on my mistake, I made contact with him off turn two, spun him out. He backed into the fence. Then a lap later when I came back around, he turned up into my racecar, kind of retaliated right then and there under caution and bent my car up pretty good while I was running fifth.

“I've been through it. You know, I've never been through the case which happened last week between Edwards and Keselowski. But this series, like you said, this sport has always been self policing. The drivers try to take things into their own hands. Sometimes it gets a little too far.

“The best scenario I had a few years ago when Tony Stewart wanted to get back at me for racing him too hard at Vegas. He missed his chance and got into the wall a little bit and I went on to finish second, he went on to finish 12th or 13th and was real mad at me after the race.

“A couple weeks later we sat down in his motorhome and had a discussion. I felt like that was probably one of the best things that I've done in my career. He was a veteran driver. You got more of his point when it comes from a veteran driver who has been around the sport and who has been through some of the same things I went through at that time.

“You know, to me it's been a big learning experience going through all that. When you grow up as a kid, for instance, seven, eight years old, you look at the sport and be like, Man, that's what I want to do. I want to drive racecars around in circles every day, every weekend, just do it for a living. Then you get here and it's like, Wow, there's a lot more involved. You have no idea what happens until you get here and you're behind the scenes and see it.

“A lot of people think it's easy and it's the best job in the world. It very honestly could be. But there's still a lot that goes along with it in order to make it all tick and make it worthwhile.”

Weekend Racing: The Cup cars, and Camping World Trucks will be at Martinsville, NASCAR’s smallest track (0.526-miles) this weekend, while the Nationwide teams have an off weekend.

Sat., Mar. 27, Camping World Trucks Kroger 250, race 3 of 25; Starting time: 1:30 p.m. (ET); TV: Speed Channel.

Sun., Mar. 28, Sprint Cup Goodys 500, race 6 of 36; Starting time: 1 p.m. (ET); TV: Fox.

Racing Trivia Question: How old is Dale Earnhardt Jr.?

Last Week’s Question: How many race tracks does Bruton Smith’s Speedway Motorsports Corp. own?

 Answer: Eight, they are Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Infineon (Sonoma) Raceway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Speedway, New Hampshire and Texas Motor Speedway.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at:


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