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SHIPPENSBURG - Julia Koloski began collecting Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state track and field medals when she earned three last year.
That collection more than doubled this weekend and now it includes a gold medal.
Koloski had the best three triple jumps of the PIAA Class AA Track and Field Championships Saturday at Shippensburg University. The first of those jumps, which covered 39 feet, ultimately gave Koloski the gold medal.
“It means so much more,” said Koloski, who picked up a total of four medals Friday and Saturday. “The triple jump is my favorite individual event.
“It finally all came together at the meet that matters most.”
Koloski was second in the triple jump and third in both the 100 and 400 relay last season.
This season, she was fifth in the 100 and seventh in the long jump in addition to her gold medal. She joined teammates for a fifth-place finish in the 400 relay, allowing the Meteors to compile enough points to tie for ninth in the team standings.
Koloski said the gold medal serves a representation of the effort she put into the event along with the “incredible support of my coaches, community, family and teammates.”
The same group of teammates worked with Koloski in the 400 relay again this season.
Jacey Blom, Koloski, Alex Lewis and Angela Short broke their own school record with a 49.41 finish to qualify fifth out of 33 teams. They followed it up with an improvement to 49.18 in the final where they were again fifth.
Koloski started gathering medals Friday morning with a 17-7 long jump to finish seventh out of 29 jumpers.
Koloski was consistent in the 100. She qualified second best of 34 in the preliminaries in 12.31, was second best of 16 in the semifinals in 12.36, then ran 12.33 in the finals for fifth.
Blue Ridge’s Kaitchen Dearborn and Elk Lake’s Maria Trowbridge each medaled for the second straight year and improved their result in the process.
Dearborn, who was eighth last year, improved from eighth to a third-place finish with a throw of 141-2.
Trowbridge went from sixth last year to fourth this year in the 3200 meters in 10:59.82.
Elk Lake’s Cassie VanEtten finished eighth in the 400. She qualified fifth out of 29 runners in 58.04 to make the eight-runner final where she posted a time of 59.19.
Other county girls who competed but did not receive medals were: Montrose’s Sarah Kimsey, ninth of 29 in high jump with 5-2; Blue Ridge’s 1600 relay, 10th of 34 in 4:05.21; Blue Ridge’s Allison Hall, 13th of 29 in 400 in 58.90; Blue Ridge’s Hall, 15th of 23 in 2:23.42; Montrose’s Christy DiMichele, tied for 17th of 31 in pole vault with 10-0; and Elk Lake’s Caitie Good, 20th of 27 in 400 in 26.67.
In the boys’ meet, the Elk Lake 3200 relay team finished fourth in the state while Blue Ridge discus thrower Jared Conklin claimed a seventh-place medal.
Sean Carney, Bryan Grosvenor, Mike Bedell and Tyler Williams ran Saturday’s qualifier in 8:05.01 for the fourth-best time out of 28 teams to land Elk Lake one of 12 spots in the finals.
The Warriors then put together a school record time of 7:54.54 to finish 12th.
Conklin finished seventh of 25 with a throw of 148-0.
Elk Lake’s Bedell was one of 12 finalists out of an original field of 29 in the 1600, but fell short of a medal with an 11th-place finish in 4:30.38.
Other county boys who competed but did not receive medals were: Blue Ridge’s Zach Kruger, 9th of 28 in 300 hurdles in 40.14; Susquehanna’s Nick Vales, tied for 10th of 29 in pole vault at 12-6; Blue Ridge’s Conklin, 11th of 29 in shot put with 51-10 1/2; Elk Lake’s Sean Carney, 14th of 26 in the 400 in 50.45; and Blue Ridge’s Josh Ralston, 19th of 25 in the discus in 123-10.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Elk Lake allowed just one run while winning two games to remain undefeated and advance to the District 2 Class AA softball championship game.
Kyla Marcy singled to right field to drive in Molly Saravits with the winning run with one out in the bottom of the seventh as the defending champions and top seeds escaped the quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory over eighth-seeded Riverside.
Brooke Darling threw a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts and no walks in a 5-0 shutout of Hanover Area in the semifinals.
Darling also went 2-for-3 at the plate against Hanover Area.
Gabby Baltzley had three hits and scored the first run against Riverside. Marcy had two hits.
Darling threw a four-hitter with 13 strikeouts and no walks.
Montrose won a first-round game before falling to third-seeded Northwest in the quarterfinals.
The Lady Meteors beat Dunmore, 5-1, before losing to Northwest, 1-0.
Brittany Bartok had three hits and Sara Krupinski drove in three runs in the win over Dunmore.
Andrea Hinds threw a four-hitter with two walks and nine strikeouts in the first round then a one-hitter with three walks and eight strikeouts.
Northwest’s Mandi Black answered with 13 strikeouts and no walks in a three-hit shutout and the Lady Rangers scored the game’s only run in the fourth inning.
Jess Campbell tripled and scored on a bunt for Northwest. Anne Wolfe then threw a Montrose runner out at the plate in the next inning to protect the lead.
Blue Ridge defeated Forest City, 2-1, in the Class A quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals that were scheduled for Tuesday.
Mountain View and Susquehanna were also eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Courtney Ucci threw a five-hitter with no walks and seven strikeouts but second-seeded Blue Ridge needed a run in the bottom of the seventh to get past seventh-seeded Forest City.
Freeland MMI eliminated Mountain View, 9-5, and Lackawanna Trail shut out Susquehanna, 5-0.
In baseball, Susquehanna and Mountain View each won one district playoff game before being eliminated.
Susquehanna pounded Forest City, 17-2, in three innings to reach the quarterfinals where it fell to Lackawanna Trail, 8-3.
Greg Price and Matt Leet each went 3-for-3 in the rout of Forest City. Price scored three times and drove in four runs. Leet scored twice and drove in two.
Second-seeded Mountain View won a 12-5 game from Mid Valley in the opening round, then was shut out by defending champion Lakeland, 8-0, in the quarterfinals. The Chiefs were seeded seventh coming into the tournament.
Blue Ridge, Montrose and Elk Lake each lost first-round games early on the 10-run rule.
Carbondale topped Blue Ridge, 13-1, and Meyers handled Montrose, 13-1, in a pair of five-inning games. Holy Redeemer defeated Elk Lake, 16-5, in six innings.
In boys’ volleyball, Mountain View and Forest City each made the District 2 Class AA tournament before being eliminated in their first match, in the quarterfinal round.
Eventual finalist Coughlin had to rally to get past Mountain View, 18-25, 25-17, 21-25, 25-20, 15-9.
Michael Schmakov had 29 kills and 11 service points to lead the Crusaders.
Holy Redeemer, which went unbeaten while winning the Wyoming Valley Conference, swept Forest City, 25-11, 25-9, 25-10.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Elk Lake will play Nanticoke Wednesday at 4 in the District 2 Class AA softball championship game.
The Class A softball championship is scheduled for Thursday at a site and time to be announced. The game will feature the winner of the game between Blue Ridge and Lackawanna Trail and the winner of the game between MMI and Old Forge.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Kurt Busch Takes Coca-Cola 600
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After 600 miles of racing in the Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600, Kurt Busch led Jamie McMurray to the finish line by 0.49-seconds, the longest race of the season.
“I needed that last caution,” said Busch. “Unbelievable to have a car stick as good as this one did tonight. The car was good in the daytime and good at night. I was really scared there for awhile, because it was just that good.”
He had previously won the Charlotte All-Star race one week earlier.
Kurt Busch celebrates his Coca-Cola 600 win.
Busch had the dominant car and led the most laps, but lost the lead to Jamie McMurray with 42 laps to go in the 400-lap race.
Marcus Ambrose brought out the race’s last caution on lap 372, after hitting the inside wall. Most of the leaders pitted for two right side tires, and Kurt Busch’s team got him out of the pits ahead of McMurray.
When green flag racing resumed on lap 378, Busch immediately went to the front. McMurray followed, but was unable to overtake Busch’s No. 2.
“We had a good car, and if that last caution hadn’t come out we might have won it,” said McMurray. “He beat us out of the pits and we didn’t have enough laps to catch him.”
The remaining top-10 finishers were: Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, David Reutimann, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, and Matt Kenseth.
Jimmie Johnson hit the wall twice. The last time came on lap 273. His team attempted repairs on his car, but he was unable to maintain an acceptable speed on the track, and NASCAR parked him. He finished 37th and dropped to seventh in points.
“We were just racing hard,” said Johnson. “We had some handling problems. It was real loose at times, and just came around on me.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. led five laps, but finished 22nd.
Top-12 Chase contenders after 13 of 36: 1. Harvick-1898, 2. Kyle Busch-1869, 3. Kenseth-1781, 4. J. Gordon-1760, 5. Hamlin-1732, 6. Kurt Busch-1726, 7. Johnson-1694, 8. Burton-1657, 9. Biffle-1648, 10. Martin-1635, 11. Edwards-1602, 12. Newman-1547.
KYLE BUSCH RALLIES FOR WIN
Kyle Busch rallied from two laps down to win Saturday night’s Nationwide Series race at Charlotte.
“It wasn’t very dominant there in the beginning,” said Busch. “We started out really, really tight. Just felt like I was over-pushing the right-front tire and wasn’t sure what I was feeling. And down the front straightaway a couple times it felt weird so I just wanted to be on the safe side and bring it down. Fortunately there was nothing wrong with it but we then got a speeding penalty for exiting too fast because I was paying attention to the cars going trying to figure out where I was going to fall in line instead watching my pit road speed so my fault there.
“The guys battled back hard and Jason [Ratcliff, crew chief] made some good race calls to get the car handling a lot better. They did a great job on pit road. We came in fourth or fifth one time and came out first and that was a pivotal stop there and I think I led the rest of the way.”
Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, Jason Leffler, Reed Soresnson, Carl Edwards, and Clint Bowyer.
Top-10 points leaders after 12 of 35: 1. Keselowski-1946, 2. Kyle Busch-1945, 3. Harvick-1852, 4. Edwards-1689, 5. Allgaier-1681, 6. Menard-1513, 7. Logano-1398, 8. Biffle-1368, 9. Leffler-1350, 10. Raines-1249.
DALE JR IS DOWN
While Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still NASCAR’s most popular driver and very marketable, his performance is spiraling downward.
Nothing seemed to make a difference during last week’s practice at Charlotte. Jr.’s fastest lap time barely cracked the top-20. Once the session was over, Jr. quickly exited his car, said nothing to his crew or crew chief.
Once outside the garage stall, Jr. practically sprinted to his hauler, not even taking the time to remove his helmet.
Behavior like this isn’t too uncommon at the track on occasion. What’s uncommon is when you see this type of behavior, or similar types, week after week by the same driver.
Aside from the first half of the 2008 season, Earnhardt Jr. has failed to live up to the towering expectations placed before him when he chose to drive for Hendrick. The crew chief swap has only improved the situation slightly.
“The team all gets behind (crew chief) Lance (McGrew) and gets behind me. We’re just working really hard. We aren’t leaving any stones unturned to find where the competitiveness has gone,” Earnhardt Jr. said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Most observers can sense that he is miserable because of his recent results. He wants to be optimistic. However, he understands that he and the team must recognize their weaknesses in order to progress.
“As we continue to get outpaced by our teammates, we have been getting more honest about where we feel our weaknesses are and what we need to work on,” he continued. “I definitely am not satisfied with running poorly, and I don’t think any driver in the garage is, and I’m no different than those other guys.”
Just two weeks ago Jr. brought his car to the attention of his crew during the race, insisting there was a problem. This mysterious problem, even though Jr. insisted on complaining for the duration of the race, was never discovered and Jr. posted another dismal finish.
It is indeed disheartening to see Dale Jr. becoming the attention of media as always, but now for all the wrong reasons.
Maybe it really is all about expectations and we expect so much more from Dale Jr. because he is an Earnhardt.
Time will show how his future plays out. In the meantime, I hope he manages to work himself out of the hole he’s in, because he’s one frustrated young man.
Weekend Racing: The different series, three different venues. The Camping World Trucks are at Ft. Worth, TX. The Nationwide Series is at Nashville, TN, while the Cup teams are at Pocono, PA.
Fri., June 4, Camping World Truck Series, race 8 of 25, Starting time: 8:30 p.m. ET; TV: Speed.
Sat., June 5, Nationwide Series, race 13 of 35, Starting time: 7:30 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2.
Sun., June 6, Cup Series Pocono 500, race 14 of 36, Starting time: 1 p.m. ET; TV: TNT.
Racing Trivia Question: How many Cup championships did former Cup driver Dale Jarrett win?
Last Week’s Question: What year did Mark Martin win his first Cup race? Answer. He earned his first Cup victory in 1989 at Rockingham in his 113th start.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
The following area students have been selected as 2009-2010 Lackawanna League Volleyball All-Stars.
1st Team: CJ Bayly, Western Wayne; Joe Keen, Western Wayne; Sean Sheridan, Western Wayne; Taylor Cundey, Susquehanna; Luke Jenkins, Mt. View; Mike Romano, Blue Ridge; Justin Shaw, Libero, Lackawanna Trail.
2nd Team: Nick Lowry, Forest City; Justin Falletta, Forest City; Rob Cross, Mt. View; Seth Tiffany, Mt. View; Logan Mack, Mt. View; Jake Bedford, Lackawanna Trail; John Callan, Libero, Forest City.
MVP: Luke Jenkins, Mt. View.
Honorable Mentions: Zach Bauserman, Western Wayne; Damon Jaggers, Western Wayne; Anthony Kovaleski, Western Wayne; Taylor Thorpe, Western Wayne; Alex Price, Susquehanna; Michael Frye, Susquehanna; John Sibio, Forest City; Andrew Salvi, Forest City; Dakota Jones, Elk Lake; Cody Mack, Mt. View; Brad Owens, Mt. View; Mike Harvey, Lackawanna Trail; Alex Burkett, Blue Ridge.
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