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Whitney Williams and Larry Lundy brought standout careers to a close while several other graduates of Susquehanna County high schools continued to compete on the NCAA Division I level in spring college sports.
Williams, a Mountain View graduate playing softball at the University of Massachusetts, finished her career with four Atlantic 10 championships and four straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Lundy, a Montrose graduate on the track team at Monmouth University, was a second-team indoor and outdoor Northeast Conference all-star and picked up a conference outdoor Field Athlete of the Week award during his senior season.
Williams was a four-year starter on a program that is usually found in the national rankings. The shortstop was often a leadoff hitter throughout her career, which included second-team, all-conference selections in her first three seasons.
After having an off year offensively while playing with a shoulder injury, Williams was at her best late in the season. In her final game, a 10-4 loss to Boston University in an NCAA Tournament elimination game, Williams had two hits and just missed what appeared to be headed for a game-tying, three-run triple on a sharp defensive play against her deep fly ball.
Williams was 3-for-3 with a double and some tough defensive plays in the Atlantic 10 Tournament when Massachusetts broke Fordham’s 21-game winning streak while fighting off elimination with a 3-0 win. UMass then beat Fordham again, 8-3, to take the conference title.
For the season, Williams batted .217 with 10 doubles, a home run, 13 RBIs and 18 runs scored.
The former Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Year finished her career with 205 appearances, including 195 as a starter. Williams started all 102 games of her junior and senior seasons.
Williams batted .278 for her career with 44 doubles, three triples, 16 home runs, 14 stolen bases, 108 runs scored and 77 RBIs.
In the final five playoff games of her career, Williams batted .500 (7-for-14).
Williams, who has frequently been the National Anthem singer at her games back to her days in Susquehanna County, has graduated and is hoping to pursue a career in the music industry.
Lundy finished second in the conference in the shot put (56-4) and hammer throw (179-11) and also threw the discus for Monmouth. His best hammer throw of the season (185-10) resulted in a sixth-place finish at the Penn Relays.
Lundy earned his weekly award when he took first in the shot put and second in the hammer and discus during the 15th annual Monmouth University Season Opener.
As a junior, Lundy qualified for the NCAA East Regionals.
Lundy was joined in Division I men’s track and field by former teammate Cory Poepperling and two freshmen from Elk Lake, Ryne Carney and Jeff Madrak.
Poepperling, a sophomore transfer from Temple, made the first-team America East indoor all-conference team during the winter. He finished sixth in the conference outdoor meet this spring in the decathlon to help Binghamton to second-place in the team standings.
Poepperling also finished third in the Cornell Big Red Invitational with a 15-3 pole vault.
Carney and Madrak are again teammates at Bucknell University.
Carney had season-bests of 15:29.48 in the 5000 meters to finish third in the Susquehanna Invitational and 9:02.50 in the 3000 meters to finish fifth in the Bucknell Team Challenge.
Madrak competed in multiple jumping events during the winter indoor season when his 5-10 1/2 high jump was good for fourth in the Bison Invitational. He was on the Bucknell roster in the outdoor season but did not compete in any official events.
Blue Ridge graduate Lauren Findley completed her freshman season at Rider University by placing in two events at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships and qualifying for the IC4A/ECAC Championships in one.
Findley was seventh in the conference in the 400 in 59.76 seconds and part of the third-place 3200 relay team that ran a time of 9:23.52. She was on the 19th-place 1600 relay team in 3:54.63 at the IC4A/ECAC Championships.
Williams was one of four county players who wound up in the NCAA Division I softball tournament.
She continued to go head-to-head with Blue Ridge graduate Jocelyn Dearborn, who succeeded her as Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Year.
Dearborn, a junior at Fordham University, was a first-team Atlantic 10 all-star third baseman and helped her team become the first Fordham women’s team in any sport to win in the NCAA Division I tournament.
The Lady Rams won twice before falling in the College Park Regional.
Dearborn led Fordham in runs (49), hits (69), triples (3), total bases (125) and doubles (14) from her leadoff spot. The total bases total and her 14 stolen bases without being caught are both school records for a season. Dearborn has 43 career doubles, two short of another school record.
An Atlantic 10 all-rookie selection as a freshman and second-team all-star as a sophomore, Dearborn batted .321 this year with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs.
Two other Blue Ridge graduates made the tournament with Ivy League champion Cornell.
Erin Keene started as a sophomore second baseman while her younger sister, Dayna Keene, was a freshman reserve infielder who did not appear in the NCAA Tournament.
Erin Keene played in 42 of 52 games and made 46 starts. She hit .296.
Dayna Keene batted .154 in 14 games, including three starts.
Laurie Hall, a junior from Blue Ridge, was the first California University of Pennsylvania women’s runner since 2003 to be honored with a selection on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District II Women’s Track & Field Cross Country team.
Hall was a second-team choice for the district, which covers Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania.
Hall had a season best of 2:36.09 in the 800 meters at the Lock Haven Last Chance Qualifier. She has a 3.95 grade point average while pursuing a degree in justice studies with a minor in political science. She had a perfect 4.0 in both semesters of this school year.
Junior Bethany Stone and freshman Megan Kleiner are other Blue Ridge graduates running for California of Pennsylvania.
Kleiner was second in the 800 at the Lock Haven Qualifier with a time of 2:27.72.
Jessica Sekely, a junior for Elk Lake, is a thrower at East Stroudsburg University.
Sekely was sixth in the discus and ninth in the hammer throw at the Kutztown Invitational then 19th in the hammer throw and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships in her final meets of the season.
Twins Kat and Dom Lucenti completed their careers at Misericordia University.
Kat Lucenti wrapped up her softball career by landing her second selection as a first-team conference all-star pitcher.
Kat was an MAC Freedom Conference all-star while leading Misericordia to within one game of the NCAA Tournament before settling for third place in the ECAC South Tournament.
The team made three straight ECAC playoff appearances, winning titles the first two, during Kat’s career.
The Elk Lake graduate was 22-14 with a 2.59 ERA while striking out 126 and tossing four shutouts this season.
Dom was a four-year letterman on the men’s lacrosse team.
The Montrose graduate appeared in all 16 games and grabbed 15 groundballs.
Also in softball, Karin Mowry, a freshman from Elk Lake, learned a new position at college and was immediately a second-team Colonial States Athletic Conference all-star as a catcher for Baptist Bible College.
Mowry helped the Lady Defenders go 13-9 in league play and make the conference playoffs. She started all 37 games and led the team in batting (.403), runs (42) and hits (52) while stealing 21 bases in 23 tries.
In baseball, Sean Brewer, a senior pitcher from Montrose, helped Keystone College to the CSAC title and its third straight NCAA Division III Tournament berth.
Brewer pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, when Keystone won its NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region opener, 13-3, over Alvernia before dropping two straight.
The win tied Brewer for the team lead with a 7-1 record. He had a 2.72 earned run average and was tied for second on the team with 55 strikeouts in 53 innings.
Brewer started eight games and relieved in three others.
Mason Webster, a sophomore from Mountain View, pitched two scoreless innings in one appearance for the Marywood University baseball team.
In men’s golf, freshman Brad Sparks was a starter on the University of Scranton’s 11-1 team.
Sparks posted a stroke average of 82.90.
In track and field, Mountain View graduate Jenna Fancher received Keystone College’s N. Scott Thurston Award.
The N. Scott Thurston Award goes to one female and one male Keystone junior or senior who have demonstrated outstanding academic excellence.
Fancher won the Muhlenberg Invitational 5000 meter this spring. The junior was a second-team CSAC all-star in cross country and received the conference Sportsmanship Award this spring. She has a 3.85 cumulative GPA as a biology major.
Thaddeus Koneski, a junior distance runner from Elk Lake, and Zachary Knott, a sophomore middle distance runner from Blue Ridge, were part of the Keystone men’s track team.
Elk Lake graduates Kyle Karpich and Brent Salsman were on the Misericordia University men’s team.
Karpich, a senior thrower, had a season-best javelin throw of 144-4.
Salsman, a freshman, won the 1500 meters at the Narkiewicz Invitational with his season best of 4:19.66.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Hamlin Is On A Hot Win Streak
BROOKLYN, Mich. - Denny Hamlin easily pulled away from Kasey Kahne to win at Michigan for his second consecutive Sprint Cup victory and fifth in the past ten races.
“It’s been a good year,” said Hamlin. “It’s so easy to drive cars like we had today. I knew a caution was coming just before the end of the race. I just backed off and saved my tires.”
Denny Hamlin, won his fifth Cup race of the season at Michigan.
Photo courtesy of Toyota.
Runner-up Kasey Kahne appeared to have an overheating engine during most of the race.
“It really wasn’t that big of a deal,” said Kahne. “We got some debris on the front, but it never really got too hot. We’ve struggled, so it was nice to get a good finish.”
Kurt Busch finished third.
“We had a strong car early on, but it seemed like we lost a little speed there at the end,” said Busch. “We had solid pit stops with good adjustments, and that’s what a good race team is all about.”
Jeff Gordon was fourth, followed by Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“I enjoyed the car all day,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. “It was a good top-10 car. We just didn’t have any speed during qualifying. I won’t really be satisfied until we can get back winning, but this was a good run for us.”
Jeff Burton was eighth, while Greg Biffle and Joey Logano rounded out the top-10.
Top-12 Chase contenders after 15 of 36: 1. Harvick-2169, 2. Kyle Busch-2147, 3. Hamlin-2122, 4. Kurt Busch-2051, 5. Kenseth-2019, 6. Johnson-1999, 7. J. Gordon-1987, 8. Burton-1945, 9. Biffle-1865, 10. Edwards-1856, 11. Stewart-1840, 12. Martin-1826.
THREE-PEAT FOR LOGANO
Joey Logano became the first driver in series history to win three consecutive races at one track from the pole as he held off Carl Edwards for the Nationwide win Saturday at Kentucky Speedway.
Logano, 20, has won the pole and the race every time he has raced at the 1.5-mile track. The victory in 2008 was his first in one of NASCAR’s national series.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series double-duty drivers swept the top three positions, as Edwards finished second and NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Brad Keselowski was third. Edwards moved up one spot in the standings to second, and is 272 points behind Keselowski.
Gaughan finished fourth, with Reed Sorenson fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Steve Wallace, Scott Wimmer, Justin Allgaier, Scott Riggs and Raybestos Rookie Colin Braun.
Top-10 points leaders after 14 of 35: 1. Keselowski-2306, 2. Edwards-2034, 3. Allgaier-1993, 4. Kyle Busch-1945, 5. Harvick-1852, 6. Menard-1745, 7. Logano-1593, 8. S. Wallace-1536, 9. Gaughan-1530, 10. Leffler-1450.
ALMIROLA GETS MICHIGAN TRUCK RACE
Aric Almirola passed Todd Bodine and Kyle Busch three-wide through the middle with seven laps left in Saturday’s VFW 200 and held on to win the Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
Bodine finished second and retained his series lead by 55 points over Almirola, who won for the second time this season in Billy Ballew’s No. 51 Toyota. Busch ran third, followed by Ron Hornaday Jr. and polesitter Austin Dillon, who overcame a late pit-road penalty to post his second straight top five.
“I didn’t think it was the greatest place to be,” Almirola said of his middle position after a restart on Lap 93 of 100. “But I knew we were going to run wide open through the corner. We were either going to crash, or we were going to make it out the other side - because I knew how important clean air was.
“I knew that was my only shot to get out in the lead, and if I didn’t get out in the lead, there was no chance of us winning the race. So I went down in Turn 1, and I knew I was going to run a shorter distance than Todd (who was on the outside), so I just tried to hang tight on Kyle’s door and get him loose, which I did.
“By the time we got off Turn 2, I was almost clear of Todd, and then when we went through (Turns) 3 and 4, I cleared him. So I think that was the move of the race, as far as I’m concerned.”
Top-10 points leaders after 9 of 25: 1. Bodine-1443, 2. Almirola-1388, 3. Peters-1278, 4. Hornaday-1273, 5. Sauter-1179, 6. Skinner-1171, 7. White-1145, 8. Starr-1132, 9. Carmichael-1107, 10. Crafton-1098.
RAYMOND PARKS BIRTHDAY PARTY
On June 6, as many have for the previous 11 years, some of the biggest friends and fans of Raymond Parks traveled to Easley, South Carolina to celebrate the birthday of the man called “The Godfather of NASCAR.”
They came from near and far, the greats, and many not-so-greats.
But each had a singular purpose, and that was to honor Parks.
Raymond Parks, who, as a car owner, scored multiple wins at Daytona Beach and won the first two NASCAR titles, had turned 96 the day before.
J.B. Day and his wife, Willavene, hosted the party, as they have since 1998. Among those in attendance were David Pearson, Harold Fountain, Rex White, Cotton Owens, Bud Moore, Gene Hobby, Harold and C.L. Pritchett, Hoyt Grimes, Jimmy Summerour, Bruce Brantley, Marvin Panch and many, many others.
The most important part of the day is honoring one of our most important racing heroes. While NASCAR’s new Hall of Fame may have overlooked him this past year, everyone in attendance made sure he understood how important he is to us, and how glad we are to have him with us.
Weekend Racing: The Cup and Nationwide teams each have road courses venues this weekend. The Cup teams are at Sonoma, CA, while the Nationwide teams race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.
Sat., June 19, Nationwide Series Road America, race 15 of 35; Starting time: 1:30 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2.
Sun., Jun 20, Sprint Cup Toyota/SaveMart 350, race 16 of 36; Starting time: 1 p.m. ET; TV: TNT.
Racing Trivia Question: How many Cup teams does Hendrick Motorsports have?
Last Week’s Question: Where is the NASCAR Hall of Fame located? It opened in May, 2010 in Charlotte, NC.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
The 13th annual NEPA 3v3 Soccer Tournament will be held August 7 at Abington Heights High School.
Details about the tournament, which is affiliated with the national Kick It 3v3 series, can be found at www.nepa3v3soccer.com or by calling Libby Brundage at 575-2056.
The tournament has a $150 entry fee for teams of 4-6 players. It has a co-ed division for U-7 and U-8 players and separate male and female divisions for players 9-19 years old.
The event is organized by Friends of Abington Heights Soccer.
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