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The Elk Lake cross country program faced several tests during the October 27 District 2 Championships.
Elk Lake hosted the event for the first time and aside from muddy conditions that would have probably been an obstacle at just about any course that day, the meet was well received for the school district’s preparation and organization.
The unbeaten Lackawanna League champion Warriors and Lady Warriors each fell short of winning district Class AA titles, but each managed to qualify for the state championships by finishing second.
On a day dominated by the Wyoming Valley Conference, which claimed all four team championships and three of four individual titles, Elk Lake’s Luke Jones gave the Lackawanna League its only title.
Even the celebration of that victory was tempered, however.
Jones and teammate Mike Bedell ran side-by-side ahead of the pack for almost three miles before Bedell collapsed and was unable to complete the race.
Jones went on to victory, but Bedell left the course in an ambulance and spent a night at Montrose General Hospital. If Bedell had been able to remain with Jones and give the Warriors a 1-2 finish, they would have defeated Holy Redeemer, 55-57.
Instead Bedell’s medical problems allowed Holy Redeemer to emerge with a 52-73 victory.
The top two teams and top 10 individuals in each Class AA race qualified for the Nov. 6 state championship meet in Hershey.
Three girls and two boys from Susquehanna County joined the Elk Lake teams in advancing to the state level.
Elk Lake had six of the top 14 girls while Blue Ridge’s Allison Hall finished fourth, Montrose’s Samantha Bennici was seventh and teammate Allison Lewis was 18th to claim state berths.
Freshman Elizabeth Trowbridge led the way for Elk Lake, finishing in 19:33 to place third, behind only the Holy Redeemer sophomore 1-2 punch of Marissa Durako and Rachel Sowinski.
Hall, the two-time district champion, settled for fourth place. Hall was 11th in the state last year when Elk Lake’s Maria Trowbridge was ninth.
Maria Trowbridge finished fifth in the district race.
Teammates Kirsten Hollister, Emily Williams, Lainey Bedell and Abby Zdancewicz finished 11th through 14th to allow Elk Lake to make a serious run at the team title.
When Holy Redeemer’s fifth runner crossed in 17th place, the Royals had a 31-40 victory over Elk Lake.
Bennici and Lewis helped Montrose place sixth out of 14 full teams with 182 points.
Blue Ridge, Forest City, Mountain View and Susquehanna did not have the five runners necessary for a team score.
Other county girls in the top 50 of the 106-runner field were: Mountain View’s Kelly Purdy in 23rd; Elk Lake’s Cassie Salsman in 25th; Forest City’s Cathy Cook in 37th; Blue Ridge’s Katie Cramer in 43rd; and Montrose’s Anna Ruseski in 45th.
Susquehanna’s top finisher was Zoe Gautier in 55th.
Jones, a sophomore, finished in 16:45 for a 17-second victory over Holy Redeemer’s A.J. Limongelli.
Sean Carney was fifth and Jeff Horvath was 10th for the Warriors.
Blue Ridge’s Jacob Hinkley finished eighth and Montrose’s Ryan Martin was 16th to grab the last individual spot.
Will Bennett was 24th, Seth Carney 35th and Bryan Grosvenor 36th to complete the Elk Lake team.
Other county runners in the top 50 were: Blue Ridge’s Ethan Mansfield 26th; Forest City’s Matt Terry 33rd; Blue Ridge’s Chris Carlsen 34th; Montrose’s Bryce Carlton 37th; Mountain View’s Ridge Bernosky 43rd.
Mountain View was led by Anthony Miller, who was 92nd out of 148. Tim Flanagan was Susquehanna’s top finisher in 142nd.
Blue Ridge (222) and Montrose (242) finished seventh and eighth out of 20 teams. Mountain View was 17th with 456.
Mountain View and Susquehanna had incomplete teams.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Susquehanna put together two quick scores in the first quarter and three more scores in a hurry in the third quarter to defeat Mid Valley, 33-14, and apparently clinch a berth in the District 2 Class AA football playoffs.
The win also allowed the Sabers to hold on to a share of first place in Division 1 of the Lackawanna Football Conference heading into the final game of the regular season.
Dan Kempa ran for three touchdowns and passed for another as the Sabers won for the eighth time in nine games. Cole Mallery caught the touchdown pass and also ran for a score.
Kempa ran 1 yard to complete a first-quarter touchdown drive and Mid Valley fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Kempa then passed to Mallery for a 13-0 lead.
Kempa sandwiched touchdown runs of 25 and 20 yards around Mallery’s 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. After the first touchdown, Mid Valley fumbled at the 10. Following the second, the Spartans ran just three plays and punted.
In another LFC Division 3 game, Lackawanna Trail broke out of a tie for last place when it opened a 48-point halftime lead on the way to a 48-16 victory over Montrose.
The loss was the worst of the season for the Meteors, who had held the previous four opponents to 20 points or fewer in the first half.
In boys’ soccer, Mountain View knocked off top-seeded Holy Cross, 3-1, in the District 2 Class A semifinals.
Elk Lake downed Wilkes-Barre Meyers, 3-1, while Montrose fell, 3-0, to Lakeland in and Forest City was eliminated by Wyoming Seminary, 1-0, in overtime.
In girls’ soccer, Mountain View defeated Elk Lake, 3-1, in the District 2 Class A semifinals.
Elk Lake and Forest City each won quarterfinal games before losing in the semifinals.
Elk Lake shut out Holy Cross, 2-0.
Forest City blanked Carbondale, 3-0, before losing to top-seeded Lakeland, 3-1.
In girls’ volleyball, Dunmore won the Lackawanna League title.
The final standings were: Dunmore 14-2, Lackawanna Trail 13-3, Mountain View 11-5, Western Wayne 11-5, Forest City 10-6, Blue Ridge 5-11, Elk Lake 4-12, Susquehanna 4-12, Montrose 0-16.
Susquehanna County girls dominated the District 2 Class AA Junior High Cross Country Championships October 23 at McDade Park in Scranton.
County girls swept the first four spots, 10 of the top 12 and 11 of the top 15 positions in the race.
Elk Lake outscored Susquehanna, 59-87, for the team championship in the event that drew 12 full teams plus runners from seven other schools.
Holy Redeemer was third, 10 points behind the Lady Sabers.
Blue Ridge finished sixth with 160 points and Montrose was seventh with 167.
Jenny Vanetten of Elk Lake won the title, finishing the 1.8-mile course in 11:01.
Susquehanna’s Ivy Christenson was second in 11:39, followed by two more Elk Lake runners, Kenzie Jones and Katie Bennett.
County girls filled the seventh through 12th spots in the race.
Blue Ridge’s Lauren Whitney was seventh, followed by Montrose’s Emma Washo, Susquehanna’s Alyssa Sweeney and Mikayla Hargett, Montrose’s Angela Russell and Blue Ridge’s Viktoria Layton.
Aylana Doolittle was 15th and Lauren Vermuelen 37th to complete Elk Lake’s team score.
Piper Gautier (32nd) and Mashawna Hargett (36th) helped Susquehanna finish second.
In the junior high boys’ race, Hunter Bedell was ninth to lead Elk Lake to a fifth-place team finish.
Dunmore won with 35 points, followed by Lakeland with 93.
Elk Lake had 126.
Montrose was ninth with 256 and Susquehanna 11th with 289 out of 15 teams. The race also drew incomplete teams of runners from eight other schools.
Elk Lake’s Cooper Cole was 15th. The Warriors’ team score was completed by David Cornelius in 33rd, Brandon Roman in 35th and Jess Gouin in 37th.
Montrose had Logan Stone 23rd and Ethan Stankewicz 27th. Susquehanna had Justin Acone 26th and Nick Costa 30th.
A pair of Susquehanna County high school graduates led their teams in the Colonial States Athletic Conference Women’s Cross Country Championships Saturday.
Kimberly Caines, a sophomore from Elk Lake, placed 13th in the 79-runner field to help Baptist Bible College finish third out of 11 teams.
Caines finished the 3.1-mile course in 20:18.10.
Jenna Fancher, a senior from Mountain View, finished in 21:16:35 to place first among Keystone College runners and 23rd overall. The Giants were fifth in the team standings.
Mike Kubus, a sophomore from Forest City, helped Keystone to a third-place finish out of seven teams in the men’s race. Kubus was 44th out of 60 individuals.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Susquehanna and two-time defending champion Old Forge will decide the LFC Division 3 title on the final day of the regular season when they meet Saturday at Susquehanna.
Both teams are 4-0 in division play.
The Sabers are 8-1 and on a five-game winning streak.
Old Forge is 7-2 overall.
Montrose (0-4, 0-9) tries to avoid a winless season Friday night when it plays at Mid Valley (1-3, 2-7) in another Division 3 game.
Last week’s high school football predictions were 8-2 (80.0 percent), improving our season record to 81-27 (75.6 percent). This week’s predictions, with home teams in CAPS: MID VALLEY 35, Montrose 12; SUSQUEHANNA 22, Old Forge 17; Delaware Valley 29, WALLENPAUPACK 19; WEST SCRANTON 43, Scranton Prep 22; NORTH POCONO 17, Valley View 12; LAKELAND 32, Western Wayne 8; Carbondale 26, HONESDALE 25; Riverside 27, DUNMORE 18; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 27, Holy Cross 18; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 41, Scranton 3.
In girls’ soccer, Lakeland and Mountain View will meet Wednesday at 6 at Wallenpaupack for the District 2 Class A championship.
In boys’ soccer, the Mountain View-Elk Lake winner from Tuesday will play the Lakeland-Wyoming Seminary winner in Thursday’s District 2 Class A championship game.
In girls’ volleyball, the winner of Tuesday’s semifinals, which put Blue Ridge against Lackawanna Trail and Mountain View against Forest City, will play for the District 2 Class A championship Thursday.
In cross country, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships are set for Saturday on the Parkview Course in Hershey.
The Class AA girls run at 9 a.m., followed by the Class AAA girls at 10. The Class AA boys are set for 11 with the Class AAA boys wrapping up the day with a noon start.
Maria Trowbridge, Hall and Mike Bedell all medaled last season.
Bedell was 23rd while helping Elk Lake place third as a team in 2009.
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
Discussions between the Montrose Area and Elk Lake School Districts about potentially co-sponsoring football have come to an end without the schools agreeing on a plan that would allow Elk Lake students to play for the Meteors.
Each side had expressed some interest in the possibility early this school year, but preliminary explorations into the subject showed there was not agreement on how to best move forward.
Currently, Montrose allows students to participate in the Elk Lake swimming program as part of a co-sponsorship.
A co-sponsorship agreement between Susquehanna and Blue Ridge helped salvage the struggling Sabers football program when it was going through troubles similar to Montrose’s 1-18 record the past two seasons.
Susquehanna also sends soccer players to Blue Ridge.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Bowyer Noses Out Harvick
TALLADEGA, Ala. - Clint Bowyer edged out his teammate Kevin Harvick to win Sunday’s AMP Energy 500, in a race that ended under a last-lap caution.
Harvick was actually ahead of Bowyer when the white flag was given, signifying the last lap. After crossing the start/finish line, A.J. Allmendinger got sideways and went barreling over and over to bring out the last caution. It took replays and scoring loops to determine Bowyer had the edge on Kevin Harvick when the caution actually came out.
“Oh man, what a day,” said Bowyer. “If I hadn’t had help from Juan (Montoya), I couldn’t have done it. We had a fast car all day, but I got into the 47-car and knocked a whole in the front of my car.
“The guys in the pits did a great job of getting me out and it was the closest finish of any race that I’ve won.”
Clint Bowyer celebrates his Talladega win.
The win was the second of the season for Bowyer, but his first-ever restrictor-plate victory.
“I didn’t know when the caution came out, but I thought I beat him to the line for the last lap,” said Harvick. “It was really close.
“Our car was beat up in the front and I knew it was going to be a drag race to the end. We did what we needed to do, and it was a good points day.”
Harvick is still third in points, 23 behind Johnson.
Jimmie Johnson finished seventh and has a 10-point lead over Denny Hamlin.
“Our strategy didn’t play out well at the end,” said Johnson. “I don’t know what happened, but every car back of us abandoned us, and we really lost our momentum and got us out of sequence.”
David Reutimann, Juan Montoya, Joey Logano, Martin Truex, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Jeff Gordon were the remaining top-10 finishers.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. made contact with Jeff Burton late in the race, ending the day for both drivers.
Top-12 Chase leaders with three races left: 1. Johnson-6149, 2. Hamlin-6139, 3. Harvick-6126, 4. J. Gordon-5934, 5. Kyle Busch-5919, 6. Edwards-5902, 7. Stewart-5841, 8. Kenseth-5825, 9. Burton-5797, 10. Kurt Busch-5796, 11. Biffle-5788, 12. Bowyer-5717
KYLE BUSCH EDGES ALMIROLA IN TRUCK RACE
The finish in Saturday afternoon’s Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega was so close even Kyle Busch and his No. 18 team wasn’t entirely sure who had crossed the finish line first. But when the dust settled, Busch was posted as the winner by .002 of a second over Aric Almirola, the closest margin of victory in series history when using electronic scoring.
Busch, who led three times for just eight laps, went below Almirola in the final few hundred yards before the finish line and managed to beat him by inches when the checkered flag flew.
The win was Busch’s second consecutive victory at Talladega and his sixth Truck Series victory of 2010. Ironically, Busch beat Almirola last year at Talladega by just .057 of a second.
“That was cool,” Busch said. “I didn’t want to do it. Man, Aric (Almirola) deserved to win the race and deserved it from last year. I had Johnny (Sauter) pushing on me and I was getting loose through the tri-oval - just trying to stay with the 51 (Almirola). I turned it back to the bottom to try to straighten it back out and I was still loose alongside of him. I thought the 13 (Sauter) was going to my bottom so I wanted to block him. It was just crazy there at the end.”
Top-10 leaders after 22 of 25: 1. Bodine-3480, 2. Almirola-3264, 3. Sauter-3171, 4. Crafton-3067, 5. Dillon-3065, 6. Hornaday-2987, 7. Peters-2980, 8. Skinner-2828, 9. Starr-2777, 10. White-2678
JIM HUNTER PASSES AWAY
NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter, whose career in motorsports spanned portions of six decades as both a journalist and public relations professional, died last Friday night in Daytona Beach, Fla. following a 12-month battle with cancer. He was 71.
Hunter was well-respected by the news media, because he would always provide answers to whatever questions he was asked. His answer might not be what everyone wanted to hear, but he could be counted on to give a reply.
“Jim Hunter was one of NASCAR's giants,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “For more than 40 years Jim was part of NASCAR and its history. He loved the sport, but loved the people even more. It seems as if everyone in the sport called him a friend. Jim will forever be missed by the NASCAR community. Our sympathies go out to his entire family.”
As a young man growing up in his native South Carolina, Hunter was a football and baseball player at the University of South Carolina. Those years preceded a future of being immersed in the sports world, primarily motorsports. Hunter learned motorsports from "both sides" by working as a newspaper reporter/editor and a public relations representative. As a member of the media, Hunter was sports editor of the Columbia Record newspaper; he had an award-winning stint at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; he was a columnist for Stock Car Racing magazine; and he authored a number of books, including a widely-read biography on NASCAR great David Pearson, entitled “21 Forever.”
On the public relations side, Hunter broke into that business in the 1960s, with Dodge's motorsports operation. He handled public relations for a number of top IndyCar drivers before going on to become the public relations director at his beloved Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway.
In 1983, Hunter was named to his first executive position in his first NASCAR stint, becoming NASCAR's vice president of administration. In 1993 he was named president of Darlington Raceway and corporate vice president of the International Speedway Corporation. He remained at Darlington until 2001 when he accepted an offer from then-NASCAR Chairman and CEO Bill France Jr. to return to Daytona Beach to lead an expanded public relations effort aimed at responding to the needs of burgeoning media coverage.
“When it comes to my NASCAR career, one of my biggest influences was Jim Hunter,” said Tony Stewart. “There’s no playbook or manual when you eventually reach this level, and understanding all the things that come along with being a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series can be overwhelming. At least, it was for me when I first got here. Jim became a great friend to me because he helped me understand why things were the way they were and how I could better handle situations. Knowing that his knowledge and experience will no longer be available to other young drivers as they enter the sport is proof that Jim is irreplaceable.”
Weekend Racing: It’s on to the 1.5-mile Texas Speedway for all three of the NASCAR touring series this weekend.
Fri., Nov. 5, Camping World Winstar World Casino 350k, race 23 of 25; Starting time: 8:30 p.m. ET; TV: Speed.
Sat., Nov. 6, Nationwide Series O’Reilly Challenge, race 33 of 35; Starting time: 12 noon ET; TV: ESPN2.
Sun., Nov. 7, Sprint Cup Lone Star 500, race 34 of 36; Starting time: 1 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN.
Racing Trivia Question: Where is the last Sprint Cup race of the season held?
Last Week’s Question: When was Talladega Superspeedway opened? Answer. The first race was held Sept. 14, 1969.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashley Y. Gaffey of Susquehanna, PA, recently enrolled in the American Quarter Horse Association Horseback (AQHA) Riding Program. The program recognizes and rewards AQHA members for time spent with their American Quarter horses in activities such as trail rides, shows, working cattle, pleasure driving and simply riding.
A unique aspect of the program is its simplicity. Each enrollee receives an official AQHA lot sheet to record their hours driving or riding an American Quarter horse. Participants need not own their own horse, but all official hours must be accrued with a registered American Quarter horse. Nine subsequent awards are presented at 100 to 5,000 hour levels and range from merchandise gift certificates to a trophy belt buckle at the highest level.
Stephanie A. McCommon, AQHA Manager of Membership Services, said, “the Horseback Riding Program is a unique opportunity to earn rewards outside of traditional competition. In some cases the program rewards people who already spend many hours riding American Quality horses. For others, the program is an incentive to get out and ride.” Fore more information about AQHA and its programs, visit www.aqha.com.
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