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D'Eliseo finds a fistful of gold

Tunkhannock sprints to boys team championship behind Schlachter's two victories.


May 15. 2013 12:25AM


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SCRANTON - He had already cleared his toughest hurdles and helped one relay team to victory.
All that was left for Ronnie D'Eliseo was one final dash down the homestretch to complete his dream day.
Like all the events he ran before that, D'Eliseo made it look easy and effortless Tuesday, polishing off his fourth victory of the District 2 Class 3A Track and Field championships by anchoring a fantastic finish for Pittston Area's 3200-meter boys relay team.
That made D'Eliseo 4-for-4 in gold medal attempts.
“It's the perfect ending,” D'Eliseo, a Patriots senior, said. “I couldn't think of a better way to end my district career.”
Actually, the day finished the same way it started for D'Eliseo.
He anchored Pittston Area's champion 400-meter relay team, and in between, set a new District 2 record of 48.1 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles and also captured the 110-meter hurdles.
“I wanted to go out with a bang my senior year,” D'Eliseo said.
He certainly accomplished that.
So did Tunkhannock speedster Stefan Schlachter, who captured both sprint events to lead the Tigers to the Class 3A boys district team title.
Schlachter captured the 100-meter dash in 11.01 seconds, then won his second gold in the 200-meter dash.
“I strive for the good competition,” said Schlachter, who was true to the motto on his shirt that read, 'Blink and I'm gone.'
“The 200, I was pretty confident I was going to take that,” he continued. “I was very surprised with myself taking the 100. I had a good start. That's what won it for me. I knew if I got out of the blocks quickly I was going to take it.”
Partly as a result, Tunkhannock took home the boys district championship, piling up 78.5 points to edge Coughlin's 76.
“He had a great day,” said Tunkhannock coach Randy White, who also received victories from Alex Nole in the 800-meter run and from Josh Colley in the triple jump. “We've worked for it all year. Things just came together today. It was a team effort, right to the very last race.
“We had a great day as a team.”
D'Eliseo's greatest effort came in the 300 hurdles, where he finished 1.78 seconds faster than runnerup Garrett Rupe of Valley View and leapfrogged the old district record of 38.25 set by Coughlin's Steve Kerestes in 2003.
“It's the competition. It always makes me run harder,” D'Eliseo said. “I wanted to get the district record from the start. I always want to win and compete, whether I'm the first seed or the last seed.”
D'Eliseo wasn't the only Wyoming Valley Conference athlete setting new district standards.
In the girls Class 3A field, Pittston Area's 3200-meter relay team - capped by senior anchor Catherine Lombardo - broke the meet record Wallenpaupack set last year by winning with a time of 9:32.81.
“It was one of our goals,” said Lombardo, who also won a district medal in the 800-meter run by placing fourth. “It feels great. We worked hard for it.”
Also, Tunkhannock's Gabby Alguire threw the javelin 139.5 feet to set a new meet record. And Dallas distance runner Regan Rome ran fast enough to break the old district record of 10:52.24 in the 3200, but not quite fast enough to attain district gold. Rome's time of 10:37.81 fell short of the winning time of 10:32.78 that gold medal winner Tessa Barrett of Abington Heights put up.
That wasn't the only bit of misfortune for Wyoming Valley Conference girls.
Hazleton Area was edged out of its bid for a second straight District 2 girls team title at the end, as Abington Heights finished with 102 points to claim the top spot over the Cougars' 93 total points.
Much of Hazleton Area's girls hopes
Crestwood's Ellie Bennett gave the WVC its other gold in girls competition by winning the pole vault.
Other boys winners from the WVC were Dallas distance runner Dominic Deluca, who captured the 3200 and Berwick's Gavin Harter, who won the shot put with a throw of 52-7 feet to earn his first trip to the PIAA championships.



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