Back-to-back seems to be the new favorite phrase for the Pittston Area girls track and field squad.
Last year was very kind to the Patriots — they won the Wyoming Valley Conference title for the first time in 25 years, the Icebreaker Relays and the Jordan Relays. Coach Joe Struckus must have been seeing double this season.
After already steamrolling the competition at the Icebreakers and the Jordan Relays, Pittston Area was able to beat Hazleton and Dallas this past week to secure its second straight Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 title.
Following last season’s crown, Struckus said the girls exceeded his expectations. This year, he was confident that the girls would be back to this stage.
“We expected to be competing again for (the title),” he said. “It came down to the last two meets and our kids performed. Hazleton and Dallas set some school records against us and we were still able to outperform them.”
Up next for the Patriots will be the District 2 Championships Monday at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Runner Madison Mimnaugh will be seeded high in the 800 and 400 runs, and figures to be in the mix for a gold medal. Olivia Giambra expects to medal in the long and triple jumps, while the Patriots 4x800 relay team will also be in consideration for a gold medal.
“They are very talented and they are very competitive,” Struckus said of this girls. “I think after going through three meets this week they are mentally prepared for districts.”
Wyoming Area girls took first place out of seven teams at the James Cross Track Invitational held last Saturday at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
The Warriors finished 10 points clear of second place Coughlin. Pittston Area was tied for fourth.
Wyoming Area’s 400 relay team captured first with a time of 50.2, while the 1,600 team finished second.Both marks are school records. The 400 relay team is made up of Drew Bednarski, Bree Bednarski, Vanessa Shedlock and Jillian Spak. The 4x400 is made up of Drew Bedrarski, Jillian Spak, Myiah Custer and Rachel Solano.
Bree Bednarski took a third in the 100 dasy, while Drew Bednarski was second in the 400. In the 300 hurdles, Jillian Spak’s 49.5 was good for third.
Marcyssa Brown was second in the triple jump and long jump, while Haley Stackhouse took second in the high jump.
Pittston Area’s Olivia Giambra won the long jump with a 17-6 1/2. She also finished third in the triple jump. Rhiannon Avvisato finished second in the 100 hurdles.
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Despite only eight first-place victors, the Patriots earned the win over the Mountaineers on Monday.
Madison Mimnaugh ran a school record 2:17 in the 800, beating her previous mark of 2:20 set last year. Lauren Senese’s pole vault of nine feet was also a school record. She beat her previous record of 8-6 she tied last year.
Pittston Area took the 400 and 1,600 relays. Rhiannan Avvisato was a winner in the 110 hurdles, while Liz Waleski took the 300 hurdles. In the field, Olivia Giambra won the long jump and finished second in the triple jump.
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Winning 16 out of 18 events, the Warriors soundly defeated the Mohawks.
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The Patriots won 14 events overall to topple to the Bulldogs.
Madison Mimnaugh broke the school record in the 400 meters in 59.5 seconds.
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After dropping the first event, the Warriors went on a three-win streak and would win 10 overall to get the victory Thursday.
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Despite splitting first-place wins at nine apiece, the Mountaineers had 11 second-place finishes to help deliver the victory over the Patriots Monday.
Michael Harth won the 100 and 400 runs, while Colin Tracy was a double winner in the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. Adam Valkos took a win in the shot put, while Austin Naples was a winner in the 200 and the triple jump.
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In a dominating effort by Wyoming Area, the Warriors picked up a lopsided win over Lake-Lehman Thursday. Wyoming Area was victorious in 13 events en route to the win.
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With wins in 10 events, the Warriors managed to edge the Mohawks.
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Despite only seven first-place wins, the Bulldogs took 11 second-place finishes to earn the close win.
The 2014 District 2 Track and Field Championships will be held on Monday, May 12, and Tuesday, May 13, at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Monday’s action is set for 3 p.m. for Class AAA boys and girls. Class AA will begin at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
The PIAA Championships will be held Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25 at Shippensburg Unviersity. All entries will be online using MileSplit at www.pa.milesplit.us.