Regan Rome ran the first half of her 3200-meter run stride-for-stride with her younger sister, Ally.
Dominic DeLuca ran virtually his entire race alone.
When they were done, the two Dallas senior distance runners had special reasons to celebrate the final District 2 gold medals of their highly decorated high school careers.
Regan Rome finished her day at the top of the medal stand with her arms wrapped around her sister, who not only occupied the second step for her runner-up finish, but had managed to do so fast enough to join her at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University.
DeLuca stood alone.
By finishing in 9:03.54, DeLuca did more than just take down a 31-year-old meet record. He lowered the mark, established by Pittston Area’s Tom Doran in 1983, by a full 16 seconds.
The 3200, the final individual event of the meet, was just part of the show for the two Division I recruits and state contenders in Monday’s District 2 Class AAA Track and Field Championships at Memorial Stadium. They each made the distance double look easy, winning both the 1600 and 3200.
Regan Rome, who is headed to William & Mary, and DeLuca, who will run at Cornell, each scratched from the 1600 for the state meet to concentrate on the 3200.
For Regan, it will be one final chance to compete with her sophomore sister.
“We wanted to go 1-2,” said Regan, the leader of the Dallas state team cross country championship in the fall. “I’m just just happy to qualify for states. My legs were kind of dying after my third event on the track.
“I’m really thankful that I’ve gone to states four times.”
Ally Rome dropped off her sister’s pace as they approached the midway point in the race. A strong closing lap ended any suspense as she finished in 11:04.07, almost nine seconds under the state standard.
“My sister has an unbelievable kick,” Regan said.
In the final 1600 of her high school career, Regan also ran with a teammate for half the race. And, the result was the same. Lindsey Oremus used that pace from running with the four-time District 2 cross country champion to just make it under the state qualifying standard.
Oremus had some tense moments, waiting to hear her official time after finishing in 5:12.16 when she needed to beat 5:12.25.
“It was just point-zero-nine away,” Oremus said. “I gave everybody a heart attack. My last lap split was really bad.
“I definitely have to do a little speed work before states.”
She had enough speed to extend her season.
“This is so cool for my senior year, I’m going with my sister in the two mile and we have another girl in the mile,” Regan Rome said. “To have three girls qualify for Triple-A states, I’m so excited.
“I’m really proud of them. They put in so much hard work for this. Being at the top of distance running is hard and they definitely deserve it.”
DeLuca made sure there was no suspense waiting for his final time. His solo pursuit led to DeLuca crushing the long-established mark.
“It really takes mental toughness to push yourself when no one is there,” DeLuca said. ”You’re racing against the clock.”
By winning that race, DeLuca will be among the top seeds at Shippensburg where he expects to be able to run faster based on conversion projections from the time he posted against top competition while finishing fourth in the high school 3000-meter run at the prestigious Penn Relays earlier this season.
“My time should be better, preparing for just one event,” said DeLuca, who already has an individual state championship in cross country. “There’s a lot of good competition.
“I’ve raced against them all season, including at the Penn Relays. I know the guys that are out there.”
The distance running strength led Dallas to a second-place finish in girls and fifth-place finish in boys out of 19 teams at the district meet.
Pittston Area outscored Dallas, 104.7-82, for the girls title. Delaware Valley topped Wyoming Valley West, 88.5-75, in the boys competition where Dallas produced 49 points.
High jumper Katie Kravitsky brought Dallas its other gold medal and sprinter Catie Gawlas gave the Mountaineers another state qualifier.
Kravitsky, a sophomore, matched a meet record when she cleared 5-5 while winning the high jump. Wallenpaupack’s Brooke McMurray had established the mark in 2005 and Tunkhannock’s Anna Nole matched it in 2011.
Gawlas, a Duquesne recruit, came in below the state time in the 200-meter dash, finishing third in 25.77 seconds. She also placed fifth in the 100.
Athletes earned medals for finishing in the top six and team points for placing in the top eight.
Regan Rome started the day by running the leadoff leg in the first medal event where she joined cross country teammates Bryanna Dissinger, Ally Rome and Oremus to produce a third-place finish in the 3200 relay 9:39.83.
Dissinger was also fourth in the 3200.
Cortlyn Van Deutsch took third in the triple jump and was part of an eighth-place, 400-meter relay team with Gawlas, Mikaila Chakon and Jessica O’Malley.
Kaitlyn Kochanski finished third in the shot put and eighth in the discus while Niki Wren was sixth in the javelin.
Drew Harding earned a silver medal for the Dallas boys by clearing 13-3 in the pole vault.
Mike Mihal was fourth in the discus.
Brenden Ehret placed sixth in the 800 and was part of the sixth-place, 1600-relay team.
Uzee Ukattah was on both sixth-place relay teams, the 400 and the 1600.
Justin Morris and Brett Storrs completed the 1600 relay lineup. Bobby Ukattah, Devin Mihalec and Brandon Lias-Lewis were the others on the 400 relay.
Travis Mattson was sixth in the 1600.
Morris, in the high jump, and Reid Luksic, in the pole vault, were eighth.