Holy Redeemer, Lukas Volpetti big track winners at Cross Invitational


By Paul Sokoloski - [email protected]




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    Throughout the regular season, Holy Redeemer and Wyoming Valley West struggled to make much of an impact on the boys’ division of high school track and field.

    That may be about to change soon.

    Nobody promoted that potential more Saturday than Redeemer’s long-distance runner Lukas Volpetti, who overcame a light and sporadic day-long rain to run a personal best and become the only boys triple winner at the 20th annual Cross Invitational at Coughlin’s Plains Solomon Complex.

    “Today was Lukas’ day,” Holy Redeemer coach Kevin Walters said.

    Despite the dreary weather, it turned out to be an ideal day for the Royals. They rode two hurdles victories and a strong relay run by Autumn Kaminski to the team championship of the 15-team invitational. And behind Volpetti, Redeemer placed fourth in the boys team standings — serving notice that the Royals could make a run at a strong showing at the District 2 Class 2A championships next Monday.

    Any success would be a change of pace for Redeemer, which is 0-6 in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 entering Tuesday’s regular-season finale.

    “These kids are working really hard,” Walters said. “It’s nice to see them do so well. It’s tough, because we don’t have a large team. It’s hard to win dual events.”

    Valley West is in the same situation.

    Yet, bolstered by two wins from Mitchell Forgash, the Spartans shrugged off their 2-4 season record and sixth-place standing in the eight-team WVC Division 1 to finish third, behind Coughlin and Jim Thorpe, in the Cross standings.

    “I’ll take that. I wasn’t expecting this at all,” first-year Valley West coach Brandon Hampton said. “I thought we’d finish middle-of-the-pack. What hurt us in the league this year is the lack of depth. We have a couple seniors that are super-talented that are starting to step up late in the season. When we come to events like this, we do well.”

    Volpetti did more than even he expected.

    The sophomore captured the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs, and was also part of the winning 3,200 relay team.

    “I prefer the rain to cold weather,” Volpetti said. “Obviously, it affected everyone. It affected my mile time, it was really slow. I was expecting to win the four-by-eight (3200) relay and the mile. I did not expect to win all three.”

    Yet, Volpetti found the energy to upset his friend, teammate and event favorite Aaron Hoda in the 3,200 by using a strong finish over the final 100 meters to pull away with a career-best time of 10:19.

    “I was tired, but I just paced off him,” Volpetti said. “I was just planning to stay with him through the whole, entire race. Somehow, I had a kick through the end of it. Just because of my training, it helped me keep my endurance up.”

    Ron Sepkoski’s endurance was just fine.

    The Coughlin senior sparked his team’s tourney title by winning the 110 and 300 hurdles through conditions similar to an invitational at Shippensburg that caused him to bruise his foot on a hurdle three weeks ago.

    “It’s actually almost identical conditions to when I hurt my foot,” Sepkoski said. “But you try to keep negative thoughts out of your mind. It’s a new race, a new day. This was a good opportunity to see what kind of competition I’ll be up against (at districts). There were a lot of talented kids here.

    “It’s a good run.”

    On the girls side, Kaminski ran well enough to win both hurdles events and ran on the winning 1,600 relay team for Redeemer, while her teammate Leah Mullery captured the 800 and was part of the winning 3,200 relay.

    Meyers speedster Nalisjia Harris-Johnson also finished as a triple winner, capturing the 100 dash, the long jump and running on the winning 400 relay team.

    In some of the event’s tightest finishes, the Meyers 400 relay team edged Coughlin by three-tenths of a second and Wyoming Area’s Shelby Stackhouse won a dual with Redeemer’s Nicole Kerestes in the high jump — which was decided by number of missed attempts after both cleared a height of 5-4.

    In boys events, Forgash captured the 800 and 400 — beating favored teammate Ray Richard in the latter event. That was only one surprise in a day that also featured Wyoming Area’s Kayne Burton winning the 100 dash over favorites Rafael McCoy of Coughlin and Emmanual Edouku of GAR.

    Tunkhannock’s Billy Prebola placed first in the javelin with a throw of 162-07, out-distancing Wyoming Area’s nationally-ranked thrower Marc Minichello and his Warriors teammate Tristan Sokash-Minnich.

    “The competition was there and athletes were there and you had some really good performances,” said Coughlin coach Paul McGrane, the event’s main organizer. “The sprints were really good and the relays were a lot of fun for everyone to watch. All the coaches help out, which makes it a friendly meet. It was good.”

    Boys

    Team Standings

    1. Coughlin (Cou), 95.5; 2. Jim Thorpe (JT), 91; 3. Wyoming Valley West (WVW), 90; 4. Holy Redeemer (HR), 81; 5. Wyoming Area (WA), 42; 6. Meyers (Mey), 36; 7. Pittston Area (PA), 26; 8. Riverside (River), 18; 9. GAR (GAR), 15; 10. Northwest (NW), 14; 11. Tunkhannock (Tun), 10; 12. Nanticoke Area (Nan), 9.5; 13. Mountain View (MV), 8; 14. MMI Prep (MMI), 1.

    3,200 relay — 1. HR (Jonathan Weybrecht, Lukas Volpetti, Dominic Capaci, Nick Brown), 9:19; 2. Cou; 3. River. 110 hurdles — 1. Cou, Ron Sepkoski, 15.29; 2. Mey, Nazir Dunell; 3. JT, Joseph Schwartz. 100 — 1. WA, Kayne Burton, 11.46; 2. Cou, Rafael McCoy; 3. GAR, Emmanual Edouku. 1,600 — 1. HR, Lukas Volpetti, 4:44; 2. MV, Jeff Virtitsky; 3. Cou, Nate Searfoss. 400 — 1. WVW, Mitchell Forgash, 50.23; 2. WVW, Ray Richard; 3. JT, Jujai Walcott. 400 relay — 1. Cou (Jordan Austin, Rafael McCoy, Cole Horan, Mekhi McDonald), 45.26; 2. GAR; 3. WVW. 300 hurdles — 1. Cou, Ron Sepkoski, 41.0; 2. HR, Dylan Weybrecht; 3. Mey, Janssen Wilborn. 800 — 1. WVW, Mitchell Forgash, 1:58.66; 2. HR, Jonathan Weybrecht; 3. HR, Dominic Capaci. 200 — 1. WA, Kayne Burton, 3:58; 2. JT, Shawn Toole; 3. Cou, Rafael McCoy. 3,200 — 1. HR, Lukas Volpetti, 10:19; 2. HR, Aaron Hoda; 3. WA, Jake Kobusky. 1,600 relay — 1. HR (Nick Brown, Dominic Capaci, Dylan Weybrecht, Jonathan Weybrecht), 3:36.

    High jump — 1. PA, Paul Moska, 6-0; 2. WVW, Amistad Hackett; 3. Cou, Kevin Kozerski. Pole vault — 1. JT, Trevor Keefer, 9-0; 2. NW, Ethan Sorber; 3. JT, Jason Walck. Long jump — 1. Mey, Je’Vondre McClair, 20-03; 2. Cou, Cole Horan; 3. WVW, Jahir Gray. Triple jump — 1. WVW, Trayman Clark, 44-0; 2. WVW, Jahir Gray; 3. Mey, Je’Vondre McClair. Shot put — 1. JT, Jonathan Fikentscher, 47-02; 2. PA, Pat Mitchell; 3. JT, William Munson. Discus — 1. JT, Derek Scott, 136-05; 2. River, Donald Clark; 3. Cou, Matt Malenovitch. Javelin — 1. Tun, Billy Prebola, 162-07; 2. WA, Tristan Sokash-Minnich; 3. WA, Marc Minichello.

    Girls

    Team Standings

    1. Holy Redeemer (HR), 118; 2. Coughlin (Cou), 74, 3. Wyoming Area (WA), 72, 4. Meyers (Mey), 64; 5. Wyoming Valley West (WVW), 56; 6. Northwest (NW), 38; 7. Nanticoke Area (Nan), 36; 8. Pittston Area (PA), 33; 9. Riverside (River), 22; 10. Tunkhannock (Tun), 9; 11. Jim Thorpe (JT), 7; 12. GAR (GAR), 3.

    3,200 relay — 1. HR (Molly Holmes, Emily Hons, Cameron Marcinkowski, Leah Mullery), 11:39; 2. WVW; 3. Nan. 100 hurdles — 1. HR, Autumn Kaminski, 15.94; 2. Mey, Divine Howard; 3. Mey, Ilequa Adams. 100 — 1. Mey, Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, 12.73; 2. Nan, Amiah Lukowski; 3. WA, Jalen Rhodes. 1,600 — 1. Cou, Emma Fortune, 6:18; 2. NW, Ceceli Huntington; 3. WA, Julie Bonsavage. 400 — 1. River, Franchesca Samony, 1:05; 2. HR, Carly Cavanaugh; 3. Mey, Allycia Harris. 400 relay — 1. Mey (Stephanie Sutton, Divine Howard, Ilequa Adams, Nalasjia Harris-Johnson), 52.56; 2. Cou; 3. WVW. 300 hurdles — 1. HR, Autumn Kaminski, 49.05; 2. Nan, Veronica Penko; 3. WA, Olivia Astolfi. 800 — 1. HR, Leah Mullery, 2:32; 2. HR, Molly Holmes; 3. HR, Emily Hons. 200 — 1. Nan, Amiah Lukowski, 26.60; 2. WVW, Nina Dellarte; 3. HR, Nicole Kerestes. 3,200 — 1. HR, Lindsey Williams, 12:15; 2. HR, Destiny Andes; 3. WA, Julie Bonsavage. 1,600 relay — 1. HR (Carly Cavanaugh, Autumn Kaminski, Kayla Kruk, Cameron Marcinkowski), 4:30; 2. Cou.

    High jump — 1. WA, Shelby Stackhouse, 6-4; 2. HR, Nicole Kerestes; 3. Cou, Le’June Berry. Pole vault — 1. Cou, Madisyn Hawkins, 11-0; 2. Cou, Dani McGrane; 3. Cou, Skyler Panatteiri. Long jump — 1. Mey, Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, 17-0; 2. WVW, Ashley Blannard; 3. Cou, Skyler Panattieri. Triple jump — 1. WA, Vanessa Shedlock, 37-03; 2. WVW, Ashley Blannard; 3. Cou, Skyler Panattieri. Shot put — 1. WA, Madelyn Resciniti, 32-10; 2. Tun, Rebecca Avery; 3. River, Jordyn Martz. Discus — 1. NW, Kennedy Maclean, 99-09; 2. NW, Katherine Noss; 3. WA, Madelyn Resciniti. Javelin — 1. PA, Taryn Ashby, 107-0; 2. NW, Kennedy Maclean; 3. WA, Morgan Coolbaugh.

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    By Paul Sokoloski

    [email protected]

    Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

    Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

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