By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
YATESVILLE – With an active conference winning streak that spans three decades and a lengthy list of postseason accomplishments, expectations follow the Abington Heights girls track team around.
The Comets outran them Thursday night.
Abington Heights won half of the events to easily claim the Class 3A girls team title at the 65th annual Jordan Relays with a performance that bodes well for a team that will chase a division title and district championship in the next two weeks.
“We exceeded the plan,” Abington Heights coach Mike Ludka said after his team scored 52 of a possible 60 points to win the championship by 16 over Valley View and 18 over host Pittston Area. “I had scored it out and I did not have us scoring that many.
“It’s always a nice thing when the girls do a little better than you expect.”
Setting personal records along the way led to team success with Abington Heights winning three of six events, finishing second in two and taking third in the other.
Anna Scoblick, Elle Smith, Megan Malone and Marygrace Sabatini teamed for two of the three wins. Scoblick and Sabatini handled the opening and closing 400-meter legs in the 1200 sprint medley with Smith and Malone running the 200s for a time of 3:02.29 and a nearly five-second victory over Pittston Area.
They also formed the closing 4×400 relay team that beat Valley View by more than 5½ seconds in 4:21.76 in the 3A portion of the race.
“We had PRs all over the place and were super competitive in all the little races that were going on,” Lukda said. “I’m just excited for them because I know they had a lot of pressure on themselves coming in tonight.”
All schools ran together, but the meet was scored separately by 3A and 2A teams.
While the other two were overall wins, the 4×800 relay team of Abby Marion, Kristin Lipkus, Maia Arcangelo and Emma Horsley was first in 3A in 10:44.01.
Malone also contributed to the two second-place finishes, running in the 4×100 relay and handling the 400 leg in the 1600 medley that featured two 200s, a 400 and a closing 800 leg.
Smith added the leadoff in the 4×100 to her two wins.
Horsley, Arcangelo and Marion were part of the third-place distance medley relay team in addition to their victory.
Elyse Simakaski completed the distance medley relay lineup and anchored the second-place 1600 medley by running the 800.
Sprinters Olivia Lam and Mariel Curra were each part of the two second-place efforts.
Abington Heights, the top-ranked Big School girls team in the Riverfront Sports Super Six Track and Field Power Rankings of District 2 teams, faces Scranton Prep Tuesday with the Lackawanna Track Conference Division 1 title on the line. Both teams are 3-0 in the division.
“It’s a nice springboard,” Ludka said. “Confidence building. We had a lot of PRs, so that can only mean good things and that we’re headed in the right direction.”
The three teams that finished behind Abington Heights in the Jordan team standings each won one event.
Scranton Prep opened with a distance medley win on the way to fourth place with 27 points.
Avery Tompkins ran the 800, Frances Doherty and Julie Kelly the 400s and Rita Collins the closing 1600.
Pittston Area then won the 4×100 when Lauren LoPresto, Aria Messner, Giavanna Innamorati and Jaikya Kroon finishing in 50.07 seconds. With Katelyn Wesp lot for the season to an injury, Innamorati, a record-setting hurdler for the Lady Patriots, stepped back into the relay lineup successfully.
Valley View edged Abington Heights by a half-second in the 1600 medley with the team of Madison Markiewicz, Ava Sherman, Samantha Adams and Brianna Zipay.
Scranton was fifth in the team standings with 25 points, followed by North Pocono with 23, Honesdale 19 and Tunkhannock 17.