By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
There is a saying in sports: “That’s why they play the game?”
Simple translation: Not everything in sports can be predicted.
And, in turn, there are many reasons the District 2 Track and Field Championships will be conducted Monday and Tuesday at North Pocono.
Seeds from top performances throughout the regular season have the athletes ranked in each of the 18 events for Class 3A and 2A meets in boys and girls.
Those seeds are very strong indicators of what to expect, but there will be many cases in each of the meets where someone other than the top seed wins.
Team races can become even more complex through the combination of athletes scratching from events, injuries and simply performances that come in above and below expectations.
With all that being said, there is a lot that can be projected about the team races.
NEPA Sports Nation has taken the seeds for each event of all four team races – 3A boys, 3A girls, 2A boys and 2A girls – and scored the meet as if those seeds are the actual place finishes in the meet.
Collectively, the totals of that scoring give a strong indication of what to expect in the races for team titles.
Just as not every individual event will hold true to seeds, these projections will not ultimately be the order of all team races, but they are traditionally a strong indicator of what to be watching as the teams standings races unfold.
Based on the projections, the Wyoming Area boys and Holy Redeemer girls are favorites for team titles in Class 2A Monday with the Dallas girls and host North Pocono boys favored in Class 3A Tuesday.
The meet is being scored for six places because it is being held at a six-meet track rather than the usual eight-place scoring when it is held at Scranton Memorial Stadium. The winner of each event gets 10 points, with 8 for second, 6 for third, 4 for fourth, 2 for fifth and 1 for sixth.
A look at each race:
CLASS 2A BOYS
Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 champion Wyoming Area is a slight favorite over Lackawanna Track Conference Division 3 champion Mid Valley.
Scranton Prep and Holy Cross are the most likely other contenders with seven-time defending champion Lakeland having an outside shot.
Wyoming Area and Mid Valley have projected point-scorers in 12 and 11 of the 18 events, the most of any teams.
Scranton Prep has the most number-one seeds with four while Holy Cross has three solo top seeds and another case where it shares the top seed with two other teams.
Point projections put Wyoming Area less than five points stronger than Scranton Prep going in. With points spread in so many different directions, this figures to end up as the lowest of the winning scores.
CLASS 2A GIRLS
Holy Redeemer is the clear favorite over Lake-Lehman, the team it finished second two in WVC Division 2.
Each has the top seed in five of the 18 events with no other team having more than the one top seed and one co-No. 1 for Holy Cross.
No other teams are likely to come close to the two WVC rivals.
Holy Redeemer has athletes seeded in the top six and therefore projected to score points in all but three events.
Lakeland, Western Wayne, Northwest, Montrose, Wyoming Area and Riverside should all be tightly packed in the race for third.
Holy Redeemer is projected to score nearly 20 more points than Lake-Lehman with none of the other teams expected to score half as many points as either of the top two.
CLASS 3A BOYS
The closest team scoring race of the two days is projected to come here with host North Pocono favored over Wyoming Valley West by the slightest of margins.
North Pocono has the top seed in five events and should be the best on the track, but Wyoming Valley West figures to clearly score the most in the field events.
The top two could have a significant edge over Valley View and Hazleton Area.
Wyoming Valley West and Valley View each have two solo top seeds plus another case of sharing a top seed. Hazleton Area and Wilkes-Barre Area also have two clear top seeds
Projecting points off of seeds puts North Pocono less than three points in front of Wyoming Valley West, but more than 27 ahead of the rest.
CLASS 3A GIRLS
WVC Division 1 champion Dallas is the largest favorite of the championships.
Pittston Area is the most likely threat, with Berwick, Hazleton Area, Wallenpaupack, Crestwood and Delaware Valley in a tight group pursuing third or even possibly second.
Dallas has four top seeds, Pittston Area three and Berwick two.
Abington Heights used its extreme depth and balance to extend its unbeaten dual meet streaks to 14 seasons and 84 meets, but seeds do not show the Comets as a factor in a large meet because of the lack of dominant individual need to win events and pile up points.
With second-, third- and fourth-seeded relays, but no individuals seeded higher than a four-way tie for fourth, Abington Heights could finish well back in the pack. That would end a streak of four straight titles even in the strong possibility that the long-time power finds a way to outperform its seeds.
Dallas has seeds in the top six in 15 events, all but the 3 throwing events.
Point projections have Dallas more than 36 points ahead of every other team in the field.