Pittston Area’s youthful boys cross country team is running ahead of schedule.
In a single meet, the Patriots surpassed their Wyoming Valley Conference victory total from 2021 and altered the outlook for this season’s championship race.
Competing against six opponents in a combination of the postponed season opener and Wednesday’s regular-season meet, the Patriots beat each one in the meet at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.
The 6-0 day included a 27-29 victory over Crestwood, last season’s co-champion and the team that came out of the season-opening Cliff Robbins Sr. Memorial Races appearing to be the favorite in this year’s title race.
Pittston Area’s new-found depth, after not having enough runners to even score as a team in last year’s district meet, was enough to get past the Comets in a meet that was originally incorrectly scored on site as a Crestwood victory by tiebreaker.
“That was huge,” Pittston Area coach Katie O’Boyle said. “We were going to try, but it was unexpected to come out with the win.
“They run such a good program, they get so many kids out and they are strong every year.”
The Patriots, without a senior on the team, have beaten their win total from last year when they were 5-11 in the WVC.
“I had high expectations, but we’re young,” O’Boyle said. “ … I feel like we’re on a two-year plan.
“We have big goals for next year, but it’s pretty exciting to be reaching some things this year.”
Pittston Area also defeated Hazleton Area, 22-34; while beating Wyoming Area, Wyoming Valley West, Wilkes-Barre Area and MMI Prep by larger margins.
Crestwood and Hazleton Area, each scored against four opponents, went 3-1.
Wyoming Valley West went 3-3, Wyoming Area was 2-4, Wilkes-Barre Area 1-5 and MMI Prep 0-4.
Crestwood’s Weston Medvitz led the 49-runner field, finishing the 3.1-mile course, six seconds ahead of Pittston Area’s Preston Klem.
Freshman Jacob Mead and sophomore Sam Capitano, a first-year cross country participant, finished four seconds apart for Pittston Area in fifth and sixth.
Freshman Caden Boettger was 10th and sophomore Franklin Garcia was 17th.
“Franklin had a huge meet,” O’Boyle said. “He dropped a lot of time.”
Hazleton Area’s Franklin Ritz and Wyoming Area’s Patrick Branley were third and fourth.
Holy Redeemer defeated Dallas (26-31), Lake-Lehman (25-34) and Tunkhannock (18-43) in a meet hosted by Wyoming Seminary.
Dallas, Lake-Lehman and Tunkhannock each went 2-1, beating Wyoming Seminary and Nanticoke.
Lake-Lehman’s Nick Hockenbury completed the Luzerne County Rec Field course in Forty Fort win 16:37 to edge Bryce Phillips from Dallas by one second.
Jake Novelli from Wyoming Seminary was third, Aiden Cotter from Dallas fourth and Jacob Doran from Lake-Lehman fifth, all before the first Holy Redeemer finisher.
Aiden McDonald and Donato Strish were sixth and seventh for the Royals, leacing a group of five runners in the next eight spots.
Wyoming Valley Conference girls
Madison Hedglin posted a 56-second win to lead Dallas to a sweep of its three opponents – Holy Redeemer, Nanticoke and host Wyoming Seminary.
Lake-Lehman used the 2-3 finish of Alana Palmaioli and Hannah Sayre to sweep the same three opponents.
Tunkhannock went 2-1 and Holy Redeemer 1-2 in the meet.
Emily Lehman from Holy Redeemer was fourth.
Sarah Williams and Oliva Thomas were fifth and sixth, leading Dallas to 5 of the next 6 spots and 6 of the top 10 overall.
Madelyn Keating from Wyoming Area finished first at Kirby Park, leading her team to five wins in six meets.
The Lady Warriors lost only to defending champion Crestwood, 25-36, which won all four of its meets.
Crestwood’s other three wins all came by at least 27 points.
Pittston Area went 4-2, Hazleton Area was 2-2, Wyoming Valley West was 2-4, MMI Prep was 1-3 and Wilkes-Barre Area was 0-6.
Keating won by 30 seconds in 18:07.
Crestwood’s Ella Novelli and Maggie Kozich were second and third.
Hazleton Area’s Jillian Wolk, Pittston Area’s Olivia Scalese and Wyoming Area’s Hannah Stoss took fourth, fifth and sixth.
Crestwood had 7 of the top 15 finishers.
Lackawanna League boys
Lakeland swept its three meets and Lackawanna Trail’s Brayden Clarke was the individual winner during a six-team meet at Western Wayne.
Lakeland easily defeated the combination of Susquehanna, Mountain View and Forest City, winning each meet by at least 17 points.
Susquehanna and Lackawanna Trail each went 2-1, with the Sabers edging the Lions, 27-29, and also being credited with a win over Western Wayne, which did not have any boys entries.
Clarke won by more than five seconds over Lakeland’s Thomas Rohan, completing the 3.1-mile course in 18:09.7.
Rohan led four Chiefs among the top seven finishers.
Dylan Kopa was third, Christian Diakatos was sixth and James Telep was seventh.
Susquehanna’s J.T. Burke was fourth and Forest City’s John Conlogue was fifth.
Lackawanna League girls
Lakeland defeated Mountain View, 22-33, as part of its sweep of three meets at Western Wayne.
Forest City’s Kate Korty finished 1:26.5 ahead of the rest of the pack in the six-team meet.
Lakeland also defeated Forest City and Susquehanna.
Mountain View, Forest City and Susquehanna all went 2-1, beating Western Wayne and Lackawanna Trail.
For scores of the all the dual meet combinations from Wednesday’s cluster meet, see the scoreboard at: Wednesday’s District 2 scores – NEPA Sports Nation.