Friday, July 11, 2014

Regan Rome runs to a perfect 4-for-4

Dominic DeLuca takes boys title; Dallas girls finish first in cross country districts

October 24. 2013 3:01PM
TOM ROBINSON For The Dallas Post

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Dallas won three out of four possible Class AA titles at the District 2 Cross Country Championships.

Mountaineers senior Regan Rome made it a perfect 4-for-4 personally.

Rome became a four-time district individual champion Wednesday, completing the 3.1-mile course at Elk Lake High School in 19:03.

“All four of my years were here at Elk Lake,” Rome said. “I have lots of awesome memories. As I was walking the course (before the race), I was thinking about all the memories I have.”

Rome added another memorable performance. She led a 1-2-3 finish that carried Dallas to the girls team title.

Dominic DeLuca won the individual boys championship but the Mountaineers had to settle for third place in a strong team field.

Rome’s latest success story came less than 24 hours after a nervous build-up to her district title defense and in her team’s latest chance to qualify for Saturday’s Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships on the Hershey Parkview Course.

After spending most of Tuesday at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital with kidney stones, Rome quickly established Wednesday that she had enough pain tolerance and remaining strength to win another championship even at the end of what had already been an injury-plagued season.

“With her, she’s such a smart runner and such an intelligent young lady, that I trust her implicitly,” said Dallas coach Matt Samuel, who, along with Rome, noted that there was no strategy change for racing while recovering. “It’s just one of those unsaid things.

“She asked once in the race, ‘how are things going?’ That’s the only indication that she was not feeling great.”

Rome asked that question to get an assessment of what was going on behind her while running well ahead of the rest of the pack.

“I’ve given up being surprised by what she can do when she’s running,” Samuel said. “I can’t be surprised any more by how she’s been able to overcome some of the adversity she’s been beset with this year.”

Rome, who had a groin injury to start the season, leading to shin splints when she adjusted her stride, broke to the front of the pack early. She opened her eventual winning margin of 12 seconds a little more than a mile to start the race.

Although it was not easy, she maintained her lead.

“For the first mile I was OK, then it started hitting me,” said Rome, who was still taking pain medication. “I’m just kind of happy it’s over with so I can get better.

“I can get ready for states and get some of my strength back.”

Rome will be running with her teammates again in Hershey.

Lindsey Oremus and Bryanna Dissinger completed the top-three finish and sophomore Ally Rome, Regan’s younger sister, finished sixth. Katie Grose finished 24th to complete the team scoring and lock up a 36-79 victory over second-place North Pocono.

The district championship was the latest accomplishment for the Dallas girls team, which went unbeaten to win the Wyoming Valley Conference and won the conference’s Ed Narkiewicz Meet.

The Dallas boys had won those same two championships, but fell short not only of a team title, but also of qualifying for the state meet.

Tunkhannock won with 47 points. Scranton Prep took the other state spot with 55 points. Dallas finished third with 61, but did qualify four individuals for the state meet.

The top 10 individuals from schools other than the two team qualifiers earned berths in Hershey.

DeLuca made it by winning. Kyle Borland was eighth, Travis Mattson 13th and Bryce Mattson 15th.

Lake-Lehman’s Dominic Hockenbury advanced by finishing second.

DeLuca finished in 15:53, 29 seconds ahead of Hockenbury as they posted the two fastest times of the 478 runners who competed in six varsity races Wednesday.

“It was definitely better than last year with the conditions,” said DeLuca, who finished almost three minutes faster than the time he posted as a runner-up in thick mud a year ago on his way to an 11th-place finish in the state meet. “I’m just trying to do better than I did last year.”

Hockenbury was 22nd in the state last season.

Lake-Lehman sophomore Lindsay Pembleton qualified for the state girls meet as an individual by finishing 13th.

Tunkhannock and Scranton Prep are back in the state meet after finishing fourth and fifth in the Class AA boys team race in Hershey last year.

“We have probably the best three teams in the whole state here in District 2,” Tunkhannock coach Randy White said. “It’s a shame they’re only taking two.”

Jack Tidball was third and Jacob Toczko finished sixth to lead the Tigers. Tunkhannock had its second, fourth and fifth runners place ahead of the corresponding runners from both Scranton Prep and Dallas.

“I have all the respect in the world for Tunkhannock and Scranton Prep,” Samuel said. “We got the best of them at times, but they got the best of us when it mattered most.”


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