Making predictions

May 4, 2013

John Sobocinski did some projecting before his Lake-Lehman girls track team faced Northwest in a key early-season meet.

Sobocinski figured the teams would finish within a point of each other.

As it turned out, they tied in the only meet the Lady Knights did not win this season.

Sobocinski is back to making projections this week, trying to come up with the right combinations to defeat unbeaten host Holy Redeemer Tuesday. A win would give Lake-Lehman (5-0-1) the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 title outright.

Dallas also has a title shot Tuesday. The Lady Mountaineers routed Wyoming Valley West, 124-26, Wednesday to go into the final week one meet behind Pittston Area. A win over the Lady Patriots Tuesday would allow for a tie for first place in Division 1 of the WVC.

Lake-Lehman set up its title shot with a 94-56 win over Wyoming Area on Tuesday.

“I am definitely someone who scores out the meet,” Sobocinski said after Tuesday’s victory. “I will be game-planning this meet.

“Yes, I do think we can beat Holy Redeemer, although it’s a very, very difficult meet to win because they have so much depth.”

One of the challenges is that the distance races are usually an area for Lake-Lehman to score well. Holy Redeemer, however, appears even stronger and deeper there with three runners – Marissa Durako, Rachel Sowinski and Cassandra Gill – who finished second, third and ninth in the state Class AA cross country championships last fall.

Cayle Spencer, Kaylee Hillard and Shoshana Mahoney led the way to the win over Wyoming Area, keeping Lake-Lehman in title contention.

Spencer swept the throwing events with wins in the shot put, discus and javelin. Hillard won the 800 and 1600 while also running on the winning 1600 relay team. Mahoney won the 100 and 200 and took second in the long jump.

Emily Sutton, Brittany Faux, Katie Heindel, Amanda Mathers and Katie Bartuska have also been a big part of helping the Lady Knights enter the last week of the regular season with an unbeaten dual meet record.

Sutton, who was part of two winning relays Tuesday, has ventured beyond her middle distance events to help the team.

“She’s helped us in many places,” Sobocinski said. “We’ve had her in the high jump, two relays and the hurdles.”

Faux, a junior hurdler and jumper, has shown significant improvement in her third season on the team.

Heindel is a hurdler and high jumper.

Mathers, a senior who is wrapping up a successful career, has been a “steady and dependable,” sprinter and jumper, according to Sobocinski.

Bartuska, a middle distance runner, has been particularly effective in the 400. She won that event and ran a leg of the 1600 relay Tuesday.

Dallas suffered its only loss against Hazleton Area early in the season, but is now tied for second place in Division 1 with the Cougars, behind Pittston Area. It swept the top three places in six events and won 17 of 18 events overall Wednesday.