Pittston Area did more than just successfully defend its Class AAA girls title when the 59th Jordan Relays were held Thursday night at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
The Lady Patriots came home with two school records and comfortable that, even in the altered format of the relays, they helped set their lineup going into district – and possibly – state competition.
While the girls were winning a team championship, the boys were remaining in contention until the final event. The Patriots tied for second out of 10 teams in Class AAA boys.
Mia Barberi ran legs on both record-setting relays for Pittston Area, but she was just one of many contributors to the title.
Madison Mimnaugh returned from missing two weeks with an injury to run a leg in the only event win for the Lady Patriots, tuning up for the postseason. Samantha Mayers, running 1600 meters competitively for just the fourth time, anchored that win, the opening distance medley relay and will likely stick with that distance. Mayers, Eastin Ashby and Allie Barber were part of the winning relay and joined Barberi on the record-setting, 4x400-relay team that finished second to clinch the team title.
Mimnaugh, Mayers, Ashby and Barber changed their order but also combined to finish second in the 4x800 relay.
Rhiannon Avvisato, Jamie Chisdock and Taylor Powers ran with Barberi on the 4x100 relay to set another school record while finishing third. Barberi, Powers, Tara Johnson and Liz Waleski produced a second-place finish in the 1600-meter sprint medley relay.
“We have our lineups set now,” Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus said after the school record efforts in two of the three relay events that are part of regular meets. “With Maddy being hurt, we had been moving some people around.”
Each runner in the distance medley had the lead when she was done. Eastin Ashby got it started with the 800 in 2:20. Mimnaugh and Barber then ran 400s, with Barber yielding the lead, then taking it back late in the lap with a strong finish. Mayers followed with a 5:23 in the 1600 for a time of 9:49.10.
“That’s my best,” Mayers said. “I think I’ll run it for districts now.”
In six events, Pittston Area finished first once, second three times, third once and fourth once to compile 45 points. The Lady Patriots beat North Pocono by seven points and Abington Heights by nine.
The same four girls, in a different order, produced a runner-up finish in the 4x800-meter relay.
The Lady Patriots scored 45 points to beat out North Pocono (38) and Abington Heights (36) for the team title.
Mike Harth rallied in the anchor leg of the 4x100 and also anchored the two Patriots’ teams that finished second – the 1200 sprint medley and 4x400.
“I love doing this because I have a chance to run the 4-by-1 and do some events I don’t usually run,” said Harth, who rallied past the Valley View anchor after receiving the baton in second place among AAA teams.
Josh John and Austin Naples joined Hart on all three teams. Angelo Aita was part of the winning 4x100 and Richard Weinstock was on the two second-place relays.
Pittston Area was the only Wyoming Valley Conference school in a field otherwise made up of Lackawanna Track Conference teams working their way toward the District 2 Championships, which will be held for Class AAA teams May 12 at the same site.