Dominic Deluca

Last updated: November 04. 2013 11:59PM - 2248 Views
By - psokoloski@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6392

Dominic DeLuca of Dallas High School, gold medal winner in the boys division of the PIAA Class 2A Cross Country Championships last Saturday in Hershey.
Dominic DeLuca of Dallas High School, gold medal winner in the boys division of the PIAA Class 2A Cross Country Championships last Saturday in Hershey.
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School: Dallas

Grade: Senior

Sport: Cross Country

All in the Family: Dominic is the son of Vito and Maria Deluca of West Pittston. He has two brothers, named Anthony (a sophomore at Dallas) and Nico (a freshman) and although neither run cross country, both are involved in tennis, baseball and soccer — the same sports Dominic played until his high school years.

Statistically speaking: Deluca capped an undefeated high school cross country season by winning the PIAA Class 2A boys championship while running a time of 16:21 Saturday. That was 15 seconds ahead of the next-closest competitor in the state field.

Taking off: Deluca wanted to break from the rest of the Class 2A runners right from the start, and his strategy Saturday in Hershey worked to perfection. The Dallas workhorse flew out of the gates and into an immediate lead, widening his gap until backing off a bit about halfway through the Hershey course. He wound up cruising to victory over the rest of the field, keeping his string of top finishes in races going from the beginning to the end of the high school season.

Coach’s corner: “Oh, I felt good about Dominic when he was going into the meet,” Dallas coach Matt Samuel said. “He’s been pretty driven and determined to succeed this season. He’s really sacrificed, did all the right things to put himself in position to win that race. He really was driven to get out there and really take hold of the race early on. There’s a lot of pressure when you haven’t been beaten. He’s kept a level head the whole way through. That’s pretty mature for a high school kid.”

Did you know? Deluca was an avid soccer player for most of his childhood and likely would have started on Dallas’ team that made a run to the district finals this season if he hadn’t given up the sport for cross country as a sophomore. “It was truly a tough decision,” Deluca said, “a life-changing decision for me.” He said he was enticed to change sports by “Persistent coaches, persistent guys on the team. They basically dragged me onto this team. I’m so glad they did.”

From his angle: “It meant a lot,” Deluca, who’s still training for the national Foot Locker trials in New York later this month, said of his state title run. “I think it was a good indication of how hard I worked over the past year. It’s a relief to know my hard work paid off. This is one thing I wanted to do before I graduated. I’m super-happy I got it. It was an even bigger challenge because I really didn’t taper down for it too much. Going out, I just wanted to end it early. I knew who my competition was. I just wanted to get them out of the race as soon as possible.”

Week in review: A golden junior girls tennis season for Nathalie Joanlanne ended with a state gold medal. The Wyoming Seminary star and previous Times Leader Athlete of the Week when she captured the District 2 Class 2A crown, dropped her only set of the season in a PIAA singles opener Friday. Then Joanlanne rolled to victory through her next eight straight sets at the Hershey Racquet Club to capture the PIAA Class 2A championship. Joanlanne won 6-1, 6-1 in the state quarterfinals Friday, cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 victory in the state semifinals Saturday morning, then put away McConnellsburg’s Brownyne Mellott in a tough 6-4, 7-6 (4) championship match that brought District 2 its first state singles title since Crestwood’s Christine Kansky won her second PIAA gold in 2003. …

It seems a whole host of Wyoming Valley Conference athletes found gold in Chocolate World. In girls cross country, Reagan Rome’s silver medal time of 19:10 led Dallas to the PIAA Class 2A team title. She was backed up by teammates Lindsey Oremus, sister Ally Rome and Bryanna Dissinger, who all cracked the 20-minute mark and gave Dallas four runners who were among the state’s top 15 girls medalists and helped the Mountaineers accumulate a whopping total of 99 team points. Meanwhile, Pittston Area’s Tara Johnson earned a ninth-place medal by finishing five spots and four seconds ahead of Oremus with a time of 19:37. …

Then there’s the tale of the Tigers. Jack Tidball’s 11th-place finish earned a boys cross country Class 2A state medal and helped Tunkhannock capture the team state championship. He had plenty of support from Tigers teammates Jacob Toczko, Ben Siegel, John Loomis and Carson Ayers — who all finished the Hershey course in under 20 minutes and gave Tunkhannock the gold medal with six runners who finished among the state’s top 71 competitors. And while Lake-Lehman’s Dominic Hockenbury couldn’t quite catch his friend and Back Mountain rival Deluca for first place, he walked away with a silver medal for second place by posting a time of 16:36 in the Class 2A boys race. …

Talk about playing the posts. Crestwood goalie Dallas Kendra made seven saves to shut out Wyoming Seminary in the Comets’ 2-0 District 2 Class 2A field hockey championship victory, while her counterpart Mackenzie Gagliardi made 16 saves for Sem while keeping it a one-goal game until Casey Cole’s clinching goal with 34 seconds to play. And on the Class 3A field, Coughlin’s Brigid Wood scored a goal and registered an assist to bring the Crusaders the District 2 title with a 2-0 victory over Delaware Valley. …

While some bonded together with silver and gold, the Tunkhannock boys soccer team proudly showed off its Dymond. That would be Matt Dymond, who scored three goals in a 4-3 victory over Dallas that brought the Tigers their first-ever District 2 Class 2A championship. In reaching that game, Tunkhannock keeper Zac Daniels stopped eight shots in a 4-0 semifinal victory over Valley View, while star scorer Aidan Cronin registered two goals and an assist in the victory. …

Victory in the district title game may not have been in the cards for Dallas, but a berth in the Class 2A girls state soccer tournament was. That came because Talia Szatkowski scored three goals and added an assist in a 4-2 District 2 semifinal victory over Berwick, securing a spot in states for the Mountaineers. Szatkowski also assisted on the only Dallas goal during the district title loss to Scranton Prep. …

Nicole Slavoski certainly didn’t get lost during the biggest games of Holy Redeemer’s girls volleyball season. The Royals senior leader made 20 kills and served up 14 points in a District 2 Class 2A quarterfinal victory over Wyoming Area, then followed that with 18 kills and 14 service points in the semifinal round against Crestwood. Then Slavoski powered Holy Redeemer’s District 2 title victory over North Pocono with 23 kills and six aces. She was helped in the title match by the 32 assists Lexie Evans dished out, after Evans put up a combined 48 assists in the first two rounds of districts. And Lauren Slavoski, Nicole’s sister, has turned into a late-season hitting force herself — putting up 11 kills in the semifinals against Crestwood and following that with 13 kills to help the Royals relish their district gold medal victory over North Pocono. To start its run to the finals, North Pocono had to get past 22 assists from Nanticoke’s Lauren Rinehimer in the quarterfinal round. And before falling to North Pocono in the district semifinals, Tunkhannock made a strong run behind Michelle Goodwin and Erin Smith. Goodwin made 16 kills in the team’s district playoff opener against Western Wayne and followed with with six kills against North Pocono, while Smith had a combined 39 assists in two postseason games and served 16 points against Western Wayne. …

The Crestwood Comets rode 165 yards from running back Frank Aigeldinger straight into the District 2 Class 3A football playoffs with a victory over Coughlin on Saturday. And Wyoming Valley West quarterback Mike Baur brought the Class 4A District 2-11 playoffs to Spartan Stadium when his three touchdown passes and touchdown run helped the Spartans whip Williamsport and secure a postseason opener at home. Berwick running back Jorden Stout polished off an unbeaten regular season for the Class 3A district playoff-bound Bulldogs by scoring four touchdowns in a romp over Hazleton Area. Lake-Lehman needed 289 yards and three touchdowns from running back Dustin Jones and 161 rushing yards and two touchdowns — including an 88-yarder — from Joey Vigil to hold off Dallas in another Back Mountain battle to the finish. That’s because Dallas quarterback Matt Harrison threw for 231 yards and four touchdown passes to keep the Mountaineers threatening to the end. Nanticoke running back Pat Hempel rushed for 154 yards and scored on a run and a pass to give the Trojans and Eastern Conference playoff berth with a victory over Hanover Area, in a game where Isaiah Taylor ran for 176 yards and scored on a 72-yard touchdown run for the Hawkeyes. Northwest’s Austin Mazonkey ran for 160 yards, quarterback Logan Womelsdorf threw four touchdown passes and wide receiver Nick Long caught three of those scoring strikes as the Rangers rolled over Montrose. And Wyoming Area didn’t come out with a victory over rival Pittston Area, but Warriors running back Jeff Skursky did come away with 152 rushing yards.

Note: Players are eligible to be selected Athlete of the Week only once per season.

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