The Abington Heights high school girls track and field program reached its pinnacle on the district and state level in 2010.
After seven straight unbeaten Lackawanna Track Conference seasons, the Lady Comets just might have their best squad ever when it comes to a different way of measuring success.
“It’s probably the best dual meet team we’ve ever had,” coach Frank Passetti said.
That is saying something special, considering Abington Heights has gone 46-1 – with only a loss to Delaware Valley in the final meet on the first season – since Passetti took over as head coach for the 2005 season. With three Division 1 wins to start the Lackawanna Track Conference season, the Lady Comets have won 41 straight since the first meet of 2006.
“In 2010, we had three individual state medalists and a relay that medaled,” Passetti said of a team that was built better for big meets. “We finished fourth in the state. That was definitely a very loaded team.
“This year, we’re strong in the throws; we’re strong in the sprints. We’re a great dual meet team.”
Abington Heights scored at least 100 of a possible 150 points in each of its first three victories, including a 133-17 romp over West Scranton.
The Lady Comets, who were scheduled to meet Division 2 member Honesdale Tuesday in an Lackawanna Track Conference crossover meet, have shown the ability to score points in every type of event.
“The areas where we’re not great, we’re still good,” Passetti said. “That makes us a very competitive dual meet team.
“Whether we can stick with a school as big as Hazleton on the district level, that remains to be seen. Part of that is getting healthy. Abigail McMinn has not competed since the first meet.”
Two other key performers, Alex Chapman and Johanna Show, are still working their way into top shape after knee injuries that required ACL reconstruction.
The 2010 team featured 200-meter state champion Jordan Hoyt along with individual medalists Krista Matsko and Brittney Martin.
Junior Tessa Barrett gives the Lady Comets another state contender this season. She leads a deep group of distance runners and already set a meet record while winning the 3,000-meter state championship during the indoor season.
Abington Heights is also positioned to remain strong for years to come.
Chapman, a district runnerup in the shot put last season, and Kelsey O’Donnell are the only two seniors among the team’s top 10 point producers in the first three meets.
Abington Heights, which won the last two District 2 junior high meets that were conducted in 2010 and 2011, already has four freshmen regularly providing to the point total.
The Lady Comets are strong throughout the lineup.
O’Donnell and freshman Ally Christman lead the sprinters.
Isabelle Clauss and Jessica Kurey have gone 1-2 in both hurdles events in each meet and Abigail McMinn will make that group even stronger if she gets back from a leg injury suffered competing in the cold weather.
The options are plentiful at 400 and 800 meters. Missy Burke leads the way in the 400. The 800 group includes Taylor Ross, Jenn Burke and Erin Jaeger, all part of the district runner-up team in the 3200-meter relay last season.
Barrett, who also runs the 800 at times, and Ross lead the group of 1,600 and 3,200 runners.
Missy Burke has been strong in the triple jump, while freshman Emma Henzes has won the long jump in each meet. Abigail McMinn could also help in those events.
Mia Gurganis and Kurey make the Lady Comets tough in the pole vault. A deep group of high jumpers may soon be joined in competition by Kat Rosencrance, who is doubling up between softball and track and field this spring.
Show, a freshman, and Rosencrance are javelin throwers.
Chapman continues to excel in the shot put and is joined in the discus by Alyssa McMinn and Chloe Shook.
Michaelina Holmes, a jumper who competes on the track in relays, has also been helping the team rack up points in early-season wins, along with Jess McMinn and Katrina Helcoski.