Dallas boys’ third try no charm as state cross country title streak ends

By Tom Robinson - For Times Leader | November 5th, 2017 2:21 am

PIAA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS

(3.1-mile Hershey Parkview Course)

CLASS A GIRLS

WVC Finisher

April Kupsky, Wyoming Seminary, 80th, 21:28.

Team race: Fairview over St. Joseph’s Catholic, 96-99. District 2 team: Holy Cross, eighth of 19, 219 points. Individual winner: Tina Capparell, Marian Catholic, 19:01. Top District 2 finisher: Lexi Walsh, Holy Cross, 5th, 19:18. Total finishers: 227.

CLASS 2A GIRLS

WVC Team Finisher

Dallas, 15th of 19, 307 points

WVC Individual Finishers

Kaitlyn Hodakowski, Dallas, 65th, 20:40

Lindsey Williams, Holy Redeemer, 86th, 20:54

Jade Fry, Lake-Lehman, 87th, 20:54

Megan Borton, Dallas, 92nd, 21:01

Jace Garnick, Lake-Lehman, 114th, 21:16

Abby Paczewski, Dallas, 120th, 21:20

Grace Jarden, Dallas, 135th, 21:34

Madison Baloga, Dallas, 140th, 21:36

Abby Zolner, Dallas, 164th, 21:59

Rebecca Balara, Dallas, 169th, 22:08

Emily Finnegan, Dallas, 189th, 22:45

Team race: Danville over Allentown Central Catholic, 121-139. Top District 2 team: Scranton Prep, fifth of 19, 172 points. Individual winner: Marlee Starliper, Northern York, 17:50. Top District 2 finisher: Mia Bellucci, Scranton Prep, 11th, 19:32. Total finishers: 227.

CLASS 3A GIRLS

WVC Finishers

Nicole Zambetti, Pittston Area, 147th, 21:04

Katie Balay, Hazleton Area, 179th, 21:40

Team race: Fox Chapel over Manheim Township, 104-123. District 2 team: Abington Heights, 16th of 18, 381 points. Individual winner: Elizabeth Mancini, Cardinal O’Hara, 18:18. Top District 2 finisher: Katie Dammer, Abington Heights, 4th, 18:35. Total finishers: 212.

CLASS A BOYS

Team race: Penns Valley over Elk County Christian, 68-95. District 2 team: Montrose, 3rd of 18, 101 points. Individual winner: Tristan Forsythe, Winchester Thurston, 16:12. Top District 2 finisher: Andrew Healey, Holy Cross, 4th, 16:30. Total finishers: 214.

CLASS 2A GIRLS

WVC Team Finishers

Dallas, 4th of 21, 134 points

Holy Redeemer, 14th of 21, 356 points

WVC Individual Finishers

Mitchell Rome, Dallas, 12th, 16:37

Jack Zardecki, Dallas, 13th, 16:42

Adam Borton, Dallas, 36th, 17:07

Clay Kimsal, Crestwood, 37th, 17:07

Josh Wyandt, Dallas, 47th, 17:21

Bryce Zapusek, Holy Redeemer, 57th, 17:27

Mitchell Martin, Berwick, 74th, 17:36

Josh Jarden, Dallas, 127th, 18:06

George Strish, Holy Redeemer, 138th, 18:11

Lukas Volpetti, Holy Redeemer, 140th, 18:11

Nick Pikul, Holy Redeemer, 153rd, 18:19

Scott Williams, Holy Redeemer, 162nd, 18:28

Matthew Brunetti, Crestwood, 165th, 18:30

Chris Hine, Holy Redeemer, 166th, 18:31

Noah Cooper, Dallas, 183rd, 18:46

Dominic Capaci, Holy Redeemer, 184th, 18:47

Kyle Price, Crestwood, 185th, 18:47

Tony Caravaggio, Dallas, 201st, 19:12

Team race: Wyomissing over York Suburban, 105-107. Individual winner: Isaac Davis, Jersey Shore, 15:56. Top District 2 finisher: Rome. Total finishers: 238.

CLASS 3A BOYS

WVC Finisher

Franklin Cunningham, Hazleton Area, 132nd, 17:24

Team race: LaSalle College High over Council Rock, 130-130 (sixth runner tiebreaker). District 2 team: Wallenpaupack, 14th of 20, 274. Individual winner: Rusty Kujdych, Neshaminy, 15:47. Top District 2 finisher: Tyler Wirth, Wallenpaupack, 5th, 15:59. Total finishers: 236.

HERSHEY – The Dallas boys went out hard Saturday in their pursuit of a third straight state championship.

The Mountaineers remained in title contention as long as they could before arriving at the Parkview Cross Country Course finish line exhausted and at the end of one of the most impressive streaks ever produced by a Wyoming Valley Conference team in state competition in any sport.

Ultimately, Wyomissing, York Suburban and Harbor Creek were able to do what no team has done in a WVC meet since 2010 and no team has done within District 2 since 2014 – beat Dallas.

The Mountaineers settled for fourth place in Class 2A boys at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships after hitting the mile split with a 12-point lead and arriving at the two-mile mark in second, just four points behind Harbor Creek.

“We went down swinging,” Dallas coach Matt Samuel said.

The Mountaineers, who have finished eighth, first, first and fourth in the state in the past four seasons, still had two individual state medalists.

Mitchell Rome finished 12th and Jack Zardecki, the lead runner in the two state championship performances, claimed his third individual medal by placing 13th.

“I wanted to make top 15, so I got my goal being in 12th,” said Rome, who completed the 3.1-mile course in 16:37 to finish 49 seconds faster and 25 places higher than a year ago. “I actually went way faster than I thought I could have.”

Zardecki finished just one second off his time from a seventh-place finish a year ago. A strong field and ideal conditions for cross country created a fast pace, including Jersey Shore’s Isaac Davis running away to win by 20 seconds in 15:56.

Dallas had set a blistering pace in its title defense last year and, although some of the contenders were able to close the gap, none came close to catching the Mountaineers in the team standings. This time, the early lead did not hold up.

“We thought we would be able to hang on a little better at the end,” Samuel said.

The veteran coach was aware, however, of the strength of the competition. He has gotten to know coach Tim Hetrick from team champion Wyomissing since Dallas won its first state girls championship by ruining a Wyomissing shot at a third straight title.

“We knew some of the players that were going to be involved in this four-team fight,” Samuel said. “We just ended up in the fourth spot.

“That happens. I’ve been around long enough to know that was a possibility. It just didn’t work out for us today. We were pitching away at it and I was proud of the boys for that.”

Wyomissing edged York Suburban, 105-107, for first. Harbor Creek beat out Dallas, 111-134, for third. The Mountaineers were 34 points clear of the rest of the pack.

Zardecki, a senior, had been unbeaten against District 2 competition on the season before his junior teammate caught and passed him after the midway point Saturday.

“My goal was top five and that didn’t quite happen today,” Zardecki said. “I probably would have done worse if (Mitchell) didn’t come up on me.

“My hat’s off to him for running the race he did. He’s been my training partner through everything.”

Rome passed Zardecki for the first time around the midway point and they were able to encourage each other through a grueling race.

“I know it was his goal to beat me all season and he finally got it,” Zardecki said. “I’m happy for him from that aspect.”

Dallas had the day’s three best performances by WVC runners.

Adam Borton edged Crestwood’s Clay Kimsal by less than a second for 36th place. They both posted times of 17:07.

Josh Wyandt from Dallas joined them in the top 50, taking 47th in 17:21.

Franklin Cunningham from Hazleton Area ran 17:24 in his fourth appearance in Class 3A but had to settle for 132nd against the strength of the large school field.

Holy Redeemer’s Bryce Zapusek, in 57th, and Berwick’s Mitchell Martin, in 74th, joined Rome, Zardecki, Borton, Kimsal, Wyandt in the top third of the Class 2A field.

Zapusek led the Royals, who were 10th in the state a year ago, to 14th out of 21 teams in Class 2A.

Rome and Zardecki had two of District 2’s seven individual boys medalists.

Tyler Wirth, a Wallenpaupack junior who gave up soccer to run cross country for the first time this year following a successful sophomore track season, broke the 16-minute barrier to place fifth in Class 3A.

Lackawanna League runners took three of the top six spots and four of the top 19 in Class A.

Brandon Curley and Liam Mead placed fifth and sixth to lead Montrose to third as a team.

Andrew Healey from Holy Cross had the best place finish from the district, taking fourth. Elk Lake’s Peyton Jones was 19th.

The Dallas streak was not the only one to end.

District 2 had won a state championship, either team or individual, boys or girls, in each season since the PIAA switched from two to three classifications in 2012. The district had claimed 13 state cross country championships over the previous five years.

A pack of Holy Redeemer runners, including from left, George Strish (second row, far left) , Chris Hine (second row, far right) and Lucas Volpetti (front), start the final downhill section during the PIAA AA boys’ race at Hershey on Saturday.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_Holy-Redeemer-Boys.jpgA pack of Holy Redeemer runners, including from left, George Strish (second row, far left) , Chris Hine (second row, far right) and Lucas Volpetti (front), start the final downhill section during the PIAA AA boys’ race at Hershey on Saturday. Pete Hardenstine | For Times Leader
Adam Borton is helped up after finishing as Dallas’ third runner and helping the two-time defending champion Mountaineers place fourth in the state in Class 2A boys cross country.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_IMG_0586.jpgAdam Borton is helped up after finishing as Dallas’ third runner and helping the two-time defending champion Mountaineers place fourth in the state in Class 2A boys cross country. Tom Robinson | For Times Leader
Hazleton Area’s Katie Balay (front) completed the PIAA Class 3A girls’ race in 21:40.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_Katie-Bazay.jpgHazleton Area’s Katie Balay (front) completed the PIAA Class 3A girls’ race in 21:40. Pete Hardenstine | For Times Leader
Lake-Lehman’s Abby Paczewski (left) and Jace Garnick run together during the Class 2A girls’ race at the PIAA cross country championships in Hershey on Saturday.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_Lake-Lehman-Girls.jpgLake-Lehman’s Abby Paczewski (left) and Jace Garnick run together during the Class 2A girls’ race at the PIAA cross country championships in Hershey on Saturday. Pete Hardenstine | For Times Leader
Holy Redeemer’s Lindsey Williams, left, and Lake-Lehman’s Jade Fry arrived at the finish line a second apart in the Class 2A girls race at the state cross country meet.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_WILLIAMS_FRY.jpgHoly Redeemer’s Lindsey Williams, left, and Lake-Lehman’s Jade Fry arrived at the finish line a second apart in the Class 2A girls race at the state cross country meet. Tom Robinson | For Times Leader
Dallas’ Mitchell Rome (front) and Jack Zardecki (back left) took home PIAA medals from the 2A boys’ race at the Park View Cross Country Course in Hershey on Saturday. Rome was 12th in 16:37 and Zardecki finished 13th in 16:42.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_Mitchell-Rome-and-Jack-Zardecki.jpgDallas’ Mitchell Rome (front) and Jack Zardecki (back left) took home PIAA medals from the 2A boys’ race at the Park View Cross Country Course in Hershey on Saturday. Rome was 12th in 16:37 and Zardecki finished 13th in 16:42. Pete Hardenstine | For Times Leader
Dallas’ streak ends with fourth-place team finish

By Tom Robinson

For Times Leader

PIAA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS

(3.1-mile Hershey Parkview Course)

CLASS A GIRLS

WVC Finisher

April Kupsky, Wyoming Seminary, 80th, 21:28.

Team race: Fairview over St. Joseph’s Catholic, 96-99. District 2 team: Holy Cross, eighth of 19, 219 points. Individual winner: Tina Capparell, Marian Catholic, 19:01. Top District 2 finisher: Lexi Walsh, Holy Cross, 5th, 19:18. Total finishers: 227.

CLASS 2A GIRLS

WVC Team Finisher

Dallas, 15th of 19, 307 points

WVC Individual Finishers

Kaitlyn Hodakowski, Dallas, 65th, 20:40

Lindsey Williams, Holy Redeemer, 86th, 20:54

Jade Fry, Lake-Lehman, 87th, 20:54

Megan Borton, Dallas, 92nd, 21:01

Jace Garnick, Lake-Lehman, 114th, 21:16

Abby Paczewski, Dallas, 120th, 21:20

Grace Jarden, Dallas, 135th, 21:34

Madison Baloga, Dallas, 140th, 21:36

Abby Zolner, Dallas, 164th, 21:59

Rebecca Balara, Dallas, 169th, 22:08

Emily Finnegan, Dallas, 189th, 22:45

Team race: Danville over Allentown Central Catholic, 121-139. Top District 2 team: Scranton Prep, fifth of 19, 172 points. Individual winner: Marlee Starliper, Northern York, 17:50. Top District 2 finisher: Mia Bellucci, Scranton Prep, 11th, 19:32. Total finishers: 227.

CLASS 3A GIRLS

WVC Finishers

Nicole Zambetti, Pittston Area, 147th, 21:04

Katie Balay, Hazleton Area, 179th, 21:40

Team race: Fox Chapel over Manheim Township, 104-123. District 2 team: Abington Heights, 16th of 18, 381 points. Individual winner: Elizabeth Mancini, Cardinal O’Hara, 18:18. Top District 2 finisher: Katie Dammer, Abington Heights, 4th, 18:35. Total finishers: 212.

CLASS A BOYS

Team race: Penns Valley over Elk County Christian, 68-95. District 2 team: Montrose, 3rd of 18, 101 points. Individual winner: Tristan Forsythe, Winchester Thurston, 16:12. Top District 2 finisher: Andrew Healey, Holy Cross, 4th, 16:30. Total finishers: 214.

CLASS 2A GIRLS

WVC Team Finishers

Dallas, 4th of 21, 134 points

Holy Redeemer, 14th of 21, 356 points

WVC Individual Finishers

Mitchell Rome, Dallas, 12th, 16:37

Jack Zardecki, Dallas, 13th, 16:42

Adam Borton, Dallas, 36th, 17:07

Clay Kimsal, Crestwood, 37th, 17:07

Josh Wyandt, Dallas, 47th, 17:21

Bryce Zapusek, Holy Redeemer, 57th, 17:27

Mitchell Martin, Berwick, 74th, 17:36

Josh Jarden, Dallas, 127th, 18:06

George Strish, Holy Redeemer, 138th, 18:11

Lukas Volpetti, Holy Redeemer, 140th, 18:11

Nick Pikul, Holy Redeemer, 153rd, 18:19

Scott Williams, Holy Redeemer, 162nd, 18:28

Matthew Brunetti, Crestwood, 165th, 18:30

Chris Hine, Holy Redeemer, 166th, 18:31

Noah Cooper, Dallas, 183rd, 18:46

Dominic Capaci, Holy Redeemer, 184th, 18:47

Kyle Price, Crestwood, 185th, 18:47

Tony Caravaggio, Dallas, 201st, 19:12

Team race: Wyomissing over York Suburban, 105-107. Individual winner: Isaac Davis, Jersey Shore, 15:56. Top District 2 finisher: Rome. Total finishers: 238.

CLASS 3A BOYS

WVC Finisher

Franklin Cunningham, Hazleton Area, 132nd, 17:24

Team race: LaSalle College High over Council Rock, 130-130 (sixth runner tiebreaker). District 2 team: Wallenpaupack, 14th of 20, 274. Individual winner: Rusty Kujdych, Neshaminy, 15:47. Top District 2 finisher: Tyler Wirth, Wallenpaupack, 5th, 15:59. Total finishers: 236.


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