SCRANTON – The track and field season did not start out the way that Abby Korba had anticipated.
The Hanover Area jumper broke frequently. There were meets when she could not even get in a qualifying jump.
With the help of coach Carl Daubert, it all worked out in the end for Korba on Thursday evening at the District 2 Class 2A track and field championships at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Korba won the triple jump with a measurement of 36 feet, 6.5 inches. She surpassed 36 feet for the first time in her career and set a new personal record. She also took silver in the long jump with a 16-9.5.
“It’s just great,” Korba said. “Finally seeing that my hard work pays off. This year was rough jumping a little bit in the beginning of the season. Seeing that I could jump better than I think I can. It’s great. I’m astounded.”
On the first round of finals, Lake-Lehman’s Natasha Mihalko surpassed 36 inches to take the lead. On deck, Korba followed with a 36-5.75 jump to reclaim first place. Upon hearing her distance, the self-described cheerleader threw up her hands in elation and ran to celebrate with Lake-Lehman’s Mihalko and Morgan Machakitus.
“I was at the finals in the first jump,” Korba said. “I heard that the girl in front of me had a bigger jump. I thought, ‘I have to put it out there. I want to win it.’”
Korba was one of three Wyoming Valley Conference girls district champions.
Lake-Lehman opened the day with a district title for the second straight year in the 3,200 relay. The team of seniors Jace Garnick, Olivia Vasey, Jade Fry and sophomore Abby Paczewski recorded a 9:48.74 to win the event. Fry, Garnick and Paczewski were a part of last year’s winning relay.
“It’s a relief,” Fry said. “Even though we were seeded first, we all worked ourselves up so much. Even though we had a pretty decent lead against the other girls. But we pushed hard.”
Garnick opened the race by taking a six-second lead over the field by the time she handed it off to Vasey. By the time Paczewski crossed the finish as the anchor, the Black Knights held a 30-second advantage over second-place Holy Redeemer.
“I loved it – I love starting,” Garnick said. “All season, we switched the order around back and forth. There is no feeling like giving your teammates the lead. It’s amazing.”
Garnick took third in the 400 dash. Fry was third in the 1,600 and 3,200. Paczewski was fifth in the 400 dash. Vasey captured her first district championship.
Their teammate Sarah Salus heads to states as a district champion in the javelin. After picking up field just two years ago, Salus’ third throw of the day measured at 113 feet. By that point, it seemed unlikely that anyone was going to surpass the Black Knight sophomore.
“All of my friends came running in after me,” Salus said. “That just hit me with a shock of happiness.”
Salus said that the gold medal is an accumulation of the hard work that she has put in throughout her two years of varsity competition.
“It came naturally,” Salus added. “At the meets I just started throwing better and better. I kind of came out one day and threw 116. It’s been consistent since then.”
The three district champions will be joined by three qualifying WVC athletes at the PIAA championships.
Holy Redeemer will be sending two athletes to Shippensburg. Nicole Kerestes qualified in the high jump. Kerestes topped 5 feet, 2 inches but finished in third place after the three-way tiebreaker for the district title. The Royals’ Caton Fahey took fourth place in the 300 hurdles, but qualified with a time of 47.49 seconds.
With 77 points, Holy Redeemer finished as district runner-up to Western Wayne in the team standings. Lake-Lehman trailed by five points to earn third.
The Black Knights’ Mihalko punched a spot to PIAAs with a triple jump of 36 feet and a half inch.
Class 2A Girls Track & Field Championships
Team Standings – 1. Western Wayne (WW) 116; 2. Holy Redeemer (HR) 77; 3. Lake-Lehman (LL) 72
3200 Relay – 1. LL (Jace Garnick, Olivia Vasey, Jade Fry, Abby Paczewski) 9:48.74; 2. HR (Jesse Ornoski, Madeline Dewees, Leah Mullery, Anna Capaci) 10:19.91; 3. LAK (Brooke Longstreet, Danielle Setta, Naomi Paul, Camryn Cerminaro) 10:31.36
High Jump – 1. LAK Sara Wanat 5-2, 2. WW Kaila Johnson 5-2*, 3. HR Nicole Kerestes 5-2*
100 Hurdles – 1. SUS Skyla Wilson 14.94, 2. HC Jillian Warabak 15.42*, 3. WW Trina Barcarola 15.78*
Long Jump – 1. WW Gianna Debastiani 17-0, 2. HAN Abby Korba 16-9.5, 3. HC Virginia McDonough 16-4.75
100 Dash – 1. DUN Gillian Coar 12.8, 2. MON Chalice Guyette 12.95, 3. EL Lydia Ofalt 13.12
Discus – 1. LAK Mikayla Marino 119-11, 2. CAR Sarah Korty 113-1*, 3. HR Sydney Rush 108-5
Javelin – 1. LL Sarah Salus 113-0, 2. DUN Shannon Czekaj 110-5, 3. HAN Tanisha Atherton 105-3
1600 Run – 1. HC Lexi Walsh 5:14.86, 2. LT Victoria James 5:16.1*; 3. LL Jade Fry 5:30.22
Pole Vault – 1. WW Trina Barcarola 11-7.25, 2. LAK Corah Krantz 10-6*, 3. WW Sydney Krompasky 10-0
Triple Jump – 1. HAN Abby Korba 36-6.5, 2. LL Natasha Mihalko 36-0.5*, 3. HC Rosalie Bennie 33-10.5
400 Dash – 1. WW Annie Skirpan 59.11, 2. EL Lydia Ofalt 59.82*, 3. LL Jace Garnick 1:00.87
400 Relay – 1. MON (Anna Loomis, Chalice Guyette, Caroline Stack, Mckenzie Newhart) 51.09; 2. DUN (Mia Chiaro, Abby Springer, Samantha Domzalski, Gillian Coar) 51.22; 3. WW (Cassidy Asinski, Gianna Debastiani, Noelle Orehek, Elizabeth Pulice) 51.86;
300 Hurdles – 1. SUS Skyla Wilson 43.56, 2. WW Trina Barcarola 45.29*, 3. DUN Mia Chiaro 46.93*
Shot Put – 1. LAK Mikayla Marino 36-9, 2. CAR Sarah Korty 36-8.5*, 3. WW Esmeralda Mendez 34-1.5
200 Dash – 1. SUS Skyla Wilson 25.94, 2. DUN Gillian Coar 26.41*, 3. MON Chalice Guyette 26.88, 4. NW Miya Roman 27.14, 5. SUS Taylor Huyck 27.55, 6. HR Nicole Kerestes 27.9, 7. MON Mckenzie Newhart 27.94, 8. DUN Abby Springer 28.5
800 Run – 1. LT Victoria James 2:22.58, 2. HR Anna Capaci 2:27.25, 3. WW Annie Skirpan 2:27.98
3200 Run – 1. HC Lexi Walsh 11:59.75, 2. EL Shayanne Bennett 12:13.43*, 3. LL Jade Fry 12:24.05
1600 Relay – 1. WW (Samantha Atcavage, Annie Skirpan, Elizabeth Pulice, Trina Barcarola) 4:06.78; 2. HR (Carly Cavanaugh, Abby Lapinski, Anna Capaci, Caton Fahey) 4:11.44; 3. LL (Abby Paczewski, Natasha Mihalko, Morgan Patla, Jace Garnick) 4:12.09
*- State qualifier. All event winners qualified for PIAA championships.
SCRATCHES: WW Skirpan 400, SUS Wilson 200, HC Walsh 3200, LT James 1600