LEHMAN TWP. — In a bluster of determination and some young talent, the GAR girls track and field team opened its season last week by winning for the first time in four years.
Lake-Lehman didn’t want to become a second victim.
So Jade Fry and Natasha Mihalko each won three times Tuesday and the Lehman girls kept chase with Berwick at the top of the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 standings by running away from GAR 98-29 in snowy, blustery conditions at Lake-Lehman High School.
“I saw their sprints were good, they really held their own against us there,” Fry said of the Grenadiers. “They have some good runners. They didn’t have a lot of distance runners.”
That’s where Lehman excels.
Fry won the 800 and 1,600 runs and was on the winning 1,600 relay, while Madeline Newman took the 3,200 run and sparked the winning 3,200 relay as Lehman moved to 3-0 and remained right behind Berwick (4-0) for the division lead.
Meanwhile, Mihalko won the 100 dash by a nose before capturing the triple jump and 200 dash. In the 100, she ran a 13.7, just edging the 13.9 of Alana Germano — who helped the Grenadiers snap a 27-meet league losing streak with a 77-46 victory over Meyers in their first regular-season meet last week.
“Last year, we tied for the league title with Berwick,” Lehman coach John Sobocinski said. “Obviously, we’d like to continue to that goal, first to win the league as a team. Bigger than that, our goals are getting as many kids to competing at districts and and taking a fair amount to states.”
That won’t be easy, considering the inclement weather.
As the seven-meet Division 2 season neared its midway point Tuesday, the Black Knights ran through the low-30 degree temperatures that including snow flurries and a moist track — and ran their WVC unbeaten streak to 9-0-1 over the last two seasons by focusing on survival, not speed and distance.
“It’s been really rough,” said senior Jace Garnick, who helped the 1,600 relay team to victory but sat out most of her regular distance events while battling a cold. “We have a lot of people with colds, a lot of people getting sick. It’s hard, with this cold weather.”
That hasn’t stopped the Black Knights from bolstering their growing victory total, but it has hampered their times — an important factor for athletes trying to progress through the regular season and be at their best for the District 2 meet in the middle of May. Both sets of boys and girls hurdles were scrapped.
“I knew the weather was going to be really cold,” Fry said. “The starter even said it was a little dangerous. It was kind of just like a practice. I just wanted to push and do what felt hard to me today. You can’t really get loosened up in the cold. I don’t like it. I do a lot better in the warm weather.
“It (the cold) is kind of hurting me and my teammates.”
It didn’t seem to hurt the Lehman boys on the scoreboard.
The Black Knights used four victories from Riley Newman — in the 800 and 1,600 runs and as part of the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relays — and wins by Casey Kaminski in the long jump and high jump to take a 96-31 victory over GAR. That also kept Lehman in second place in Division 2 at 3-0, behind Berwick (4-0).
But a few of the Lehman runners missed out on qualifying times or distances Tuesday in their final attempts to make the prestigious Shippensburg Invitational this coming weekend.
“Obviously, you’re not going to have great times, distances and lengths in this kind of weather,” Sobocinski said. “It does make it tough. We have to take care of business. What it does is puts more of an onus on us in the invitationals.”
Berwick 111, Holy Redeemer 39
Alex Parks and Mitchell Martin were both triple winners as the Bulldogs shot to a 4-0 start and remained just ahead of Lake-Lehman (3-0) in the WVC Division 2 standings.
Parks captured the 100 and 200 dashes, while Martin took the 1,600 and 3,200 runs. Both teamed on the winning 400 relay.
Dominic Capaci was a triple winner for the Royals, placing first in the 800 run and on the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relays.
Meyers 93, Nanticoke Area 48
Nazir Dunell was a four-time winner and Najese Hood was double winner as the Mohawks moved to 2-0 on the season and extended their league unbeaten streak to 16 meets over the last three seasons.
Dunell won the 100 dash in 11.2 seconds, captured both hurdles events and ran on the winning 1,600 relay team.
Hood captured the 400 dash in 60 seconds and won the triple jump.
Berwick 89, Holy Redeemer 56
Megan Dalo and Payden Montana both won in three events as the Bulldogs fought off the Royals to remain unbeaten and in first place in the WVC Division 2 at 4-0.
Dalo finished first in the triple and long jumps and ran on the winning 400 relay team. Montana took all three throwing events for the fourth time this season and led a Berwick sweep of the three point-producing spots in the shot put.
Lindsey Williams won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs for Holy Redeemer.
Nanticoke Area 110, Meyers 26
Amiah Lukowski won three individual events and Asa Ammons and Emily Scott were also three-time winners as the Trojanettes won for the first time in three meets.
Lukowski took first in the 100 dash, long jump and triple jump. Ammons won the shot put and discus and ran on the winning 400 relay team.
Scott captured the 800 and 1,600 runs and helped the 1,600 relay team to victory.
Lake-Lehman 96, GAR 31
3,200 relay — 1. LL (Michael Nastasiak, Nathan Salus, Chandler Longstreth, Riley Newman), 12:39.100 — 1. LL, Floyd McRoy, 12.3; 2. LL, Daymond Kovaly; 3. GAR, Anthony Blake. 1,600 — 1. LL, Newman, 5:25; 2. LL, Nastaskiak, 3. LL, Sam Lukasavage. 400 — 1. LL, Conor O’Brien, 58.0; 2. GAR, Christian Hernandez. 400 relay — 1. LL (Matt Sczyrek, Kovaly, Casey Kaminski, McRoy), 47.7.800 — 1. LL, Newman, 2:20; 2. LL, Salus; 3. LL, Brian Morio. 200 — 1. LL, Kovaly, 26.2; 2. LL, Sczyrek; 3. LL, Joe Ciaccia. 3,200 — 1. LL, Chandler Longstreth, 12:29; 2. LL, Nastasiak; 3. LL, Dylan Ide. 1,600 relay — 1. LL (McRoy, Salus, O’Brien, Newman), 4:46.
High jump — 1. LL, Kaminski, 5-6; 2. GAR, Noah Taylor; 3. GAR, Smith. Pole vault — 1. LL, Nathan LaBar, 7-0. Long jump — 1. LL, Kaminski, 18-10.5; 2. GAR, Tyrone Qualls; 3. GAR, Taylor. Triple jump — 1. GAR, Kaden Taylor, 38.3; 2. GAR, Qualls; 3. LL, Sczyrek. Shot put — 1. LL, Trey Borger, 39-9; 2. GAR, Dodson; 3. GAR, Bradford. Discus — 1. LL, T.J. Meehan, 105-1; 2. GAR, Dodson; 3. GAR, Bradford. Javelin — 1. LL, Borger, 128-6; 2. GAR, Dodson; 3. LL, Meehan.
Lake-Lehman 98, GAR 29
3,200 relay — 1. LL (Gramlich, Jones, Madeline Newman, Ciaccia), 13:54.100 — 1. LL, Natasha Mihalko, LL, 13.7; 2. GAR, Alana Germano; 3. GAR, Leonard. 1,600 — 1. LL, Jade Fry, 60.2; 2. LL, Olivia Vasey; 3. LL, Morgan Patla. 400 — 1. LL, Abby Paczewski, 73.4; 2. LL, Jace Garnick; 3. LL, Ciacca. 400 relay — 1. LL (Paczewski, Marchikitis, Gabby Shonis, Keera Naugle), 56.9.800 — 1. LL, Fry, 2:52; 2. LL, Garnick; 3. LL, Morgan Patla. 200 — 1. LL, Mihalko, 29.9; 2. GAR, Leonard; 3. LL, Shonis. 3,200 — 1. LL, Newman, 16.05; 2. LL, Gramlick; 3. LL, Lizzy Blaski. 1,600 relay — 1. LL (Fry, Paczewski, Garnick, Vasey), 55.2.
High jump — 1. LL, Mackenzie Barker, 4-6; 2. GAR, Skylynn Gonzalez. Pole vault — 1. LL, Angela Lokavich, 7-0. Long jump — 1. GAR, Janet Luna, 13-9.5; 2. GAR, Germano; 3. LL, Salus. Triple jump — 1. LL, Natasha Mihalko, 33-2.5; 2. LL, Marchikitis; 3. LL, Keera Naugle. Shot put — 1. GAR, Harris, 27-6.25; 2. LL, Sarah Salus; 3. LL, Casey Dale. Discus — 1. GAR, Harris, 75-5; 2. LL, Salus; 3. LL, Jones. Javelin — 1. LL, Salus, 101-0; 2. LL, Dale; 3. GAR, Harris.
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski