BERWICK — For his final high school season, Alex Parks wanted to see how his speed played in the spring.
It helped Berwick run right over a boys track and field dynasty.
Parks won in three sprint events Tuesday, Mitchell Martin was a four-time winner and Berwick broke the 19-meet winning streak of two-time defending Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 champ Meyers with a stirring 80.5-69.5 victory at Senator John R. Gordner Stadium.
“For us, it means a lot,” Parks said. “We’ve been building up to this meet.”
The Bulldogs turned that buildup into a burst of energy that broke a Meyers victory run that covered parts of four seasons and dropped the Mohawks from first place for the first time in three seasons. It handed Meyers coach Hayden White his first defeat since returning to coach the program to two 7-0 league championsip seasons during the past two years, and marked the first time Meyers lost since coming up short against Lake-Lehman on April 22, 2015.
Meanwhile, Berwick bolted into sole possession of first place at 5-0 in the WVC Division 2, a game ahead of Lake-Lehman (4-1) and 1.5 ahead of Meyers (3-1) with two meets remaining in the regular season for the Bulldogs.
“It’s a big moment for the Berwick track program,” said Bulldogs coach Bob Calarco, whose boys and girls teams dropped from Division 1 to Division 2 in 2017. “Our boys haven’t had a lot of success the last couple years. We added much more depth to our roster this year. Today, they were looking forward to the matchup with Meyers, to try to compete.”
The competition is getting sparse for Berwick’s returning state gold medalist Payden Montana — who broke her own school record for the third time this season in the discus with a throw of 153-4.5. Montana also won the javelin and shot put, Amber Koshinski joined her as a triple winner in the 100 dash, pole vault and on the 400 relay team and Berwick cruised past Meyers 143-7.
The victory allowed the Bulldogs to keep pace with Lake-Lehman at 5-0 on top of the WVC Division 2 girls standings. Both shared the league championship after last year’s meet finished in a tie, a score they’ll both try to settle next Tuesday when they square off again at Lehman.
“Whenever I compete, I’m hoping to do better than the last time,” Montana said of her latest school mark. “I’m hoping to keep going up (in distance) the rest of the season. The state record is 165-7. I’m hoping to at least approach it.”
The Berwick boys never really allowed Meyers to get close.
Although Najese Hood won the long and triple jumps for Meyers and defending PIAA bronze medalist Nazir Dunell led a Mohawks hurdles sweep by winning in the 110, Berwick beat Meyers at its own game.
Parks took care of that, beating Dunell in a photo finish in the 100 dash (both finished with a time of 11.2 seconds), then edging to victory in the 200 dash between anchoring the winning 400 relay.
“Alex has been a tremendous spark to the team this year,” Calarco said. “He’s always running hard at practice. He’s very determined. Today, he was outstanding.”
Not bad for a guy who, just this season, decided to give track and field a try.
“The first thing that got me interested, it’s my senior year,” Parks said. “I’m really fast, too. So why not use my speed for track?”
Martin, who broke a 27-year-old school record in the two-mile race during an invitational run Saturday, took care of the distance events.
He captured victories in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 runs and ran on the winning 3,200 relay. Nobody from Meyers came within three seconds of stopping him from finishing first in any of those events.
“Unbelievable contribution by Mitchell Martin,” Calarco said. “He has just been phenomenal.”
Which is the way the Bulldogs boys felt after replacing Meyers at the top of the Division 2 standings for the first time in a long time.
“They have a heck of a team,” Parks said. “We’ve been working our butts off.”
Lake-Lehman 102, Nanticoke Area 44
Chandler Longstreth and Riley Newman were triple winners as the Black Knights recovered from their first loss of the season to stay on the heels of Berwick in the WVC Division 2 standings.
Newman won the 800 run and anchored the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams as Lehman shrugged off last week’s loss to Meyers and moved into second place at 4-1 behind Berwick (5-0). The two teams meet at Lehman next Tuesday.
Longstreth won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs and was also on the 3,200 relay.
Hanover Area 93, Holy Redeemer 52
James McCabe and Jamie Beggs were doubles winners as the Hawkeyes coasted to victory.
McCabe captured both hurdles events and Beggs was first to the finish in the 100 and 200 dashes.
Lukas Volpetti was a triple winner for the Royals, taking the 1,600 run and as part of the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams.
Lake-Lehman 97.5, Nanticoke Area 48.5
Olivia Vasey and Jade Fry both won in three events as the Black Knights joined Berwick at 5-0 atop the WVC Division 2 standings with a big showdown between the two looming next Tuesday at Lake-Lehman.
Vasey won the 800 run and was part of the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams. Fry won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs and was also part of the 3,200 relay.
Amiah Lukowski won the 100 dash, long jump and triple jump for the Trojanettes.
Holy Redeemer 96, Hanover Area 53
Caton Fahey was a triple winner to pace the Royals’ victory.
Fahey won both hurdles events and was part of the winning 1,600 relay team.
Lindsey Williams and Leah Mullery won two individual races apiece for Redeemer. Williams placed first in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs and Mullery took the 800 run and the shot put.
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski