LEHMAN TWP. — For a whole year, the Lake-Lehman girls track and field team vowed to create some separation from league rival Berwick.
Jace Garnick and the rest of the Black Knights finally figured out a way to do it.
Garnick was a triple winner Tuesday, Jade Fry was part of Lehman sweeps in three distance runs and the Black Knights pulled away with an 80-70 victory over Berwick to settle a two-year tie and clinch at least a share of the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 girls championship by breaking free from a two-year, neck-and-neck run with Berwick.
“It means the world. It really does,” Garnick said. “We worked so hard for this. Everybody had to do their best.”
The Bulldogs didn’t leave Lehman’s Eddie Edwards Stadium without putting a team on top of the league. Led by triple winner Alex Parks, the Berwick boys pulled out an 84-66 victory that also clinched a tie for the WVC Division 2 title.
The Lehman girls and Berwick boys are both 6-0 with one meet remaining in the regular season and will do no worse than share a WVC championship.
“All year, we’ve been looking forward to this meet,” said Parks, a senior and first-year track participant. “We just wanted to come out and show them what we’ve got.
“We’ve got what it takes.”
The Lehman girls got a measure of revenge.
They shared the Division 2 championship with Berwick last season after both teams finished unbeaten during the regular season but tied 75-75 when they met at Berwick in 2017. Both teams were 5-0 entering Tuesday’s showdown, and were 11-0-1 over the past two years.
“Oh my God, they wanted this in the worst way,” Lake-Lehman coach John Sobocinski said of his girls.
Garnick made sure the Black Knights got it.
After battling a double ear infection through the heart of the season, Garnick recovered to win the 400 dash and 800 run, then led off the winning 1,600 relay.
“I’m back. And I’m ready,” Garnick proclaimed. “We planned it out. Every spot counts, every second, every runner, everything.”
The Black Knights needed all of it against the Bulldogs and their returning state gold medalist, shot put specialist Payden Montana, who won that event along with the discus and javelin.
“We knew we had to rely on the distance events,” Sobocinski said. “Berwick has a fantastic thrower, we knew we were going to take our lumps in the throws. We swept the mile, the two-mile, the 800, won the 4-by-8 (3,200 relay), won the 4-by-4 (1,600 relay). We had to do all of that to win this meet.
“Those distance spots carried us to victory.”
The Berwick boys simply relied on speed.
Parks finished first in the 100 dash, 200 dash and ran on the winning 400 relay team to spark Berwick’s victory. The Bulldogs turned the distance events over to Mitchell Martin, who won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs, while Brayden Reigel finished first in the long jump and triple jump.
That left Berwick just ahead of 4-1 Meyers and in position to wrap up the WVC Division 2 boys title with a victory at GAR in the Bulldogs’ regular season finale on Monday.
“Definitely, I thought I could be a good addition to the team,” said Parks, who decided to give the sport a try in his final high school season. “It’s been fun this year, I’d say.
“We’re not done yet.”
Neither are the Black Knights girls, who will run at Hanover Area on Monday with the intention of clinching the girls league championship outright. Regardless, they’ll finish with possession of first place in the WVC for a second straight year.
“It’s amazing,” Garnick said. “It feels so good to work so hard and achieve something like that. We have a really good team, a lot of quality. I mean, it is really nice to get a second division title. But we want it for ourselves, kind of selfishly.”
Hanover Area 130, Meyers 18
Tanisha Atherton and Isabella Popson were both double winner as the Hawkeyes cruised to victory.
Atherton won the discus and javelin events, while Popson captured the high jump and triple jump.
Ilequa Adams was a double winner for the Mohawks, capturing both hurdles events.
Nanticoke Area 101, GAR 39
Genevieve Nalepa was a triple winner and Emily Scott won two individual events as the Trojanettes ran way with the win.
Scott took the 800 and 1,600 runs, while Nalepa placed first in the 400 dash and was part of the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams.
Meyers 97, Hanover Area 53
Nazir Dunell and Janssen Wilborn were triple winners and the Mohawks won a battle of teams trying to stay in the WVC Division 2 title chase.
Dunell won the 100 dash and 110 hurdles and ran a leg of the 400 relay as the two-time defending league champion Mohawks moved to 4-1, behind 6-0 Berwick for the division title entering the final week of the regular season. Wilborne won the 300 hurdles and ran on the winning 400 and 1,600 relay teams.
The loss dropped Hanover Area to 3-2 and out of the league title race.
Nanticoke Area 91, GAR 58
Joseph Ammons won the 200 and anchored the winning 400 relay team to lead the Trojans to their second consecutive victory. Tyler Thomas took the 800 run and was part of the winning 3,200 relay
Lake-Lehman 80, Berwick 70
3,200 relay — 1. LL (Jace Garnick, Brdaric, Olivia Vasey, Morgan Patla) 11:28. 100 hurdles — 1. LL, Paige Motovidlak, 16:62; 2. Ber, Nevel; 3. Ber, Sierra Miedner. 100 — 1. Ber, Amber Koshinski, 13.03; 2. Ber, Reese Mensinger; 3. LL, Natasha Mihalko. 1,600 — 1. LL, Jade Fry, 6:12; 2. LL, Brdaric; 3. LL, Abby Paczewski. 400 — 1. LL, Garnick, 62.12; 2. LL, Paczewski; 3. Ber, Sydney Lloyd. 400 relay — 1. Ber (Lloyd, Koshinski, Dalo, Mensinger), 52.4. 300 hurdles — 1. LL, Lizzy Blaski, 52.2; 2. LL, Motovidlak; 3. Ber, Watts. 800 — 1. LL, Garnick, 2:35; 2. LL, Fry; 3. LL, Vasey. 200 — 1. Ber, Mensinger, 27.39; 2. LL, Mihalko; 3. Ber, Lloyd. 3,200 — 1. LL, Brdaric, 13:27; 2. LL, Fry; 3. LL, Blaski. 1,600 relay — 1. LL (Garnick, Fry, Vasey, Paczewski), 4:27.
High jump — 1. LL, Macenzi Barker, 4-10; 2. Ber, Woodeshick; 3. LL, Morgan Marchakitus. Pole vault — 1. Ber, Koshinski, 9-6; 2. Ber, Miedner and LL, Angela Lockavich. Long jump — 1. Ber, Dalo, 16-0; 2. Ber, Koshinski; 3. LL, Mihalko. Triple jump — 1. LL, Mihalko, 35-0.25; 2. Ber, Megan Dalo; 3. LL, Morgan Marchakitus. Shot put — 1. Ber, Payden Montana, 48-1.5; 2. Ber, Dia Cruz; 3. Ber, Makayla Force. Discus — 1. Ber, Montana, 166-4; 2. Ber, Force; 3. Ber, Maddie Isenberg. Javelin — 1. Ber, Montana, 116-6; 2. LL, Sarah Salus; 3. Ber, Murphy.
Berwick 84, Lake-Lehman 66
3,200 relay — 1. LL (Nathan Salus, Brian Morio, Chandler Longstreth, Riley Newman), 9:01. 110 hurdles — 1. LL, Daymond Kovaly, 16:51; 2. LL, Joe Ciaccia; 3. Ber, Long Le. 100 — 1. Ber, Alex Parks, 11.16; 2. LL, Casey Kaminski; 3. LL, Conor O’Brien. 1,600 — 1. Ber, Mitchell Martin, 4:51; 2. LL, Longstreth; 3. LL, Sean Lukasavage. 400 — 1. LL, O’Brien, 55.53; 2. Ber, Morgan; 3. Ber, Smith. 400 relay — 1. Ber (Mason, Parks, Shorkusilts, Ryan Laubach), 44.9. 300 hurdles — 1. Ber, Bao Le, 43.12; 2. LL, Ciaccia; 3. LL, Kovaly. 800 — 1. LL, Newman, 2:09; 2. Ber, Martin; 3. LL, Salus. 200 — 1. Ber, Parks, 22.84; 2. Ber, Tim Maron; 3. LL, Matt Sczyrek. 3,200 — 1. Ber, Martin, 11:11; 2. LL, Longstreth. 3 LL, Morio. 1,600 relay — 1. LL (Floyd McRoy, Salus, O’Brien, Avoohlma), 3:37.
High jump — 1. LL, Kaminski, 5-6; 2. LL, Jared Barber; 3. Ber, Ryan Laubach. Pole vault — 1. Ber, Kyle Harro, 10-5; 2. Ber, B. Lee; 3. Ber, L. Lee. Long jump — 1. Ber, Brayden Reigel, 19-3; 2. Ber, Connor Hanson; 3. LL, Kaminski. Triple jump — 1. Ber, Reigel, 39-4.75; 2. Ber, Smith; 3. Ber, Hanson. Shot put — 1. Ber, Strother, 43-4.5; 2. LL, TJ Meehan; 3. Ber, Talanca. Discus — 1. LL, Meehan, 110-9; 2. LL, Hanley; 3. Ber, Dustin Peters. Javelin — 1. Ber, Sharkuski, 147-3; 2. Ber, Anthony Spuches; 3. Ber, Limongelli.
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski