D2 Track and field notebook: Balance proves key for Dallas girls en route to 3A title

May 19—SCRANTON — The Dallas girls won just one individual gold medal and one relay event during Monday and Tuesday's District 2 Track and Field Championships.

Still, the Mountaineers found the formula necessary to give the Wyoming Valley Conference its only team championship at the two-day meet.

"There was a lot of balance," Dallas coach Ed Radzinski said. "People ask where your strength lies.

"Well, everywhere — distance, throwers, sprinters, hurdlers and relays. It kind of just lies everywhere."

A week after destroying the field at the WVC Championship Meet by scoring in 16 events, Dallas held off a late surge by Abington Heights to claim the Class 3A girls title.

The Mountaineers did it by earning medals for top-six finishes in 14 events and by scoring points for top-eight finishes in 15 events.

Perhaps, most of all, they won by earning more than the 10 points that are awarded a gold-medal performance in three different events.

Abington Heights put together 110 1/2 points, a total greater than the championship-producing scores turned in by Scranton in Class 3A boys and Lakeland in Class 2A girls.

It was not enough, however, to beat Dallas, which scored more points than any team besides Class 2A boys champion Mid Valley.

The Mountaineers built their winning score of 113 1/2 with the help of 16 points in the discus, 12 in the 3200-meter run and 11 in the 1600. Those were three of the five events in which Dallas had two girls medal together.

"Getting 16 points in the discus on the second day was huge," Radzinski said.

Morgan Langdon won the shot put, an event in which she was 13th a year ago. She improved more than seven feet in that time, allowing her to win by more than 18 inches with a finish of 35-4 3/4 .

Langdon was also right in the middle of the high-scoring discus performance.

Jasmin Nguyen gave the team one of its three silver medals, while Langdon added a bronze and Jada Mason was seventh.

Madison Hedglin earned the silver in the 3200 run where teammate Sarah Williams was fifth. The same combination was third and sixth in the 1600.

Hedglin met the state qualifying standard while finishing the 3200 in 11:07.69, making her part of the contingent that will represent District 2 in the PIAA Championships Friday and Saturday in Shippensburg.

Gracie Coyne and Trinity Basara formed another potent combination.

Coyne was third and Basara sixth in the 400. Basara was fifth and Coyne sixth in the 200. Then Coyne was one of the three freshmen, who kept Dallas in contention, setting the stage for Basara's anchor-leg comeback in the closing 1600 relay to determine the team title.

Julia Natitus and Gabriela DaSilva also figured into the title in multiple events. Natitus was second in the 100 hurdles and fourth, despite a fall, in the 300 hurdles. DaSailva tied for third in the high jump, placed fifth in the triple jump and finished seventh in the long jump.

"Gabby DaSilva was big for us in the jumps," Radzinski said.

All of the points, including scoring in the two relays that they did not win, were important for the Mountaineers.

The combination allowed Dallas, which has put together a streak of seven straight unbeaten WVC Division 1 championship seasons, to overcome the defending champions, who possess incredible dual meet streaks of 17 straight unbeaten seasons and 101 straight wins in the Lackawanna Track Conference.


Wyoming Area junior Ella McKernan broke a 29-year-old meet record when she finished the 800 run in 2:15.88.

McKernan set school records in that event, the 300 hurdles where she won gold and as part of the 1600 relay, which placed third behind the Dallas and Abington Heights team championship battle. Her time in the 800 was 36-hundredths of a second faster than Bishop Hoban's Lora Delaney ran for the Class 3A title in 1995.

When Pittston Area's Aria Messner officially set the Class 3A long jump record a year after an apparent officiating error cost her a gold medal and meet record in the event, it capped an outstanding career at the district meets. Messner won nine district gold medals, five silvers, a bronze and a sixth-place medal, hitting the maximum 16 career medals.

Messner will compete in four events at Shippensburg, three by qualifying along with all the other gold medalists, and one by hitting the state standard in the high jump.

Holy Redeemer's 400-meter relay team of McKenzie Chimock, Aleese Stair, Jane Gillespie and Isabella Granteed won in 49.48 seconds to erase a 14-year-old Class 2A girls record held by Montrose.


Darren Seiwell's pole vault victory was part of Hazleton Area's second-place finish in the Class 3A boys team standings.

"That has been my goal since the beginning of the season," said Seiwell, who cleared 13 feet to beat a strong field. "I have respect for everyone around here. There are a lot of great vaulters and I am honored to be able to compete with them today."

Harrison Snyder won for Berwick the shot put for fourth-place Berwick.

"Some good throws out there got me a little nervous," Snyder said. "I got one that really went off my wrist and went far and I was really happy."

The Bulldogs also got a 100-meter dash win from Ty Wilkerson, but Crestwood's George Jennings edged him by 17-hundredths of a second in qualifying and 16-hundredths in the final while helping the Comets to fifth place out of 19 teams.

"He was coming up, but I had to push," Jennings said. "I just knew I had to hold on."