MONDAY'S D2 CLASS 2A TRACK AND FIELD: Lakeland girls have gold rush; Riverside earns pair of golds in boys Class 2A

SCRANTON — Lakeland girls captured three gold medals to get off to a fast start at the District 2 Track and Field Championships on Monday at Scranton Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Emily Black, Faith Wormuth, Morgan Lutz, and Kirsten Navich seized the lead on the second leg and posted a win in the 3,200-meter relay with a time of 10 minutes, 7.22 seconds in the first medal event on the first day of the Class 2A competition to get the Lady Chiefs rolling.

Naomi Rude earned the Lady Chiefs their second gold medal by winning the high jump, and sophomore Kaylyn Davis captured the javelin event.

Lakeland finished Day 1 with 47 team points to lead over Lake-Lehman, which had 35 points. Western Wayne and Elk Lake each had 27.

Athletes return to the facility to finish the meet on Tuesday.

In the boys meet, Seth Berry led Lake-Lehman with a pair of individual gold medals in the long jump and high jump. The Black Knights lead the team standings after one day with 43½ points. Mid Valley is close behind with 39 points, and Riverside is third with 37 points after having two gold medal winners.

Rude, a sophomore, had a moment of redemption after not clearing a height in last year’s district meet. This season, she cleared 4-6, 4-8, and 4-10 on her first attempts and earned the gold.

“I am very happy,” Rude said. “This is a lot different than last year. I had consistency. I was constantly practicing and not missing a day of lifting weights. Those were the biggest things. This was really exciting, and this team is very special.”

In the afternoon field events, Davis set the tone with a throw of 107 feet, 11 inches on her first attempt in the javelin. On her second, she launched one 117-1, and that held as the winning distance.

“Honestly, it has been a lot of hard work,” said Davis, who also had throws of 113-2 and 112-10 in her six-throw series. “Ever since I started it, I’ve been working in my backyard, throwing it to get the good form that you need. This is an adrenaline rush. You feel that pump right before you throw; you have to get the whip and the speed, and I was trying to improve myself from last year.”

Lakeland’s gold rush headlined the girls meet, with athletes from the Lackawanna Track Conference winning six gold medals.

Montrose senior Chloe Diaz won the gold in the 300 hurdles. She broke her previous personal-best and school record time of 46.96 with a winning time of 46.30 to finish just ahead of Mid Valley sophomore Natalie Talluto, who also qualified for the PIAA meet in 46.47 seconds.

“I am really glad,” said Diaz, who had the best qualifying time for the 100 hurdles as well in the meet. “I am glad that I had Natalie and we were able to push each other. It was a close race, and I am happy that we are both going to states, and I am happy that I re-broke my record.”

Mountain View senior Carissa Flynn found herself in third place in a closely contested 3,200 race against Black and Mid Valley’s Annika Von Ahnen. She made her move on Lap 6 and extended a lead to win her first gold after three straight silvers in the event with a time of 11:26.05.

Black will join her at the state meet with her second-place time of 11:34.24.

“I knew mentally that I would get back to the girls, and if I kept my pace, I could get back up with them,” Flynn said. “At Lap 6, Elk Lake coach Will Squier yelled that it was my time to make a move, and I increased my pace over the last 800 and did my kick to win it. This feels so great, and I have really wanted this gold since my freshman year.”

Western Wayne freshman Olivia Haines sprinted down the runway, hit the board right on, and leaped to a career-best 17-0¼ distance in the long jump on her first run through. That mark held up through six rounds, and she captured the gold medal.

“It felt amazing,” said Haines, who had a season-best distance of 15-8½. “I couldn’t even breathe.” It was crazy. I just got out as fast as I could and drove off the board.”


Riverside had two athletes reach the top step on the podium.

A few days after finding out he set a school record at the Robert Spagna Championships, Riverside’s Will Taylor improved on his career-best distance.

Taylor hit a mark of 170 feet, 10 inches, to win gold in the Class 2A javelin. He beat his teammate Chad Hoskins, who had a mark of 149-11. Taylor also beat his school record of 169-3, which he found out about last week. Riverside’s old mark of 179-6 was held by Brian Klimas. However, he set that record in 1989. The NFHS changed the javelin in 2002, and that record is retired.

“I had no idea after throwing that at Spagna,” Taylor said. “A couple of days later, I found out when I was sitting in history class. I was very happy. But then the pressure was on. I had to go for more. I had some nerves at districts, but I knew I would be safe if I just got one good throw. Once I got one out past 160, I was able to go for it, and I went out past 170.”

Daniel Danilovitz, the top 3,200 runner in the LTC this season, defended his title by using a late sprint to the line to finish ahead of Elk Lake’s Kendel Jones with a time of 9:23.27. Jones qualified for the state meet with a 9:27.37.

“I was really pushing myself,” said Danilovitz, who had a previous best career time of 9:33.00. “Kendel was really going. I PR’d by like, almost 10 seconds. I am very happy.”

Western Wayne’s Robert Carrelle used a late push over the final two barriers to surge to a win in the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.35.

“I was very tired after that race,” Carrelle said. “I just had to do it for my teammates and my coach. I just had a good mindset.”

Lakeland senior Lyndon Bello took the lead on his second throw in the discus, then closed the event with an emphatic season-best mark of 148-1 to defend his title.

“I am ecstatic,” Bello said. “I was worried at the middle of the season when I was stuck below 130. My mom (Jodi Bello) who is my coach, worked with me and helped my hit my big one here.

“It feels great to keep carrying on the Lakeland tradition in the discus.”