YATESVILLE — Dallas’ Ally Rome and Samantha Mazula were both triple-winners Monday and Katie Kravitsky sealed the title by winning the high jump as Dallas edged Pittston Area 77-72 in the regular season finale to capture the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 girls track and field crown at Charley Trippi Stadium.
“Oh, it’s awesome,” Kravisky said. “Nobody likes to lose. I know I don’t.”
For the second straight season, the Mountaineers didn’t lose a single meet in earning back-to-back WVC titles, finishing the regular season at 7-0 and at the top of Division 1 again. Pittston Area suffered its second setback in as many years and finished at 6-1, losing only to Dallas during the past two seasons.
In the boys battle, Uzee Ukattah won four times and Jack Zardecki was a triple winners, leading Dallas to a 91-58 victory over Pittston Area. Ukattah won the 100 and 200 meter dashes and and ran on the winning 400 and 1,600 relay teams, while Zardecki took the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs and teamed on the 3,200 relay.
Rome set the Dallas girls up, winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs to wind up as the only individual triple winner in the meet.
“It’s definitely exciting, and good competition,” said Rome, a senior and defending District 2 champ. “Your legs definitely aren’t feeling good at the end of it. I feel like my fitness is very good. I’m excited to see what I can do at districts.”
The Mountaineers are discovering what Mazula can do. The sophomore sprinter added wins in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and anchored the winning 400 meter relay team, while Abby Zolner won both hurdles events and Katie Kochanski captured the discus and shot put events.
“I think it means a lot when people come out and run their best,” Rome said. “It’s definitely a different feeling, showing up and knowing the last meet of the season’s for the title. It gives us a lot of confidence going into the district meet.”
Still, Dallas’ defense of another league crown wasn’t assured until Kravitsky won the high jump with a leap of 5-6 in the meet’s final event.
“It came down to high jump,” said Kravitsky, a two-time District 2 Class 3A champion and state medalist in that event. “Coach told me right before this event, you have to win this to win the meet.
“I definitely didn’t want to let anyone down.”
Kravitsky entered the competition when the bar was raised to 4-10, and casually cleared that mark and 5-2 on her first two jumps. She bypassed 5-4 and went straight to 5-6, hitting that height on her second try before faltering at 5-8.
No matter. Her 5-6 height was eight inches higher than any Pittston Area jumper was able to manage, giving the 6-foot-2 Kravitsky the win.
That was critical to the outcome since Dallas held a 72-69 edge entering the high jump. Pittston Area could have won the meet with a victory and a second-place finish in the event, or a Pittston Area victory and third-place finish in high jump would have forged a tie and forced officials to turn to the score sheet to figure out the number of events each team won to determine a champion.
Kravitsky made it simple.
“I’m a Yankees fan, I’m saying I’ve got Mariano Rivera in the bullpen,” Dallas co-coach Ed Radzinski said, comparing Kravitsky’s excellence in the final stages of high school track to the consistency Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader showed before he retired. “That’s what it means, for me. It’s a nice feeling to have her down there.”
For most of the day, though, the Patriots made Dallas uneasy.
Abbie Norwillo won the long jump and set a Pittston Area school record with a winning pole vault height of 11-6, Sam Mayers and Madison Mimnaugh teamed on two winning relay teams, Taryn Ashby took the javelin throw and Mia Barbieri led a Patriots sweep of the 400 meter dash to keep things tight.
“We had a lot of PRs (personal records) that happened,” Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus said. “It’s good when you get to go against another good team in the conference leading into districts. In the long jump, Norwillo had a 16-4, we weren’t expecting that. Our four-by-eight relay team ran their best time of the year. I told them to just go out and perform. We were hoping to have the points we needed before we got to the high jump.
“We knew what they had over there.”
Now, the Dallas girls have a chance to defend their District 2 Class 3A title from a year ago during next week’s district championships.
“It means a lot,” Radzinski said, “because every one’s special. Every championship’s special. Every one’s different.
“A lot of things went into titles.”