Lindsey Williams goes the distance as Holy Redeemer girls, Coughlin boys dominate Cross Invitational


Coughlin takes boys title at 19th Cross Invitational

By Paul Sokoloski - psokoloski@timesleader.com



Hanover Area’s Brandon Chafin soars before landing his triple jump during the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon.


Coughlin’s Kevin Kozerski clears a hurdle en route to winning his heat in the 110-meter hurdles at the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon. Kozerski finished second overall to teammate Ron Sepkoski in the event.


Wyoming Area’s Shelby Stackhouse, left, clears a hurdle en route to winning her heat in the 100-meter hurdles at the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon.


Dallas’ Kaitlyn Kochanski prepares to launch her shot put at the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon. Kochanski captured the event’s gold medal with a throw of 36-01 1/2.


Coughlin takes boys title at 19th Cross Invitational

By Paul Sokoloski

psokoloski@timesleader.com

Hanover Area’s Brandon Chafin soars before landing his triple jump during the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_cross-2.jpgHanover Area’s Brandon Chafin soars before landing his triple jump during the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon.

Coughlin’s Kevin Kozerski clears a hurdle en route to winning his heat in the 110-meter hurdles at the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon. Kozerski finished second overall to teammate Ron Sepkoski in the event.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_cross-5.jpgCoughlin’s Kevin Kozerski clears a hurdle en route to winning his heat in the 110-meter hurdles at the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon. Kozerski finished second overall to teammate Ron Sepkoski in the event.

Wyoming Area’s Shelby Stackhouse, left, clears a hurdle en route to winning her heat in the 100-meter hurdles at the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_cross-3.jpgWyoming Area’s Shelby Stackhouse, left, clears a hurdle en route to winning her heat in the 100-meter hurdles at the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon.

Dallas’ Kaitlyn Kochanski prepares to launch her shot put at the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon. Kochanski captured the event’s gold medal with a throw of 36-01 1/2.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_cross-4.jpgDallas’ Kaitlyn Kochanski prepares to launch her shot put at the James Cross Invitational in Plains Township on Saturday afternoon. Kochanski captured the event’s gold medal with a throw of 36-01 1/2.

PLAINS TWP. — Somewhere along the route of her long-distance runs, something kicked in for Lindsey Williams.

She’s been in high gear ever since.

Williams dominated the 1,600 and 3,200 Saturday, easily winning both races while leading the Holy Redeemer girls to a resounding team victory in the 19th annual James Cross Wilkes-Barre Invitational at the Plains/Solomon track.

“It’s a lot better than last year,” Williams said of her form. “Last year, I started running better about halfway through the season. This year, I got a good start and had a good plan for what I would do. I’d say it’s definitely (because of ) Redeemer’s coaching staff. They’re so motivational, they really keep you on your toes.”

The Coughlin boys took another step on their home track, easily winning the Cross Invite with a team score of 108 points to best 16 other squads.

The Crusaders rode two victories by Ron Sepkoski in the hurdles and wins by Franco Balbuena in the 1,600, Jacob Khalife in the discus and their 400 relay team anchored by Nick Carman — whol also joined Balbuena and Sepkoski on a 1,600 relay team that placed second.

“It really means a lot,” Balbuena said, “knowing I can help keep up something that is to my coach to keep this up. I’m proud I can contribute to winning.”

Coughlin coach Paul McGrane has been a driving force behind promoting and hosting the Cross Invite, which was named in honor of former Meyers head coach and Coughlin assistant James Cross after his death in 2003 and moved from Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium to Plains/Solomon last year.

“One, it brings back Jimmy Cross a little bit,” said McGrane, who assisted Cross when he coached Meyers during the 1980s. “He’s done a lot for track. It’s nice to honor him. Two, it gets the kids pumped up for postseason competition.”

That’s what Williams is hoping.

She captured the 1,600 in 5:35, winning by 18 seconds, then finished the 3,200 in 11:49.9, cruising across the finish line more than a half-lap ahead of Bloomsburg’s Emily Yackiel, who finished in 12:58.3.

“It definitely sets you up for districts,” said Williams, a regular distance double-winner during a regular season who helped unbeaten Redeemer clinch at least a tie for first place in the WVC Division 2. “It gives you a good gauge of how fast you’ll go and some of the people you’ll see.”

Area track fans kept seeing Redeemer’s red and gold uniforms flashing across the finish line first.

Williams’ teammates kept piling up wins as the Royals ripped off 120 points to distance themselves from second-place Coughlin, which finished with 74 points, in the 14-team girls field. Redeemer’s Molly Holmes in the 80, Autumn Kaminski in the 300 hurdles and Caroline Banas in the high jump all took home gold medals, as did Redeemer’s 3,200 relay team — which also included Holmes.

Coughlin’s Madisyn Hawkins broke her own school record in the pole vault, winning the girls event with a height of 12-feet.

“I’m really happy I got that. It means a lot to me,” Hawkins said. “I was really confident with my jumps. I went to a bigger pole, and it helped me. But using a new pole, I was a little nervous.”

Coughlin’s 5-foot phenom made an attempt at the meet record of 12-3, but fell a little short and settled for her new school mark.

“I don’t really think it makes a difference,” Hawkins said of her size. “I feel it’s all about speed, technique, strength. There’s a lot more to it than you might think.”

Meyers doesn’t know what to think.

The Mohawks lost a key man from their lineup at an invitational for the second straight week when star distance and relay runner Rudy Rivera limped off with a quad injury.

Rivera was battling for the lead down the homestretch of the 800 when he crumpled to the track in agony. He was helped from the infield, and came out of the trainer’s room on crutches with his leg heavily taped with large ice bags.

This, after Meyers star hurdler Raheem Twyman —the Cross Invite record holder in the 300 hurdles — didn’t compete Saturday and missed a regular-season meet against Nanticoke Area on Wednesday after he tweaked his hip flexor muscle competing in the Lock Haven Invitational the previous Saturday.

Twyman is expected to return to the Mohawks lineup in time for Tuesday’s battle of unbeatens with Hanover Area with the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 boys title on the line at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium, but Rivera may not be cleared in time to join him.

“Too early to tell right now,” Meyers coach Hayden White said. “We just got a preliminary evaluation, we’ll know more Monday. It’s the bottom part of his quad.

“Our Saturday meets haven’t been too good to us.”

James Cross Wilkes-Barre Invitational

Boys

1. Coughlin (Cou) 142.5; 2. Hanover Area (Han) 60; 3. Holy Redeemer (HR) 51; 4. Meyers (Mey) 58; 5. Holy Redeemer (HR) 51; 6. Wyoming Valley West (WVW) 42; 7. Northwest (NW) 39; 8. Wyoming Area (WA) 31.5; 9. Bloomsburg (Bloom) 29; 10. Pittston Area (PA) 25; 11. Scranton (Scr) 22; 12. Crestwood (Crest) 18; 13. Mountain View (MV) 16; 14. Carbondale (Carb) 9; 15. Nanticoke Area (Nan) 5; 16. Columbia County Christian (CC) 5; 17. Scranton Prep (Prep) 4; 18. Western Wayne (WW) 1.

3,200 relay — 1. Mey (Kosloski, Magnat, Rinaldi, Rivera) 8:33; 2. HR; 3. Bloom. 110 hurdles — 1. Cou, Sepkoski 15.4; 2. Mey, Wilborn; 3. Cou, Kozerski. 100 — 1. Cou, Todd 11.2; 2. NW, Kennedy; 3. Cou, Carman. 1,600 — 1. Cou, Balbuena 4:42; 2. HR, Volpetti; 3. MV, Virtitsky. 400 — 1. WVW, Richard 50.3; 2. Mey, Snyder; 3. WVW, Forgash. 400 relay — 1. Cou (Brown, Horan, Todd, Carman) 43.9; 2. Mey; 3. Bloom. 300 hurdles — 1. Cou, Sepkoski 40.8; 2. HR, Weybrecht; 3. Scr, Darjee. 800 — 1. Scr, Lopez 2:01.8; 2. Cou, Balbuena; 3. Crest, Klusewitz. 200 — 1. NW, Kennedy 22.4; 2. Han, Chesson; 3. Cou, Carman. 3,200 — 1. HR, Hoda 10:23.7; 2. HR, Zapusek; 3. Mey, Kosloski. 1,600 relay — 1. WVW (Bobkowski, Forgash, Richard, Webb) 3:27; 2. Cou; 3. Scr.

High jump — 1. Han, Minich 6-04; 2. PA, Ambrose and PA, Moska. Pole vault — 1. MV, Nally 13-04; 2. NW, Krouse; 3. Cou, Credle. Long jump — 1. Han, Chafin 21-07; 2. Han, Bruckner; 3. Mey, Robinson. Triple jump — 1. Han, Bruckner 41-07.50; 2. Cou, Horan; 3. NW, Kennedy. Shot put — 1. WVW, Wozniak 52-0; 2. Cou, Khalife; 3. Cou, Krokos. Discus — 1. Cou, Khalife 138-0; 2. Mey, Telesco; 3. Carb, Houman. Javelin — 1. WA, Minichello 171-11; 2. Bloom, Knapp; 3. PA, Coles.

Girls

1. Holy Redeemer (HR) 134; 2. Coughlin (Cou) 80; 3. Pittston Area (PA) 52; 4. Wyoming Area (WA) 51; 5. Northwest (NW) 47; 6. Bloomsburg (Bloom) 40; 7. Wyoming Valley West (WVW) 30; 8. Meyers (Mey) 20; 9. Dallas (Dal) 19.5; 10. Nanticoke Area (Nan) 15; 11. Crestwood (Crest) 12; 12. Carbondale (Carb) 7; 13. Hanover Area (Han) 5; 14. Mountain View (MV) 4.

3,200 relay — 1. HR (Greer, Holmes, Hons, Manley) 10:40; 2. NW; 3. Crest. 110 hurdles — 1. HR, Kaminski 15.9; 2. WA, Stacklhouse; 3. Mey, Adams. 100 — 1. HR, Lukowski 12.4; 2. WVW, Dellarte; 3. WA, Rhodes. 1,600 — 1. HR, Williams 5:35; 2. WA, Heinzlmeir; 3. Cou, Fortune. 400 — 1. Bloom, Fogelsanger 1:00.5; 2. Cou, Bourdeau; 3. HR, Banas. 400 relay — 1. Cou (Tona, Bourdeau, Panattieri, Berry) 50.9; 2. Bloom; 3. Mey. 300 hurdles — 1. HR, Kaminski 47.1; 2. Cou, Tona; 3. WA, Astolfi. 800 — 1. HR, Holmes 2:32.5; 2. HR, Hons; 3. NW, Everett. 200 — 1. Nan, Lukowski 25.8; 2. WVW, Dellarte; 3. Bloom, Thrash. ;3,200 — 1. HR, Williams 11:49.9; 2. Bloom, Yackiel; 3. HR, Greer. 1,600 relay — 1. Cou (Bourdeau, Berry, Panattieri, Tona) 4:14; 2. HR; 3. NW.

High jump — 1. HR, Banas 5-04; 2. HR, Kerestes; 3. Cou, Berry. Pole vault — 1. 2. 3. ; Long jump — 1. Cou, Panattieri 16-08; 2. PA, Singer; 3. WVW, Blannard. Triple jump — 1. WVW, Blannard 35-04; 2. PA, Sheerer; 3. Cou, Panattieri. Shot put — 1. Dal, Kochanski 360-01.50; 2. HR, Christian; 3. Crest, Shipton. Discus — 1. PA, O’Brien 129-24; 2. Dal, Kochanski; 3. HR, Hilenski. Javelin — 1. PA, Ashby 36-01.50; 2. HR, Christian; 3. PA, O’Brien.

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

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