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Track teams battling Winter Wonderland

Patriots, Warriors head into second week of season

Madelyn Dworak

Dave McLean

John Poli

Wyoming Area track and field standouts, from left to right, seniors Michelle Golden and Kevin Anderson, and juniors Ahmad Bouie and Sara Radzwilka.

WA photo by tony callaio

The weather has been more of a winter wonderland lately, but that hasn’t stopped the start of the spring sports season. And that includes the Pittston Area and Wyoming Area track and field teams which sprang into action last week.

Head coach Jason Mills’ boys’ track team returned many seniors who had productive junior seasons. Leading the way for the Patriots is distance runner Dave McLean who is expected to be huge part of this year’s team.

McLean has put in his fair share of work in the off-season and should be a force to be reckoned with in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division I race.

“Dave (McLean) has had an absolutely fantastic pre-season,” said Mills. “He has been there everyday working his tail off.”

Mclean hasn’t been the only one putting in their work this offseason. Mills also expects big things from senior thrower John Poli.

“John has been another one that has had a great pre-season,” Mills said. “He is so focused when it comes to throwing. He lives for it.”

Leading the way in the jumping events will be senior Cody Rydzy and junior Tyler Roman. Both have previous experience.

Mills also expects big things from seniors Brandon Hampton and Matthew Erfman.

“Our number one goal every year is to achieve a winning record,” Mills said. “We also hope to have as many kids make districts as possible.”

As for the competition, Mills feels the league is as competitive as ever. He does feel Tunkhannock will field a strong team this season. They are returning many key pieces from last year’s championship team.

“Just about anyone can beat anyone in this league. It is very competitive,” Mills said. “Sometimes we beat a team that beat a team that we lost to. So you never know.”

On the West Side, Wyoming Area coach Joe Pizano returns 16 experienced athletes and wants his team to get better as the season progresses.

“We are a very young team, but we are returning a solid group of District (2) qualifiers,” said Pizano. “We should be a team that competes every week and gets better as the season goes on.”

The Warriors did lose a district champ in the sprints as well as district medalists in other events, but do return a group led by sprinters Ahmad Bouie, Justin Langdon, Larry and Cory Popovich, and distance runner Chris Hromek.

Other top returnees for WA include, Joe Adonizio (Dist.), Kevin Anderson (Dist., PV), Nick Bartoli (Throws), Mark Basta (Jumps), Chris Bone (Hurdles, Jumps), Julian Campenni (Throws), RJ Dixon (Sprints, Mid. Dist.), David Dorbad (Jumps), Eric Eramo (PV, Hurdles), Mitch Payne (Throws), and Stan Timinski (Throws).

GIRLS

Like the boys team, the Pittston Area girls’ track and field team also returns many seniors who were a big part of last year’s squad.

Rachel Scanlon (senior), Bianca Bolton (junior), Howrasha Bryan (junior), Madelyn Dworak (junior), Allie Overman (junior), Samantha Horchos (junior), Olivia Lanza (sophomore), Catherine Lombardo (sophomore) have all returned from last season’s team.

“We are returning a core group of girls from last year’s team,” Coach Dave Struckus said. “They all showed a lot of promise that we can build on. The girls have been working hard at practice. We are getting better every day.”

Again, competitiveness is the goal for Wyoming Area.

The Lady Warriors return distance runners Melissa Cruz, Michelle Golden, Sara Radzwilka, and Sam Shiner. The trio will provide a solid core for WA to build on.

“We have a solid mid-distance and distance crew,” said Coach Joe Pizano. “We also have a few returning throwers with a bunch of new faces in other events. But we will be competitive as a team.”

Those throwers returning for Wyoming Area are Sidney Engleman, Kaitlyn Maguire, Jenna Skrinak, and Rachel Taylor.

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