SCRANTON – While her teammates participated in the District 2 Athletics Championships a year ago at this time, Madeleine Keating was still a month away from any kind of running during rehabilitation after reconstructive knee surgery.
Now Keating is taking on perhaps the toughest schedule of all the athletes in the championship.
Keating’s surge in the last lap of the 3,200-meter relay on Tuesday gave Wyoming the first gold medals of this year’s reformatted championship.
Before the evening was over, Keating added to the longest relay victory an individual gold medal in the longest race.
Keating’s victories were one of the main reasons why the Warriors will enter the final of the district meeting on Wednesday in the leaders and focus on a possible entry into the Class 2A championship.
Of the seven of the 18 events completed in Class 2A, Wyoming leads 41-38 ahead of Wyoming Valley competitor Lake Lehmann in the girls standings and 56-42 ahead of reigning Mead Valley champion among boys.
The Warriors won five of 14 competitions in Class 2A.
Keating had to fight through two tough races.
First, she ran step by step with Kale Rachkowski from Lake Lehmann, another gold medalist before the end of the night, almost 600 meters of the anchor stage of the relay.
“She runs just like me; she has speed, “Keating said.” We did it together, and then when there were 200 left, I took my step because I knew I had a lot left.
“It was perfect. I had fresh feet and I just went for it. ”
Keating then won a race that demonstrated the depth of the area among women running the distance.
State cross-country medalists Kate Corti of Carbondale and Lacey Danilowitz of Riverside qualified for the PIAA state match with more than 20 seconds left, but neither managed to overtake Keating, who finished 11: 12.23.
Keating is also a contender for the 800 and 1600, allowing for a maximum of four gold medals.
“It would be good,” Keating said. “I know I’m pretty well seeded, but I’m racing with some pretty good girls and I’m just trying to do my best and maybe reach state qualifying standards if I can.”
Tony Minichella gave Wyoming a victory to the other girls in javelin throwing.
The Warriors scored high in the boys’ javelin throw, where Drew Mruk set a record for the meeting and Blaze Sokach-Minick took second place.
Another Wyoming victory was the result of successfully defending Nick Skendra’s 300-hurdles title.
“We are striving to be the first of the whole team,” said Schiandra, who is also part of the school’s record-breaking relay team with 400 races to be held after the title on Wednesday. “That’s what we all want.”
Rachkovsky of Lake-Lehman bounced back from the fact that in the relay 3200 did not stay on the rally, making a big step in the end to win the hurdles race by two hundredths of a second.
“Only the drive because I couldn’t keep my team in the top four by eight pushed me to get better in this race,” said Rachkowski, who beat her previous best by two seconds.
Rachkovsky took a step, then waited for the official word.
“I wasn’t sure I would win,” she said. “I had to wait until I was told. It was very close. “
Lake Lehmann won another close race when after eight laps Nick Hockenberry just walked away from Joseph Cordille of Dunmore by 0.38 seconds in 9: 54.43 in the 3200 youth.
Holy Redeemer’s Justice Shoats won the state title in the long jump in 2021 in his first year in the sport.
Shaws re-emerged as the district champion in the long jump and won the 10-inch high jump in his first year in the competition. He cleared 6-6 to finish the day as the only WVC gold medalist in two competitions.
In his spare time, Shoats also topped the qualifiers until the 100-meter run final on Wednesday, where he will play more gold.
Crestwood had four champions to beat the 3A girls by half a point ahead of Valenpaupack and finish the first day in a draw for second place among the 3A boys, trailing Scranton by one point and even North Pokan.
Molly DeMarzo repeated in 3200, winning six seconds after heading to the final lap just half a second ahead of Bella Nareika of Scranton.
Julia Lazo participated in the sixth jump to Crestwood, along with Isaac Mertz won the title among boys.
Ethan Shudak won another Crestwood victory, exceeding 50 feet in the shot put.
Matthew Kusatis won the triple jump in the Hazelton area to beat the other WVC 3A boys.
The two best finished in the junior class 2A together with the champions of other classes met in Schippensburg. In addition, athletes can do so by meeting or exceeding high qualification standards.
The Holy Redeemer relay team of 3,200 boys consisting of Grant Smith, John Gillespie, Aiden MacDonald and Tom Brady qualified for second place.
Sokach-Minik did it in discus and spear throwing, and teammate from the Wyoming region Osama Alansari advanced in the long jump.
David Popson of the Hanover area did it in the high jump.
If Qualia of Holy Redeemer met the standard in long jump for girls class 2A.
Dallas qualified Kali Ogurkis and Sofia Filali in the 300 hurdles.
Aria Messner of Pittston Area and Trinity Johnson of Wyoming Valley West made it to the triple jump.
The meeting will end on Wednesday with an action that will start at 3 p.m.
The remaining eight competitions on the track will be decided until the second half of the field competition is completed.