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Challenges ahead for VV track teams

Valley View’s re-entry into Division 1 of the Lackawanna Track Conference has been flawless through more than half of the season.

For the Cougars to come out on top of either race, however, they still will have to get past the divisions’ defending champions.

The North Pocono boys and Abington Heights girls each went 2-0 this week to match the Valley View teams at 4-0.

Abington Heights travels to Valley View Tuesday in a meet that could decide the girls’ title.

The boys’ championship may wait until the final day of the regular season, May 2, when Valley View is scheduled to be at North Pocono.

North Pocono coach Tom Chesko admits that he has been watching Valley View’s results closely.

“We do, but we have three tough meets left,” Chesko said. “We have Wallenpaupack, Scranton Prep and then Valley View.

“We have to stay healthy, grind our way through the next two and continue to improve each week.”

North Pocono’s wins to date have come against the bottom half of the division. Wallenpaupack is in fourth place at 2-2 and Scranton Prep is third at 2-1.

The gradual build-up to the schedule has been a help for the Trojans, who have been limited more than most schools because of the amount of snow at the school’s facilities during the preseason.

“It set us back a little bit, but the kids are really performing well,” Chesko said.

North Pocono rolled over Lakeland, 117-28, Tuesday and defeated Honesdale, 85-65, Thursday with sophomore Marty Kelly leading the way.

In both meets, Kelly won the 800 and contributed to winning relay teams in the 1600 and 3200. His strong start has helped make up for North Pocono’s biggest graduation loss, state medalist middle distance runner Victor Costello.

“He’s having a great year,” Chesko said. “His 2:04 in the 800 Tuesday may be the best in the league up to this point.”

Dave Genovese won the 100 and triple jump and Paul Amedia the 200 and 1600 relay against Lakeland.

“Genovese’s time goes down officially as 11, but it was 10.97, so he was really happy with that,” Chesko said.

Vlad Kostik (both hurdles), Pete Calderone (shot put, javelin) and Genovese (triple jump, 1600 relay) won twice each against Honesdale.

Valley View swept its meets, beating Wallenpaupack then handing Scranton Prep its first loss.

The Cougars, who won five straight Division 2 titles before moving up this season, have won 39 straight league meets.

Four-time defending champion Abington Heights ran its girls’ winning streak to 28 meets by beating Scranton Prep, 105-45, and Lakeland, 90-59.

Elisia Cadman won both hurdles events in both meets and was part of winning relay teams each time, the 400 against Scranton Prep and the 1600 against Lakeland.

“She has made a huge step up,” Abington Heights coach Frank Passetti said. “She came in off of swimming season in very good condition.”

Kelsey O’Donnell won the 100 and 200 and was part of the winning 400 relay team against Scranton Prep.

Distance runners Erin Jaeger and Stephanie Lalos were double winners in both meets.

Jaeger, a freshman, won the 1600 against Scranton Prep, won the 800 against Lakeland and was on the winning 3200 relay team in both. Lalos traded places, winning the 800 against Scranton Prep and the 1600 against Lakeland, while also running on the 3200 relay.

Sarah Gronsky, who won the 400, and freshman Missy Burke, who won the triple jump, were each part of the winning 1600 relay team.

Gronsky, a senior who is on the team for the first time, “has been a great pick up for us,” Passetti said.

The Lady Comets have other newcomers to the lineup making increasing contributions as they head into their biggest meet.

Sprinter Sara Dubravcak had a big week for Valley View, which defeated Wallenpaupack, 80-70, and Scranton Prep, 89-61.

“They have a very strong team,” Passetti said of the Cougars. “We don’t know what to expect because they’re new to our division.”

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