Pittston Area’s Michelle Fernando wins the 200 IM against Wyoming Area.
Pittston Area’s Samantha Horchos performs a dive against Wyoming Area.
Wyoming Area’s Ellie Laffey takes second in the 500 freestyle against Pittston Area.
Wyoming Area’s Keirstin Lasher performs a dive against Pittston Area. Lasher finished second behind PA’s Alyssa Scatena.
Wyoming Area’s Macawley Brown wins the 100 Fly against Pittston Area on Tuesday afternoon.photos by BILL TARUTIS
Above, Pittston Area’s Nina Fischer takes second in the 200 Freestyle against Wyoming Area in Yatesville on Tuesday afternoon.photo by BILL TARUTIS
Emotions and excitement filled the pool and the stands on Tuesday as Pittston Area played host to cross river rival Wyoming Area in a battle of early-season Wyoming Valley Conference Division III unbeatens. The Lady Warriors had beaten the Lady Patriots in eight of the last nine meetings between the two schools in the pool, and Tuesday’s meet was an early season showdown between the two schools.
Fueled by its role as the underdog in this series – Pittston Area’s only win in the past four years during Wyoming Area’s reign over the WVC Division III pool was in 2008 – the Lady Patriots used its depth to take home a 107-77 victory over the Lady Warriors at Pittston Area High School.
“They’ve been ready since last year," said third-year Pittston Area Head Coach Amy Hazlet about the emotions of the PA-WA rivalry. .
In a fervent opening event, the 200 Medley Relay, the Wyoming Area team of Lauren Deluca, Melissa Cruz, Macawley Brown and Tia Brown took first but only by .07 seconds over the Pittston Area team. The WA time of 2:04.95 was a season best for the quartet.
Wyoming Area’s Ellie Laffey took first in the 200 Freestyle over Pittston Area’s Nina Fischer, but Lady Patriot standouts Michelle Fernando and Samantha Scialpi came back with first place finishes of their own in the 200 Individual Medley and 50 Freestyle respectively to keep the meet close going into the diving portion. Fernando out swam Cruz in the IM, and Scialpi held off Macawley Brown in the 50 Free. Kaylene Sutkowski placed third in the IM, and Emily Zurek took third in the 50 Free.
Laffey posted a season-best time of 2:24.52 in the 200 Free. Fernando and Scialpi also added season-best times in their victories with a 2:34 flat and a 26.73 respectively.
Lady Patriots diver Alyssa Scatena had a fantastic showing earning multiple sixes and a six-and-a-half en route to her dominating first place finish. Wyoming Area’s Kierstin Lasher placed second.
Wyoming Area’s Brown sisters finished 1-2 in the 100 Fly with Macawley winning the event in a season-best time of 1:08.36, and Tia placing second. Sarah Kosik placed third for the Lady Patriots.
Sutkowski and Zurek answered by taking first and second in the 100 Free. Deluca placed third for the Lady Warriors. Sutkowski’s won in a time of 1:02.42
In the 500 Free, Pittston Area’s Fernando dominated and took first with a time of 6:19.48, more than 27 seconds better than second-place finisher Laffey of Wyoming Area. Lauren Frisbie placed third for WA.
The 200 Free Relay proved to be yet another exciting event as the Lady Patriots held the lead for the first 100 meters of the event, but at the start of the third leg, Wyoming Area pulled ahead and was able to hang on for the first place finish. The team of Holly Ferrence, Tia Brown, Laffey and Megan Potosky finished with a time of 1:59.51.
Scialpi took first and nearly broke her own pool record in the 100 Backstroke (1:06.67) when she turned in a 1:06.80 – her best time of the season by almost three seconds. DeLuca finished second for the Lady Warriors, but the Lady Patriots also took third and fourth in the event.
In the 100 Breast, Wyoming Area’s Cruz finished first by more than 10 seconds with a time of 1:20.38 over PA’s Jordan Grattuadauria. Letitia Warunek placed third for the Lady Patriots.
In the final event, the 400 free relay, was won by PA’s Sutkowski, Zurek, Scialpi and Fernando. The foursome turned in a time of 4:18.51, their best time of the season by almost two seconds.
The Patriots took 9-of-11 third place finishes and 8-of-11 fourth place finishes, outscoring the Warriors 41-12.
"Instead of taking fifth and sixth places, we took third and fourth and that’s a huge improvement because of the hard work the girls have been doing this year," said Hazlet.
PA improved to 4-0 while WA suffered their first loss and dropped to 2-1.
Dispatch Staff Writer Rick Notari contributed to this report.
WVC Division 3
Pittston Area…4-0, 4-0
Wyoming Area…2-1, 2-1
WA v. Meyers
PA v. Nanticoke
WA v. Dunmore