Pittston Area Cross Country seniors, Ashley Menichini, Bianca Bolton, and Emily Zera.Photo by Tony Callaio
Joe Struckus returns for yet another season as the Pittston Area girls’ cross country head coach. The year may be different, but Struckus’ goals are still the same.
Last year’s team finished with a record of 9-8, but Struckus expects his girls to be much better this season and he has set a high goal for the team this season. The veteran Lady Patriots coach has predicted that his team will go 15-2 this season.
“The goal for the season is to be one of the top teams in the Wyoming Valley Conference,” Struckus said. “We want to finish in the top three at districts.”
Perhaps the reason he is so confident in his team this year is because Pittston Area didn’t lose any of its key runners from last season.
The Lady Patriots return the core group of girls who were successful last season.
Seniors Ashley Menichini and Bianca Bolton, and juniors Catherine Lombardo, Kristen Lombardo, Olivia Lanza, Kaitlynn Kuchta and Emily Seamon all return to the team this season..
The good news for the Lady Patriots is, the majority of their key runners are juniors, so they should be a force in the Wyoming Valley Conference beyond just this year.
Struckus feels the key races for his team this fall will be against Dallas and Holy Redeemer. Pittston Area lost to both teams last fall, but the Lady Patriots have circled the dates for this year and are poised to compete for victories against the top Wyoming Valley Conference teams this fall.
Pittston Area will run against Dallas on September 28 a tri-meet at Crestwood High School, and close the regular season on October 12 against Holy Redeemer.
The Patriots girls’ cross-country team finished 12th overall in last year’s District 2 meet. Struckus expects the team to heavily improve on that finish this season.
Catherine Lombardo was the team’s top finisher in districts last season with a time of 22:08.
Rounding out the roster this fall will be, senior Emily Zera, junior Kristen Fereck, sophomores Christine Briggs, Megan Dougherty, and Alyssa Rodzinak, and freshmen Olivia Giambra, Elizabeth Scalipi and Katie Stonikinis.