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Durako pulls off upset at Robbins Invitational

Greater Pittston resident beats defending PIAA, D2 champs

Marissa Durako, a junior at Holy Redeemer heads to a first place finish the girls 5K run during the Wyoming Valley Striders 37th Annual Cliff Robbins Invitational.

Photo by Don Carey

Holy Redeemer High School junior Marissa Durako pulled off a big surprise last Saturday at Letterkenny Fields.

She ran to victory in the varsity girls 5K run – the premier race of the day at the Cliff Robbins Sr. Memorial High School Invitational – breaking the tape in 19 minutes, 52 seconds.

“I wasn’t expecting to win here today,” said Durako, a Laflin resident. “I knew that Regan Rome and Tori Gerlach were here. And I had never defeated either of them before.”

Gerlach, a senior from Pennridge who won the Class AAA state championship last year in the 3,200 meters, was the favorite. Her runner-up finish was 12 seconds behind Durako. Kate Scott, a junior from Council Rock North, finished third in 20:19. Scranton Prep sophomore Tessa Barrett finished fourth in 20:31. Rome, a sophomore from Dallas, who won the Varsity Girls 5K last year, finished fifth, 11 seconds behind Barrett.

“Tori led throughout most of the race,” Durako said. “With about 1,000 meters to go, I caught up to her. Then, on a downhill, I let myself go. I got in front of her and just kept pushing. I knew Regan and Tori had good kicks. And I’m not known for having a good kick. So I wasn’t sure if I could hold them off. But I did. I’m really happy with my performance. But it was a battle right to the end.”

Pittston Area’s Catherine Lombardo finished ninth overall and teammate Bianca Bolton finished 16th.

Wyoming Area’s Sara Radzwilka placed 19th.

A real battle continued right to the end in the junior varsity girls 3K when Pittston Area eighth grader Tara Johnson claimed a one-second win over Ally Rome, an eighth grader from Dallas. Johnson’s winning time was 12:05.

“I pushed the entire way,” Johnson said. “Throughout the race I just kept trying to keep pace with (Rome) and waiting for her to tire. I finally caught and passed her right at the beginning of the chute.”

The race, however, wasn’t without some controversy.

It seems that Rome may have lost a few seconds when she was slowed by the pace vehicle. The driver had pulled over so as to not run over the pads that register the chip timing.

The Pittston Area and Wyoming Area boys did not have a runner place in the Top 25 in either the varsity or junior high events.

Varsity girls 5K

1. M. Durako, Redeemer, 19:52

2. V. Gerlach, Pennridge, 20:04

3. Kate Scott, CR North, 20:19

4. Tessa Barrett, Prep, 20:31

5. Regan Rome, Dallas, 20:42

6. R. Sowinski, Redeemer, 20:43

7. E. Jaeger, Abington Hts., 20:46

8. T. Ross, Abington Hts. , 20:58

9. C. Lombardo, PA, 21:05

10. K. Heineke, CR North, 21:07

11. Nicole Buehrle, Hazleton, 21:11

12. Amy Viti, Hanover, 21:17

13. K. Ruszowska, NP, 21:23

14. Alexandria Plant, WVW, 21:28

15. Kate Lewis, N. Pocono, 21:29

16. Bianca Bolton, PA, 21:32

17. C. Gill, Redeemer, 21:49

18. Lindsey Oremus, Dallas, 21:51

19. Sara Radzwilka, WA, 21:57

20. Molly Kane, N.Pocono, 21:59

21. B. Ligotski, Redeemer, 22:00

22. H. Coffin, Crestwood, 22:02

23. J. Burke, Abington Hts., 22:02

24. B. Dissinger, Dallas, 22:08

25. Emily Sutton, Lehman, 22:16

Junior high girls 3K

1. Tara Johnson, PA, 12:05

2. Ally Rome, Dallas, 12:06

3. L. Werner, NE Bradford, 12:32

4. M. Toczko, Tunk., 12:43

5. Kate Reilly, Holy Cross, 12:53

6. Clare Schoen, Prep, 13:00

7. Mary Lundin, Prep, 13:00

8. A. Mendos, Riverside, 13:08

9. Emily Carr, Prep, 13:10

10. Mackenzie Bilbow, WA, 13:12

11. J. Bernatowicz, NP, 13:29

12. Katie Grose, Dallas, 13:29

13. C. Dukeman, Blue Mtn., 13:31

14. Jill Bosley, N. Pocono, 13:36

15. M. Manglaviti, Tunk., 13:38

16. Autumn Frost, Tunk., 13:41

17. Abby Sheerer, PA, 13:42

18. G. Krause, Blue Mtn., 13:48

19. Lauren Holt, Lakeland, 13:51

20. M. Manglaviti, Tunk., 13:58

21. Meg McGowan, Prep, 14:06

22. Erin Feeney, Holy Cross, 14:06

23. K. Shannon, N. Pocono, 14:08

24. A. Johnson, Blue Mtn., 14:09

25. E. Yuengling, Blue Mtn., 14:10

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