Mother Nature almost won last Thursday, but after a 45-minute thunderstorm/rain delay, the junior high class of the Wyoming Valley Conference emerged at the 34th Annual Tunkhannock Rotary Relays.
The event, which is chaired by Rod Azar, has been recently revived in the Tunkhannock community.
“When legislature cut funding, a lot of districts cut junior high sports programs and we couldn’t run the Rotary Relays. Three years ago, Rod brought it back. We are so grateful for that,” said immediate past president Ann Way.
“I ran in the Rotay Relays as a seventh grader in 1982, one of the first years it was held,” said Azar.
“The events are open to both Wyoming Valley Conference and Lackawanna League schools, and we are still trying to grow. Next year we might move the date back for more team participation,” said Azar.
Current Rotary president Samantha Maruzzelli was very visible, hosting the six Wyoming Valley Conference schools and managing the flurry of activity.
Way stated, “This is a great event for our community. It is all about this age group of student athletes, they really don’t have a lot to focus on for just the junior high kids. The Rotary Relays are set up so lots of kids can get lots of medals. The athletes look forward to this all year.”
She continued, “We enjoy seeing the kids enjoying themselves. They are always so appreciative, well behaved, and respectful. There are no bad attitudes here.”
With the weather still threatening the start of the races, 20-25 volunteers in yellow hats, both rotatarians and non-rotarians, hustled to get things organized.
“The PIAA officials are the only ones who are getting paid to be here today. All the others are volunteers, and we couldn’t do this without Dick Daniels,” offered Maruzzelli.
Both women were very thankful to the Tunkhannock School District, saying, “They don’t charge us for use of the track and facilities. We also have custodians and security.”
High School principal Todd Bosscher echoed the districts commitment to the Rotary, “Our district is proud to partner with the rotary to host the relays.”
Also at Memorial Stadium Thursday was Upper Perk Sportswear, a customized sportswear dealer who made tee shirts on site. A representative said that all net proceeds are being donated back to the Rotary.
Upperclassmen were on site, with the junior class steering committee sponsoring the concession stand, and cheering on their friends. Junior Annalise Verbeek said, “We are fundraising for our senior trip, but my friend Sable Stevens is running out there and I know she has been looking forward to being here.”
Tunkhannock parent Keith Brosious was looking forward to a meet without any weather issues. “This was supposed to be our first meet with decent weather,” he said.
According to Brosious, his daughter Kendra, a seventh grader at Tunkhannock who ran in the 1600, has been looking forward to this. “Junior High doesn’t have districts. So this is important for them.”
Wyoming Area won the overall boys’ events with Tunkhannock coming in third. The junior Tigers were led by Matthew Prebola, who took first in the javelin, and Seth Reimiller, who took first in the discus and third in the shot put.
Hazleton won the overall girls’ events with Tunkhannock coming on sixth. The junior Lady Tigers were led by its gold medal winning 400 meter relay team consisting of Sable Stevens, Hanna James, Jessica Cervenak and Emma Ergott.
Team: 1-Wyoming Area (120); 2-Crestwood (104); 3-Tunkhannock (84); 4-Lake-Lehman (72); 5-Wyoming Valley West (18).
Shot Put: 1-Nasir Condry (WA), 36-9; 2-Ryan Tanner (T), 35-3; 3-Seth Reimiller (T), 34-11; 8-Frank Scranta (T), 30-4.5.
Discus: 1-Seth Reimiller (T), 102-3; 5-Ryan Tanner (T), 91-0; 8-Frank Scranta (T), 84-6.
Javelin: 1-Matthew Prebola (T), 169-2; 7-Ryan VanNess (T), 95-2;8-Michael Sickler (T), 92-0.
Long Jump: 1-Nick Ross (WA), 15-9; 3-Jacob Steffy, 15-1.5; 7-Leo Mayeski (T), 13-11.5; 7(tie)-Evan Cole (T), 13-11.5.
Triple Jump: 1-Rocco Pizano (WA), 33-3; 5-Leo Mayeski (T), 30-0; 7-Jakob Steffy (T), 29-6; 12-Nicho LaChase (T), 24-8.75
High Jump: 1-T.J. Collins (WA), 5-0; 3-Schyler Hammersley (T), 4-8; 5-Ben Chilson (T), 4-4.
Pole Vault: 1-Rocco Pizano (WA), 7-6; 1(tie)-Nick Ross (WA), 7-6; 4-Evan Cole (T), 6-6.
110 Meter Hurdles: 1-T.J. Collins (WA), 19.0; 7-Christopher Mirabelli (T), 21.95; 11-Caden Gaudet (T), 23.07; 12- Zack Keiser (T), 23.84.
4x800 Meter Relay: 1-Crestwood, 9:36.65; 3-Tunkhannock (Dylan Mateus, Jayden Mirelle, Brady Slacktish, George Yuhas), 10:59.14.
4x200 Meter Relay: 1-Wyoming Area, 1:44.99, 4-Tunkhannock (Caleb Gruver, Jakob Steffy, Mason Roccograndi, Tyrese Konen), 1:54.93.
1600 Meters: 1-Aiden Mertz (C), 5:06.82; 10-Ryan VanNess (T), 5:57.13; 12-Kaleb Gruver (T), 6:02.99; 13-Jayden Morelle (T), 6:18.67; 16-Zack Keiser (T), 6:57.56.
4x100 Meter Relay: 1-Wyoming Area, (49:15); 4-Tunkhannock (Jakob Steffy, Matthew Prebola, Mason Roccograndi, Tyrese Konen), 53.13.
Distance Medley: 1-Lake-Lehman, 6:49.54; 4-Tunkhannock (Kaleb Gruver, Ecan Cole, Tyrese Konen, GeorgeYuhas), 7:16.65.
4x400 Meter Relay: 1-Wyoming Area, 4:05.91; 4-Tunkhannock (Schyler Hammersley, Ryan VanNess, Evan Cole, Tyrese Konen), 4:21.32.
Team: 1-Hazleton (103); 2-Wyoming Area (72); 3-Lake-Lehman (69); 4-Wyoming Valley West (67); 5-Crestwood (60), 6-Tunkhannock (54).
Shot Put: 1-Brandy Varner (WVW), 32-10; 5-Sable Stevens (T), 29-8; 6-Lexi Corby (T), 29-1.5; 11-Lorelai Paxton, 25-2.
Discus: 1-Rosalind Tart (WA), 73-5; 5-Brianna Grow (T), 66-7; 10-Lorelai Paxton (T), 58-9; 18-Hannah Aitken (T), 38-9.
Javelin: 1-Antonio Minichello (WA), 94-4; 4-Brianna Grow (T), 72-10; 5-Lorelai Paxton, 72-9; 18-Emily Crawford (T), 32-10.
Long Jump: 1-Trinity Johnson (WVW), 14-7.5; 15-Emma Mock (T), 11-5.75.
Triple Jump: 1-Trinity Johnson (WVW), 30-3; 6-Emma Mock (T), 27-10.25; 13-Lexi Corby (T), 25-3; 18-Kaya Sabbatini (T), 20-3;
High Jump: 1-Fatikha Tikhtova (WVW), 4-6; 3-Emma Ergot (T), 4-4; 7-Anna Williams (T). 4-2.
Pole Vault: 1-Anna Wisniewski, (WA), 8-1.
100 Meter Hurdles: 1-Anna Wisniewski, (WA), 17.9; 8-Sophia Mancuso (T), 20.12; 9-Lexi Corby (T), 20.13; 12-Maci Iddings (T), 20.65.
4x800 Meter Relay: 1-Lake-Lehman, 10:55.92; 4-Tunkhannock (Anna Jerome, Hanna Aitken, Malana Nestor, Lexi Corby), 12:21.61.
4x200 Meter Relay: 1-Hazleton, 1:57.50; 4-Tunkhannock (Maci Iddings, Emma Ergott, Sable Stevens, Jessica Cervenek), 2:00.37.
1600 Meters: 1-Sophia Dabsheh (LL), 6:07.55; 12-Alyssa Mikula (T), 7:14.86; 14-Ashley Buckley (T), 7:16.8; 18-Anna Jerome (T), 7:23.55; 19-Kendra Brosius (T), 7:25.36.
4x100 Meter Relay: 1-Tunkhannock (Sable Stevens, Hanna James, Jessica Cervenak, Emma Ergott), 54.59.
Distance Medley Relay: 1-Crestwood, 8:02.84; 6-Tunkhannock (Emma Mock, Lexi Corby, Amber Crawford, Emma Davies), 9:28.87.
4x400 Meter Relay: 1-Lake-Lehman, 4:34.44; 2-Tunkhannock (Anna Williams, Maci Iddings, Hanna James, Jessica Cervenak), 4:41.03.