There was a lot of uncertainty seven weeks ago about whether the Lackawanna Cross Country League would be able to complete a season amid the coronavirus pandemic. But with some tweaking and planning and adhering to protocols and guidelines, the league for the most part has done it. The finish line is in sight.
This week marks the final week of the regular season. Division champs will be crowned and it is one last chance for teams to tune up for next week’s District 2 Championships at Lakeland High School.
Highlighting the schedule is the matchup between Mid Valley and Holy Cross boys Wednesday at McDade Park in Scranton. Both teams are 6-0, meaning the winner of the meet claims the Division 3 championship.
Holy Cross is led by senior Kevin Jumper, who has finished first in all six of his league races. Junior Michael Novak, who has four league wins, leads Mid Valley.
The girls meet between Mid Valley (5-1) and Holy Cross (4-2) could have division title implications as well. Lakeland (6-0) hosts Western Wayne (5-1) on Tuesday and if the Lady Wildcats beat the Lady Chiefs, the Spartanettes could create a three-way tie and a share of the top spot if they beat the Lady Crusaders.
Lakeland is led by the tandem of junior Olivia James and freshman Morgan Lutz. Junior Madison Kammer, who has five league victories, leads Western Wayne. Senior Gabrielle Snee (3 wins) leads Mid Valley, while junior Kaitlyn Farrell (4 wins) paces Holy Cross.
In Division 1 boys, North Pocono (5-0) hosts Scranton (3-2) with a chance to clinch the division title. A loss, however, and Delaware Valley (5-1), which already has concluded its regular season, would share the crown with the Trojans. Junior Caleb Kenyon has won all five of his league meets for North Pocono.
Honesdale girls (5-0) look to capture the division championship at Valley View (3-2). Brenna Dahlgren leads the Lady Hornets with three league wins.
North Pocono is rooting hard for Valley View because if the Cougars win, the Lady Trojans (5-1) can grab a share of the title if they beat Scranton (2-3). That meet will be highlighted by the matchup between Scranton’s Bella Noreika and North Pocono’s Emily Franklin. Both are sophomores and have won their five league meets.
Montrose will try to sweep the Division 2 boys and girls championships in its meet against Susquehanna. Freshman Nathaniel Sinkovich has four league wins for the Meteors (4-0). Senior Austin Gow, with five wins, leads Susquehanna (2-2).
Sophomore Paige Brewer has a pair of wins for the Lady Meteors (4-0). Sophomore Julianna Bradley has two wins for the Lady Sabers (2-2).
On Saturday, the Lackawanna League will hold the Vince Fedor Junior High Championship Meet at Dunmore High School. There will be six races: Division 1 girls at 9 a.m.; Division 1 boys at 9:45 a.m .; Division 2 girls at 10:30 a.m.; Division 2 boys at 11:15 a.m.; Division 3 girls at noon; and Division 3 boys at 12:45 p.m. Spectators are allowed, but they are asked to not park on the school campus. Instead, park on the streets surrounding the high school.
The District 2 Championships will be split over two days at Lakeland High School. The girls races are Wednesday, Oct. 28 and the boys races are Saturday, Oct. 31. A makeup date, if needed, will be Sunday, Nov. 1. Class 3A starts at 10 a.m. both days. Class 1A is at 12:30 p.m. and Class 2A is at 3 p.m. No spectators are allowed.
The team champion and five individuals in each class qualify for the PIAA Championships in Hershey on Nov. 7.
During more than 30 years at The Times-Tribune, Scott has covered everything from high schools to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His current beats include motor sports, local colleges, high school cross country and high school baseball. He also is a copy editor and page designer. His articles have won awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Eastern Motorsports Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Press. He also has been honored by the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League and the Minor League Football Alliance. In 2016, he was presented the Media Service Award by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. A Long Island, New York, native, Scott graduated from the University of Scranton in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He lives in Peckville with his wife, Andrea, and daughters, Bridget and Emily. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100, x5109; or @swalshTT on Twitter