Lady Hornets dominate junior high meet
Article Courtesy of Kevin Edwards, Tri-County Independent
Honesdale’s girls junior high cross country team closed out an undefeated season by finishing first at the Vince Fedor Championships. This year’s edition of the race was held Saturday at Dunmore. Pictured are (from left): Erin Meagher, Emilia Williams, Lily Taraschuk, Olivia Pinto, Zoe Hall, Meghan Dowling, Cassidy Castrovillari, Megan Kretschmer, Madison Shafer.
If the performance of the junior high teams this year is any indication, the future of cross country at Honesdale appears bright indeed.
Under the direction of veteran head coach Lindsey Pender, the young Hornets closed out another sensational season this past weekend at the Vince Fedor Lackawanna League Championships.
The event was held at Dunmore Saturday morning and ended with runners from both squads earning medals.
On the Dais
Honesdale’s girls dominated their race, finishing first among Division I teams to end the 2020 campaign undefeated.
“We set goals right from the start,” Coach Pender said. “First to win, then to go undefeated, then to win a league title.
“These girls worked so hard. They absolutely never gave up. They wanted it.”
The boys team also received high marks from their mentor.
The young Hornets battled their way to a respectable league record, then finished fourth at Saturday’s highly competitive race.
“We only had five boys, so they truly had to fight for every win,” Coach Pender said. “They always gave us 100 percent and I’m very proud of them.”
Honesdale’s girls opened up the pandemic-shortened season with a decisive win over North Pocono and never looked back.
The Lady Hornets ran roughshod over their Lackawanna League opponents, rolling up a perfect 6-0 record and finishing all alone atop the Division I standings.
“Looking back, they worked harder this season than ever,” Coach Pender said. “This group is extremely coachable, and without some of the invitationals we could really focus on consistent training.”
That laser focus led to a signature victory and serious momentum leading up to Saturday’s league championships.
Last Tuesday, the local lasses traveled to Archbald for a much-anticipated showdown with Valley View. Once again, though, the Lady Hornets rose to the occasion.
Zoe Hall rocketed her way to victory, chased home by teammates Megan Kretschmer, Emilia Williams, Olivia Pinto and Lily Taraschuk. The result was a dominating 19-36 victory.
“They absolutely peaked at the perfect time,” said Coach Pender. “I thought our girls had their best race of the year against Valley View, but then the went out and just ran away with it on Saturday.”
She isn’t exaggerating.
Honesdale simply overpowered everyone else at this year’s Vince Fedor event. The Red & Black placed its entire Front Five within the Top 15, finishing with a team score of 32 points.
Hall was first across the line in Division I. Zoe posted a sizzling time of 12:45 to claim the individual crown.
Kretschmer earned runner-up honors, stopping the clock at 12:51. Williams (13:15), Pinto (13:18) and Taraschuk (14:05) rounded out the first five.
“They went out and set the tone right from the start,” Coach Pender said. “My challenge to them was to put all five in the top 15. That would mean a medal for each of them and they did it.”
Also contributing to Honesdale’s team championship were: Madison Shafer (15:16), Erin Meagher (15:50), Megan Dowling (15:57), Cassidy Castrovillari (16:36).
“This was all just beyond my wildest expectations,” Coach Pender said. “I just love these kids!”
While the boys couldn’t match the girls on this particular day, they certainly had a solid season of their own.
The junior high lads fought their way to a 3-3 record in Lackawanna League action despite having just five runners for the majority of the campaign.
Owen Barnes paced the Red & Black attack Saturday in Dunmore. The talented eighth grader crossed the line second among Division I entrants with a time of 12:04.
Next in for the Hornets was fellow eighth grader Landen Estus who clocked in at 12:21, good enough for sixth place.
Paul Reiprich was third on the team and 20th overall (13:58). Peter Pham finished 21st with a time of 13:01, while Nathan Whitmore shut down the scoring at 43rd (14:49).
Scranton copped the boys Division I title with a total of 51 points, narrowly defeating Valley View (52 pts).
Wallenpaupack Area wound up third (82), followed by Honesdale (86).
“This may be my one of my best coaching seasons ever,” Lindsey said in conclusion.
“I’m very excited about the future. If we can blend our junior high and varsity runners together, these next few years could be absolutely amazing!”