OldArchive / Sports

The End Zone Seat: It's Time for the Lasagna

After last year’s record-breaking night, this Friday’s eighth annual Wyalusing Lasagna Invitational has a tough act to follow.

A total of 20 meet records fell before a long afternoon and evening of competition concluded as the witching hour approached at Peterson Stadium.

This year, athletes from a record 23 teams will attempt to put their names in the record book.

Besides the host Rams, the field includes four-time defending combined team champion Abington Heights, Athens, Blue Ridge, Canton, Coughlin, Dallas, Elk Lake, Holy Cross, Holy Redeemer, Lackawanna Trail, Lake-Lehman, Montrose, Mountain View, North Penn, Northeast Bradford, Sayre, Sullivan County, Towanda, Troy, Tunkhannock, Western Wayne and Windsor (NY).

Tunkhannock is the returning boys’ team champion, while Abington Heights and Montrose tied for the 2010 girls’ team title.

Individually, the field should be very strong.

In the boys’ half of the meet, Tunkhannock’s Reece Ayers, Elk Lake’s Mike Bedell and Athens’ Jarred Gambrell are among the top returners.

Ayers holds the meet records in the 3200 and 1600 runs. Bedell, coming off a win in the 1600 at Lock Haven last week, has one of the top five fastest times in the 800 in the state this year. Gambrell, a two-time state champion, has the best triple jump in the state.

For the girls’ meet, Elk Lake’s Maria Trowbridge, a two-time state medalist in the 3200, returns to lead what should be a very strong field in the event, including the Learn sisters—Susan and Violet from North Penn—and Troy’s Casey Norton.

The 400 will also be very strong with Lackawanna Trail’s Lauren Ellsworth and Elk Lake’s Cassie VanEtten, both state medalists, in the field.

As usual, besides the team trophies, several individual awards will be presented, including the outstanding male and female track competitors and male and female field competitors. There will also be trophies presented to the winners of the girls’ long jump and boys’ pole vault and high jump, honoring the three events in which Wyalusing Valley athletes have won PIAA championships.

The event isn’t completely for the high school athletes. At approximately 5 p.m., the Lasagna Mile, which is open to all comers, will be run.

To accommodate the event, which is certainly the biggest of its kind in the Northern Tier, the Wyalusing Area School District has agreed to dismiss school early, clearing the lots around the high school for the 3 p.m. start of the meet.

The parking patterns around the school have changed considerably and, unfortunately, there is still ongoing construction associated with the new elementary school. But it is certainly better than it has been for the last few years.

One of the changes is the shot put pit and the discus area has moved from their previous locations on the north side of the home stands. The shot put area is now outside the south fence of the track between the home stands and the new elementary school. The discus area is behind the home stands at the south end of what was once the soccer field.

With the large number of athletes competing, the meet organizers have set minimum heights and distances to be measured for various field events.

It is hoped this will speed up the field events. Last year, the girls’ shot put was one of the last events completed.

In another effort to speed up proceedings, the 200 dash and 300 hurdles will not have qualifying heats. These two events will be run as finals. This eliminates the need to change starting areas and setting up the hurdles two separate times.

Even if you are not a track fan, I would certainly encourage you to drop by and watch some of the action.

The athletic skills on display will certainly amaze you.

If that’s not a reason to stop by, there’s always the lasagna.

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