Steve Pachuta, Lionel Wilson, Andrew Branning & Kyle Rickard led a parade of Hornets to the medals stand at this year's District Two Track & Field Championships. Honesdale either scored and/or medaled in 15-of-18 events en route to a first-ever Class AAA team title.
Mike Jurkowski said all the right things in the hours leading up to Wednesday’s District Two Track & Field Championships.
Honesdale’s coach told TWI Sports that his main concern was keeping his Hornets relaxed and on an even keel emotionally.
“My first goal is to have everybody focused on what they’re doing,” he said. “We’ll be going in there with a pretty good gameplan. If the kids just relax and perform up to their potential, the rest will take care of itself.”
Still, Coach Jurkowski couldn’t help but be a little bit on edge. The Red & Black were going into battle against perennial powerhouses like Abington Heights, Crestwood and Tunkhannock.
The best & brightest of the Lackawanna League and Wyoming Valley Conference would do everything in their power to keep the Hornets from winning a first-ever D-2 title.
“We definitely need a few kids to step up,” Coach Jurkowski said. “The competition will be excellent and you just never know about those Wyoming Valley Conference teams. They’re the unknown quantity...”
As it turns out, he didn’t need to worry. The Hornets dominated this annual meet, medaling or scoring points in 15-of-18 events.
When the final gun sounded, Honesdale had piled up 104 team points, easily outdistancing runner-up Tunkhannock (81 pts) and Delaware Valley (71 pts). North Pocono, the only team to have handled the Hornets this year, struggled to a 5th place finish with 62 pts.
“I’m proud of the effort the kids gave and I’m proud of their accomplishments,” Coach Jurkowski said afterward. “I think it’s going to take a couple of days to set in that we’re district champs.”
Honesdale’s District Two title caps off what can only be described as a dream track & field campaign.
The Red & Black suffered just one loss this spring in the Lackawanna League.
Under the direction of Coach Jurkowski, who is in his 10th year here in the Maple City, the Hornets went 6-1 in Division One.
North Pocono defeated Honesdale on a snowy & blustery day in Moscow, a loss which gave the Trojans their first crown since 2000.
The Hornets earned a measure of revenge later on, however, sprinting their way to a team title at the LTC Championships.
On Wednesday evening, the Red & Black made it two big meets in a row, cruising to the District Two Class AAA title.
They did so thanks to a total team effort...one that featured Herculean efforts from Lionel Wilson, Kyle Rickard, Andrew Branning, Dalton Derrick and the 4x400M relay team.
Wilson earned a trio of gold medals. Lionel took first place in the 400M (:49.43) and the long jump (22’6”). He also ran a leg for the victorious relay team.
Rickard fought his way to two medals. Kyle finished 5th in the 100M (:11.42) and 4th in the 200M (:23.14) just behind WIlson (:22.86).
“That was definitely the fastest heat I’ve ever been in,” Kyle said of the blistering 100M dash. “It was so close, I honestly couldn’t tell you who finished in what position.”
Branning brought home a surprising silver medal in the 110M high hurdles. Andrew survived a brutal heat in which no fewer than three competitors hit or tripped over a hurdle.
He ended up with a silver medal time of :15.69.
“Wow!” he exclaimed just moments off the track. “I felt good at the start, but then I stumbled. I finished strong, though. That was a pretty crazy race.”
Derrick contributed two medals to the cause. Dalton took 6th in the discus (135’7”) and 4th in the shot (47’3”).
Michael Terwilliger and Carl Jurkowski chipped in with a pair of medals in the pole vault. Terwilliger finished 5th at 12’, while Jurkowski was 6th at 11’6”.
Honesdale sealed the deal on this D-2 title with an electrifying performance in the 4x400M relay.
The Hornet quartet of Wade West, Dylan Metz, Rickard & Wilson jetted to a gold medal time of 3:28.20). That was good enough for a half-second margin over the runner-up team from DV (3:28.72).
“That was the perfect way to top it all off,” Coach Jurkowski said. “All the kids were out there on the track...there wasn’t a single kid missing. They were all celebrating. It was an a pretty awesome sight.”