Western Wayne used a blanced attack to deal Paupack a Lackawanna League loss
If there were any initial questions about competing in a new context, they were quickly answered.
Western Wayne's girls varsity track & field team has been nothing less than a juggernaut in recent years.
In fact, with veteran coach Justin Collins at the helm, the Lady 'Cats have captured five consecutive division titles and are the reigning Lackawanna League Class AAA champs.
On a frigid Tuesday afternoon in Varden, the local lasses opened defense of their crowns with a big win over Wallenpaupack Area. The final score was 801/2-681/2.
"I'm very happy with the win," Coach Collins said.
"Paupack is a very good team with a rich tradition in track and cross country. We knew we'd have our hands full with them."
Coach Collins went on to say that the difference in this particular meet was his girls' willingness to embrace their roles.
"I think we had a pretty solid gameplan coming in and the girls really executed it well," he said. "They gave it everything they had and fortunately we came out on top."
With this win, Western Wayne begins the season with a 1-0 record in the re-aligned Division Two.
Next on the agenda for the Lady 'Cats is a berth at the 18th Annual Icebreakers Invitational. This year's edition of the event is slated for Saturday morning at Paupack.
While Diana Hassan and Acacia Urian dominated the headlines, two other seniors were the first to earn high marks from their mentor.
Bridget Quinn and Jordan Liptak each delivered a key individual performance for Western Wayne.
Quinn is a 3-sport athlete who also stars in volleyball and basketball. On Tuesday, Bridget cleared 4'6" to take first place in the high jump.
Liptak was every bit as impressive in the hurdles.
Jordan high-stepped her way to a gold medal effort in the 300M, breaking the tape in a time of :56.72.
"Those two girls came through with outstanding senior leadership today," said Coach Collins. "Jordan and Bridget did everthing we asked of them and more. They played a huge part in us getting the win."
Hassan opened her senior season in fine fashion by setting a brand new school record in the shot.
In fact, Diana didn't just break the old mark, she completely obliterated it.
Despite cold and blustery conditions, Hassan let loose with a throw that measured 36' 111/2". That heave was more than a 18" farther than the previous best, which was set by Lynn Reynolds back in 2001.
"Anytime you can break a school record it's a really big deal," Coach Collins said. "But, when you go out there and beat in by a foot and a half ... well, that's pretty amazing.
"Diana has worked so hard the past two years and all that effort is paying off. I think she's on her way to an amazing season."
Hassan also copped gold in the discus with a throw of 100' 6".
Meanwhile, Urian turned in yet another in a long line of memorable outings.
Acacia contributed a pair of individual wins and two second place finishes.
She finished first in both the javelin (86') and triple jump (32' 6"), and was runner-up in the 200M and 400M.
"Kacie is an incredibly talented and tremendously versatile athlete," Coach Collins said. "Kacie can do just about anything. And, the scary thing is that she's still getting better."
Over & Out
Three more Lady 'Cats also contributed first place finishes to the cause.
Emily Funk opened the proceedings with a win in the 100M hurdles. She broke the tape in a time of :18.36.
Carly Thorpe delivered a gold medal effort in the long jump (15' 3"), while Abby Hemmler captured the pole vault (6').