Red & Black host first Lackawanna League cluster meet of the season

Lindsey Pender promised her girls team that if they finished 1-2-3 in Tuesday's first home cluster meet of the season there would be no practice on Wednesday.

Apparently, the thought of getting a day off really inspired the Lady Hornets because they did their coach one better.

Dana Pratt, Rachael Collins, Rachel Olver and Kiera Fox nailed down the top four spots against both Wallenpaupack Area and Delaware Valley, leading to a sweep of the Lackawanna League home opener.

Thanks in large part to this quartet, Honesdale defeated Paupack (18-37) and DV (23-35).

“They made me eat my words,” Coach Pender said with a smile and a laugh.

“Seriously though, I'm thrilled with the effort I saw out here today. We had kind of a tough week leading up to today's race, so to see these kids step up and run as well as they did was very exciting.”

With these wins, the Lady Hornets bounced back from a rough start that saw them suffer losses to North Pocono, Abington Heights and Valley View last week.

Next up for Honesdale is a road trip to Western Wayne. That cluster meet is scheduled for next Tuesday starting at 4:45 p.m.

Clean Sweep

Rachel Korty of Forest City was the first girl across the line Tuesday evening at the Daniel J. O'Neill Sports Complex.

The veteran distance runner stopped the clock at 21:35, good for a cushion of more than a minute over her closest pursuer. Delaware Valley's Laina Bogusta was second at 22:39.

Rounding out the top five were Honesdale's Dana Pratt (23:05), Western Wayne's Madison Kammer (23:28) and Honesdale's Rachael Collins (23:57).

Rachel Olver finished seventh overall (24:42) and Kira Fox wound up eighth (24:46).

Also contributing to the Lady Hornets' cause were Kassie Diehl (25:17) and Bella Frigoletto (26:00).

“I think it's fair to say that the girls exceeded my expectations,” said Coach Pender. “We've had some real ups and downs here in the early part of the season.

“We still don't have all of our team together, but some great things happened here today. A couple of kids ran through injuries and really showed some toughness. I'm proud of them.”

Paupack's top finisher in the girls race was Angela Benetos who placed ninth (24:54). She was followed in by teammates Amanda Muehlbauer (25:15), Zoe Badner (25:30) and Pauline Schmidt (25:38).

Solid Effort

Meanwhile on the boys' side of the ledger, Adam Kanterman of Delaware Valley rocketed to victory.

The talented junior covered the challenging 3.1-mile course in a time of 18:21, good for a 26-second bulge over runner-up Kyle Kellestrom of Paupack.

The Buckhorns' Seth Brown was third overall (19:06), followed by DV's Quinn Curabba (19:27).

Honesdale's top finisher in Tuesday's race was Dustin Edsall. The senior posted a solid time of 19:38.

“Dustin went out hard and ran well,” Coach Pender said. “I think he finished pretty much where he should have at this point in the season.

“We knew coming in that Paupack and DV were going to be tough, so overall I'm pleased with how we ran as a team.”

Eric Lukan was second in for the Hornets, stopping the clock at 19:57). Aidan LaTourette finished 12th overall (20:23), while JP Ahern (21:00) and Aaron Hocker (21:25) also cracked the Top 20.

Western Wayne's top runner was Lucas Putman who wound up 19th with a time of 21:23.