First Posted: 4/28/2015
CLARKS SUMMIT – Among the many impressive individual performances, team strength takes center stage in track and field three times a day during relays.
It is during those relays that Abington Heights often has shown off its overall strength during two extended winning streaks that continued through another regular season.
The Lady Comets went undefeated in all three relays – the 400, 1600 and 3200 meters – this season while again going unbeaten.
“That’s probably the biggest strength of the girls team is the depth,” said Mike Ludka, who returned to a position he had held at both Abington Heights and Scranton Prep in the past to extend a lengthy winning streak that had been built under coach Frank Passetti. “I have the ability to move people all over. We can deal with injuries better than just about any other school around. We just have so many talented girls.
“That pays off in relays, but also in a lot of other ways.”
With four wins in Division 1 and two more in crossovers, Abington Heights won its ninth straight Lackawanna Track Conference division title and extended its LTC winning streak to 56 straight dual meets.
The Lady Comets transition now into the postseason with the Jordan Relays Thursday night, the Bob Spagna LTC Championship Meet May 5 and the District 2 Class AAA Championships May 12, all at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Individuals trying to qualify for the state meet get much of the attention at the district championships, but relays are again a factor in the team scoring races where Abington Heights will try to battle with Dallas and defending champion Pittston Area.
Senior twin sisters Alyssa McMinn, in the shot put and discus, and Abby McMinn, in the hurdles, each were also undefeated in their events during the regular season.
Sophomores Allison Derry, in the jumps, and Alex Scheuermann, in the 3200, figure to also be top contenders in the postseason along with freshman 1600 runner Katie Dammer.
“There are a couple of teams out there that might be a little tougher than us,” Ludka said of going after team titles. “We’re going to give it a shot.
“We’ll move some kids around and try to put them in the best position to score some points and compete on their own. We’ll try to balance those two together.”
Regardless of how that works out, the Lady Comets have already succeeded in keeping a long streak going.
“We talked about it the first week of practice,” Ludka said. “The girls are aware of it. It puts some pressure on the girls.
“But, if they just take care of their individual events and the relays, we know we’ll be all right in the long run.”