SCRANTON – Katie Dammer outran two of District 2’s most experienced and decorated distance runners.
While she was at it, Dammer helped Abington Heights outscore two very imposing opponents on the way to the District 2 Class AAA Girls Track and Field Championship Monday at Memorial Stadium.
Dammer teamed with fellow distance runner Carly Danoski and freshman hurdler/jumper Calista Marzolino to lead Abington Heights to 106 points, easily outscoring unbeaten defending champion Dallas and pre-meet favorite Wyoming Area for the title.
Going against two-time state cross country champion Ally Rome from Dallas in the 1600-meter run, Dammer stayed in contention for the first half of the race. She then moved into the lead early in the third of four laps and broke the five-minute mark for the first time to win the 1600 in 4:59.53, nearly two seconds in front of Rome.
“That’s been my strategy for the entire season, no matter who the competition is,” Dammer said. “I have a lot of faith in that strategy. I was going to go out controlled and see what I could do in that last 800.”
Dammer leads the Abington Heights girls into the May 27-28 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships at Shippensburg University.
“I improved a lot more than I thought I could have over the course of the seasons,” said Dammer, who scratched from the 800 to concentrate on the 1600 in Shippensburg. “I’m really excited to see what I can do over the next couple of weeks.”
Dammer and Danoski produced a 1-2 finish in the 800, beating former District 2 Class AAA cross country champion Alyssa LaFave from Wallenpaupack, the defending champion in the event. Danoski was third behind Rome in the 1600, but also hit the state qualifying standard that non-winners can meet to reach Shippensburg.
Danoski will pass up the 1600 for states to specialize in the 800.
Marzolino won the 100 hurdles and finished second in the high jump.
The upset win by Marzolino in the first individual track final of the meet got things started.
“Tonight was one of those nights when it just kept rolling,” Abington Heights coach Mike Ludka said when it was over. “Once momentum was built, it just kept going in that direction.”
Dammer also passed runners late in her anchor legs to help the Lady Comets to their usual relay success.
The 1600 and 3200 relays each were second with Dammer and Danoski contributing there as well. Blanca Calvo and Alex Scheuermann were the other 3200 relay runners and Dani Beamish and Tiana Yarns completed the 1600 team.
Emma Henzes, Allyson Derry, Kelsey Wynn and Emily Clauss made up the sixth-place 400 relay team.
Scheuermann added to the distance running contributions with a second behind Rome in the 3200. She gave the Lady Comets three point scorers in the 1600 by finishing seventh.
Derry was also fourth in the triple jump and fifth in the 100.
Danielle Heine was fourth in the pole vault.
Claire Traweek, in the 3200, and Natalie Reed, in the 100 hurdles, were fifth.
Beamish was seventh in the 200 and Emma Marion eighth in the 3200.
The top six received medals while the top eight scored points.
The Abington Heights boys finished 10th with 28 points.
Kyle Burke and Dan Uhranowsky were each part of the second-place 3200 relay team and placed in the 1600.
Burke shared the team’s top individual finish with Colin Florey, who was also third in the pole vault. Uhranowsky was sixth in the 1600.
Bailey Harris was fourth in the long jump.
Lackawanna Trail’s Matt Kinback earned a state berth Tuesday night during the District 2 Class AA Championships when he finished second in the high jump.
The top two in each event in AA boys earned state spots.
Kinback cleared 6-0 and took second place over Lakeland’s Garth Estadt on a tiebreaker for fewest misses.
The junior had the top three finishes for the Lions, also taking third in the 1600 and fifth in the 800.
Matt Berger and Anthony Berrios earned medals as part of the 1600 relay team and each scored points for the team in two individual events.
The Lions finished 13th with 28 points.
Lackawanna Trail’s girls scored just one point, with an eighth-place finish in the 3200 relay.