The Mountain Valley Conference track meet between the Pocono Mountain West and Pleasant Valley girls' teams came down to the final event Tuesday afternoon.
With the Lady Bears clinging to a one-point lead heading into the 1600-meter relay, the winning team would claim victory for their school.
Pleasant Valley was behind after the first leg, but saw Melissa Russo charge ahead during the second leg to give her team the lead. The gap she provided ended up being enough in the end, as the team of Russo, Kaitlyn Smith, Steph Palmer and Jennifer Mickens won the race with a time of 4:20. The win gave the Lady Bears a 78-72 victory over the Panthers.
"I am a little nervous," said Russo before the final race. "But I am just going to go out and run."
'Just go out and run' must have been Russo's motto all day, as the junior also won the 400-meter and the 800-meter races. Although it was the first time she had run the 400, she finished first with a time of 1:04.65. She placed first in the 800 with a time of 2:33.87 as well.
"It was my first time running the 400," admitted Russo. "My coach just told me to go out and give it my best shot and that's what I did. I was happy with my time. It helps a lot with him coaching me through it.
"I felt pretty good with the 800 as well. The other girls helped me a long because we all pace off of each other."
It was also a day of firsts for senior Jack Wathen and freshman Austyn Borre.
Wathen, who mainly focused on the 800 and 1600-meter races last year and even qualified for states in the 1600, tried out the 400-meter event for the first time. Wathen looked as if he had run the race his entire career as he finished in first with a time of 54.06.
"It was a good race," Wathen said. "It was actually my first time ever running it. I didn't know what to expect. My coach told me to go at the first 100 pretty hard, coast the second, and then try to kick it in. I was a little sorer than I was hoping for, but I am happy with first."
Wathen then held serve in the 800. He hovered in the front for the first lap, but then shot out into the lead as the second lap began. He finished with a time of 2:12.18.
"I was feeling a little tired after that 400," admitted Wathen. "It was a little bit more of a tactical race I guess. I didn't just go all out. I felt good though as I was running."
Borre tried his legs at the 200-meter dash for the first time this year. It turned out to be a good decision, as he won the race with a time of 23.37. He beat out teammate Matt Sheehan, who had in turn topped him in the 100-meter dash.
"That was my first time running the 200 in a real meet this season," said Borre. "It felt good. I like that race way better than the 100. I feel I am more of a pick-up-speed kind of runner. I can work my way up to third gear instead of having to jump right into it."
Borre was also a member of the winning 400-meter relay team. The freshman anchored the group of Sheehan, Tony Bell and Peter Leika and brought home the victory with a time of 44.49.
"(The relay) is definitely my favorite race," Borre said. "It is real competitive. I love those guys and I know we will go far this season."
Wathen and Borre helped the boys to an easy 104-37 win.
Also winning multiple events for Pleasant Valley was Sam Young and Dakota Everett. Young took first in the 1600 (5:54.7) and 3200-meter (13:38) events, while Everett won the shot put and the discus with throws of 41-8 and 120-2 respectively.
Pleasant Valley 78, PM West 72
100 - 1. K. Jones (PMW) 12.72, 2. J. Davis (PMW), 3. T. Adesanya (PMW); 200 - 1. T. Adesanya (PMW) 27.49, 2. K. Jones (PMW), 3. J. Davis (PMW); 400 - 1. Melissa Russo (PV) 1:04.65, 2. Steph Palmer (PV), 3. K. Flaherty (PMW); 800 - 1. Melissa Russo (PV) 2:33.87, 2. Kaitlyn Smith (PV), 3. S. Donnelly (PMW); 1600 - 1. Sam Young (PV) 5:54.7, 2. Kaitlyn Smith (PV), 3. S. Dunham (PMW); 3200 - 1. Sam Young (PV) 13:38, 2. S. Dunham (PMW), 3. Abigail Kaspszyk (PV); 100H - 1. R. Benitez (PMW) 15.62, 2. Harley Carre DeJesus (PV), 3. Emily Melese (PV); 300H - 1. Abby Roselli (PV) 52.72, 2. N. Jiminez (PMW), 3. Emily Mieles (PV); 400 Relay - 1. PM West (Benitez, Branch, Jones, Davis) 51.41; 1600 - 1. Pleasant Valley (Smith, Russo, Palmer, Mickens) 4:20; 3200 Relay - 1. Pleasant Valley (Young, Kaspszyk, Biechy, Mickens) 10:35.49; Shot Put - 1. Catherine Stephens (PV) 28-5 1/2, 2. J. Boutieller (PMW), 3. Danielle Maier (PV); Discus - 1. J. Boutieller (PMW) 74-7, 2. Ariel McDuffy (PV), 3. Jessica Reissig (PV); Javelin - 1. T. Williams (PMW) 86-9, 2. Kennedy Sheeley (PV), 3. Katie Frinzi (PV); Long Jump - 1. R. Benitez (PMW) 17 1/2, 2. Jessica Lewis (PV), 3. M. Branch (PMW); Triple Jump - 1. R. Benitez (PMW) 36-5, 2. N. Jiminez (PMW), 3. Jessica Lewis (PV); High Jump - 1. N. Jiminez (PMW) 5-2, 2. Courtney Miller (PV), 3. Danielle Maier (PV); Pole Vault - 1. Courtney Burger (PV) 7-0, 2. A. Fink (PMW), 3. Abby Roselli (PV).
Pleasant Valley 104, PM West 37
100 - 1. Matt Sheehan (PV) 11.22, 2. Austyn Borre (PV), 3. Tony Bell (PV); 200 - 1. Austyn Borre (PV) 23.37, 2. Matt Sheehan (PV), 3. S. McCray (PMW); 400 - 1. Jack Wathen (PV) 54.06, 2. L. Williams (PMW), 3. I. Moodie (PMW); 800 - 1. Jack Wathen (PV) 2:12.18, 2. Matt Natale (PV), 3. Alex Larkin (PV); 1600 - 1. Alex Larkin (PV) 4:46.5, 2. C. McClane (PMW), 3. Pat Rimple (PV); 3200 - 1. Mason Buskirk (PV) 10:54.69, 2. E. Vaillancourt (PMW), 3. C. Weiss (PMW); 110H - 1. Steven Maas (PV) 16.34, 2. Greg Daly (PV), 3. P. Scherman (PMW); 300H - 1. Nyiem Nevarez (PV) 41.99, 2. Mike Masullo (PV), 3. J. Raymond (PMW); 400 Relay - 1. Pleasant Valley (Borre, Bell, Leika, Sheehan) 44.49; 1600 Relay - 1. PM West (Williams, Raymond, Spencer, Jones) 3:43.75; 3200 Relay - 1. Pleasant Valley (Samuels, Natale, Fulcomer, Phillips) 8:47.62; Shot Put - 1. Dakota Everett (PV) 41-8, 2. M. Shelter (PMW), 3. Noah Bard (PV); Discus - 1. Dakota Everett (PV) 120-2, 2. K. Walker (PMW), 3. Mike Wasco (PV); Javelin - 1. Brandon Leap (PV) 157-0, 2. M. Shelter (PMW, 3. C. Tice (PMW); Long Jump - 1. Kevin Cruz (PV) 20-3 1/2, 2. Nyiem Nevarez (PV), 3. M. Tardine (PMW); Triple Jump - 1. Jalil Aldridge (PV) 42-5, 2. Max Orsot (PV), 3. P. Scherman (PMW); High Jump - 1. Demetri Jones (PV) 5-8, T2. Nick Shahin (PV), T2. M. Jardine (PMW); Pole Vault - 1. M. Jardine (PMW) 12-6, 2. Zach Fulls (PV), 3. Kevin Cruz (PV).