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On This Date (April 28, 2006): Raider girls first at PGI

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Since May of 1999, the Times News Sports Department has featured an On This Date practically every day, highlighting an event that happened in the past. With the coronavirus putting a halt to sports locally and nationally, the On This Dates have been expanded to the stories that actually ran in the next day’s newspaper. Today’s On This Date story is from April 28, 2006).

By Joe Plasko


PINE GROVE - Having the Senior Prom on the same night as a track and field meet would seriously deplete many teams, but it didn’t prevent the Tamaqua girls from capturing the Pine Grove Invitational for the second year in a row.

Despite being shorthanded, the Lady Raiders won eight events to outlast second-place Juniata 114-103 for the team title on the Cardinals’ all-weather surface Friday night.

On the boys side, host Pine Grove edged Juniata by a single points, 103-102. Jim Thorpe’s Joe Garland won the long jump for the only TIMES NEWS area first place in the boys meet.

The Tamaqua girls were without some key performers in the distance and jumping events, but the Raiders’ sprinters picked up the slack.

Junior Erika Barron and sophomore Lauren Wenzel each had a hand in four first places, while sophomore Casey Wagner was involved in three firsts and a second.

“Wow, that’s nuts,” said Tamaqua coach Tom Kanger, whose squad won the Class AA team title at the Mount Carmel Invitational last week. “Prom Night is crazy, and we were missing some people, plus our 4x800 had problems early and got disqualified. A couple of others stepped up for us.”

Barron edged out soph teammate Megan Inama to win the 100 meter dash in 12.98, then added a first place in the 400 at 1:03.6.

“That’s the first time I went under 13 seconds in the 100, and it made up for a bad start in the trails,” said Barron, whose 100 time were new meet and stadium records. “When Megan and I run together, we really push each other.”

Wenzel also had a superb performance, setting a new meet and stadium mark in winning the 200 in 26.92 and also taking gold in the 300 intermediate hurdles in 49.26.

“I’m pretty happy with that, but those times can be better,” said Wenzel. “I’m hoping to get back in the 47’s in the hurdles so I can get back to states, and I want my 200 in the lower 26’s.”

Wenzel normally runs the 100 meter hurdles as well, but Kanger noted she asked to be pulled from that race in order to run another event.

That turned out to be the 4x400, where Wenzel anchored the quartet that also included Barron, Wagner and Jaime Price to first place in a meet and stadium record time of 4:19.

The Raider 4x100 also won and included Barron, Inama, Wagner and Wenzel, with that foursome setting a new meet record of 52.8.

Inama and Wagner added firsts in the field events. Inama’s leap of 15-7 won the long jump, breaking the meet record and tying the stadium mark. Inama also added a fourth place in the 200.

Wagner captured the javelin with a heave of 124 feet, nine inches, which broke the old Tamaqua school record of 123-9, set by Debbi Dicarlo in 1989.

“I never threw the javelin before this year,” said Wagner, who also placed second in the 800 meters at 2:32. “I got the record on my fourth throw.”

Other placewinners for the Raiders were Carolyn Bobyak, who placed fourth in the discus (92-6) and fifth in the shot put (32-2 1/2); Shannon Hoben, fourth in the 3200 (12:56); Price, fifth in the 400 (1:05.22); Corynn Wehr, fifth in the 800 (2:40.5); and Jess Bealer, fifth in the long jump (13-11).

The Jim Thorpe girls, who placed ninth with 25 points, were led by Lindsey Mistretta’s second in the 400 (1:04.56). Ashley Klotz was fifth in the high jump, as was the 4x800 team, while Alexis Villaneuva was sixth in the javelin.

Garland wins gold

Jim Thorpe’s Garland, a sophomore, won the long jump competition with a leap of 19-2 1/4 on his final attempt.

“I had jumped 19-2 before that and knew I needed something better than I did before,” said Garland, who was seeded second and whose personal best is just shy of 20 feet at 19-11 1/2.

The Olympians, who finished in seventh place with 27 points, also got thirds from Josh Hontz in the high jump (5-10) and Matt Taylor in the 1600 (5:00), plus a fourth from its 4x400 and a sixth from its 4x100.

The Tamaqua boys, eighth with 24.5 points, were without star point earners Derrick Keich, Isaac Dunkelberger and Nate King and were led by Aaron Bonner’s second place in the 800 (2:04). Jared Beers finished third in the 110 hurdles (15.8) and sixth in the high jump (5-8), and Travis Pitts finished fifth in the 100 (11.45). The Raiders’ 4x100 of Chad Muffley, Steve Clemson, Bryant Butala and Pitts placed third in 45.86, while the Raiders 4x400 finished fifth.

Tamaqua's Lauren Wenzel had two individual firsts and was part of two relay wins at the 2006 Pine Grove Invitational. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO