SCOTT TWP. – Nicole Zambetti covered the 3.1-mile course at Lakeland High School in 21:08.
The Pittston Area sophomore spent almost as much time on the ground near the finish line Oct. 25, recovering while hoping to learn her performance in the District 2-4 Class 3A Subregional race was good enough.
“I wasn’t sure because I was in seventh,” Zambetti said. “I just tried not to have it on my mind.”
Coach Joe Struckus delivered the news that Zambetti had qualified to run in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Cross Country Championship Championships, which were held in Hershey Saturday.
The championship team plus the five best individual finishers from other teams in the race got to finish their season in Hershey.
Once it was clear that Abington Heights was team champion, with two runners in front of Zambetti, that made her the seventh-place finish good for the fifth and final individual qualifying spot.
“This was my goal my whole entire year of cross country,” Zambetti said. “I’m very, very excited.”
Zambetti was the only Greater Pittston runner to earn a District 2 medal or qualify for the state meet.
Pittston Area finished fifth of seven teams in the race, losing a sixth-runner tiebreaker to Delaware Valley after both teams had scored 98 points with the first five runners.
Abington Heights, with 36 points, and its lead runner, Katie Dammer, ran away with the titles.
Pittston Area was part of a tight pack of four teams from second to fifth place. Williamsport edged Wallenpaupack, 84-86, for second place.
Shawna Rodzinak and Genny English were 18th and 19th out of 53 runners. Bailey Loyack was 24th and Mary Silinskie 30th to complete the Lady Patriots team score.
The Pittston Area boys competed, along with Wyoming Area, in the District 2 Class 2A race, which was won by Dallas and its top runner, Jack Zardecki.
Pittston Area finished 11th out of 18 teams while Wyoming Area was 15th.
Nathan Ridgley placed 30th and Dom Angradi 37th to lead the Patriots.
Michael Branley was the top finisher for the Warriors, coming in 48th in the 132-runner field.
Wyoming Area was ninth out of 14 teams in Class 2A girls.
Aubrianna Marranca led the way, finishing 50th out of 102. Gwen Glatz was 53rd and Sarah Holweg was 60th.
Mia Bellucci was the individual winner, leading Scranton Prep to the team title.