DALLAS – Nicole Zambetti looked at the clock as much as the competition around her as she started her second season of high school cross country.
The Pittston Area sophomore moved up one position and shaved 14 seconds off her time from a year ago in the Cliff Robbins Invitational Sept. 2 at Misericordia University’s Letterkenny Field.
“My goal today was to beat my time that I did last season,” said Zambetti, who accomplished that while finishing eighth out of 170 runners in the varsity girls race by completing the 3.1-mile course in 21:01.
Montrose sophomore Hannah Perkins won the race. The other six runners ahead of Zambetti were all juniors and seniors.
“We’ve all been working hard at practice and I think that helped me,” Zambetti said.
The season-opener is designed as an individual-only competition with no team awards given out. Unofficial team scores are generated, however, by the meet’s automated scoring through runhigh.com and showed that Pittston Area would have placed eighth and Wyoming Area ninth out of the 16 full girls teams that competed.
Freshman Shawna Rodzinak was 32nd and Mary Silinskie was 43rd for the Lady Patriots.
Wyoming Area, which showed better balance among its five runners, was led by freshman Aubrianna Marranca in 37th. Gwen Glatz was 41st and Olivia Kwiatkowski 58th.
Pittston Area’s Dom Angradi, making his cross country debut, and Wyoming Area freshman Michael Brantley, running on the varsity level for the first time, each finished in the top one-third of the boys field while leading their teams.
Angradi, a junior who has run in track in the spring, finished in 19:12 to place 44th out of 233 runners in the varsity boys race. Teammate Nathan Ridgely was 60th.
Brantley placed 73rd.
Pittston Area freshman Allan Williams and Wyoming Area eighth-grader Grant Smith came in one second apart in 15th and 16th place in the 181-runner junior high boys field.
Wyoming Area seventh-grader Madison Day was 45th out of 151 entries in the junior high girls race.