Greater Pittston athletes Bellucci, Walsh earn PIAA cross country medals

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch

HERSHEY – Wyoming Valley Conference girls were shut out from medals at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Cross Country Championships Nov. 4, but the District 2 medalists included runners from Jenkins Township and Old Forge who run at Lackawanna League private schools.

Scranton Prep junior Mia Bellucci from Jenkins Township and Holy Cross senior Lexi Walsh from Old Forge followed up their District 2 individual and team championships 10 days earlier by earning state medals with their performances on the Hershey Parkview Course.

The top 25 runners in each race earn medals. Bellucci and Walsh easily fit into that group.

Bellucci finished 11th out of 237 runners in the Class 2A race, completing the 3.1-mile course in 19:32. While earning her first state medal, she led Scranton Prep to a fifth-place finish out of 19 teams.

Walsh returned from missing the 2016 postseason with mononucleosis. Three days after committing to run at Temple University, where she will study kinesiology, Walsh finished fifth out of 227 Class A runners in 19:18.

“I was in third to fifth for the majority of the race,” Walsh said. “I kept going back and forth.

“Sophomore year, I medaled in eighth, so I was just hoping to get better than that.”

Walsh helped Holy Cross finish eighth as a team. In her sophomore year, she led the Lady Crusaders to fourth place, but they just missed a state trip without her last season.

Pittston Area sophomore Nicole Zambetti competed in the Class 3A race. She finished 147th out of 212 in 21:04.

By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at