Patriots knock off defending boys track champions

By Paul Sokoloski - - and Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch
- Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
- Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

YATESVILLE – Look out, Wyoming Valley Conference.

The Pittston Area boys track and field team is on the move and charging hard.

And fast.

Naseem Guillaume won in four events Wednesday, Alex Haas won three and the Patriots stunned defending Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 champion Hazleton Area, 91-59 in a season opener at Charley Trippi Stadium.

“A lot of teams will be surprised,” Guillaume said. “A lot of team are in for a shock.”

No stunners on the girls side.

Pittston Area’s returning state silver medalist pole vaulter Abby Norwillo got off to a record-setting start in earning four victories, Nicole Zambetti matched her with four wins and the Patriots easily pulled away for a 103-47 victory to open defense of a Division 1 title they captured last season.

“I think it was a pretty good start to the season,” said Norwillo, who won the pole vault, long jump, triple jump and as a member of the 400-meter relay team.

The Pittston Area boys made a pretty good statement.

On a day when wind chills dipped into the low 30s, the Patriots warmed up quickly and never slowed down.

Guillaume led a Pittston Area points sweep in the hurdles by winning the 110 and 300 and helped pace the winning 400 and 1,600 relays to victory. Meanwhile, Haas ran with him on the 400 relay and bolted to victory in the 100 and 200 sprints.

“We were strong coming out,” Guillaume said. “All day, I was thinking, ‘We can beat them.’ I think I did pretty well in all four of my events. I was most impressed with how our hurdles finished. I’m happy how everybody worked as an overall team.”

Pittston Area picked up a win from Hunter Kraklio in the 800 and on a relay as they shot to success just about everywhere on the track.

The Patriots even dominated in field events — a perceived weak point entering the season after graduating state medalist high jumper Paul Moska and steady thrower Pat Mitchell.

Instead, Pittston Area scored points with five places in the throwing events and freshman Anthony Thomas won the pole vault.

“This is a huge win,” said Pittston Area boys coach Jason Mills, whose team went 5-2 last season to finish in third place in the WVC. “It’s so nice to see these kids, who are good kids, have all those years of hard work starting to pay off.”

Meanwhile, Norwillo paid a visit to a familiar height.

She cleared 12-6 on opening day, which was the same height she hit in her final successful try of the 2017 outdoor track season that took her to second place in the state at the PIAA championships.

“She’s starting off right where she left off,” Pittston Area girls coach Joe Struckus said.

And Norwillo doesn’t plan to stop there.

“I definitely do know there’s big things to come,” Norwillo, a senior and two-time PIAA pole vault medalist, said. “I’ve hit 13 (feet) a couple times during indoor season. That’s something to look for. I want to shoot for where I can get to a 14-foot bar, at least just to be in the 13 range. It was nice to start with a nice, solid jump. I’m definitely happy with 12-6.”

She was pretty pleased with her performance on other areas of the track.

Norwillo’s winning triple jump of 35-1 was her personal best, and she won the long jump with a leap of 17-3, which matched her previous best effort. Norwillo also ran a leg on the winning 400 relay.

“I jumped pretty close to my PR (personal records) in the long and triple, the handoffs went smooth in the four-by-one,” Norwillo said.

Her sophomore sister Olivia Norwillo ran with her on the 400 relay, and picked up a second win in the 100 dash. Zambetti took care of the middle distance, winning the 800 and 1,600 runs and teaming on the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relays to help the Patriots glide to the girls victory.


Wyoming Valley West 90

Wyoming Area

Wyoming Valley West spoiled Wyoming Area’s season opener in a WVC Division 1 meet Wednesday.


Wyoming Valley West 79

Wyoming Area 67

Shelby Stackhouse won the high jump and pole vault while Madelyn Resciniti won the shot put and discus for Wyoming Area in Wednesday’s season-opening loss.


Wyoming Area 3

Wyoming Valley West 2

Nick Perry pulled out a three-set singles win and Wyoming Area swept doubles during Wednesday’s WVC victory.


Wyoming Area 11

Carbondale 4

Brad Barletta did not allow a hit in four innings for Wyoming Area in Wednesday’s non-league win.

C.J. Rome went 2-for-2 and drove in three runs.

Wyoming Area 9

Wallenpaupack 4

C.J. Rome had a single, double and three RBI in Monday’s non-league win.

Wyoming Area pitchers combined to strike out 12. Cole Coolbaugh had four of the strikeouts in two scoreless innings.


Wyoming Area 12

Nort hwest 5

Brianna Pizzano was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI Monday to lead Wyoming Area to the non-league win.

Kristi Skok had a single, double, three runs scored and three RBI. Kari Melberger and Nicole Silinskie also had a single and double while Jess Parente had two singles. McKeag | Sunday Dispatch McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

By Paul Sokoloski

and 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