SCRANTON — Two familiar faces again paraded to the top step of the medal stand to lead the Abington Heights girls track and field team in their swan song.
The program that hasn’t lost a dual meet in 13 years, however, also got a glimpse into the future with contributions from underclassmen.
Getting their usual performances from the gold-medal combination of Calista Marzolino and Danielle Heine, and one from freshman Gianna Sabatini, the Lady Comets scored 108.83 points for their fourth straight championship at the District 2 Class 3A Championships on Thursday night at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
“It was really nice to get out there and set some new personal records,” Marzolino said. “And to know I made it to states four straight years is pretty cool.”
Wallenpaupack had two athletes — Mackenzie Turner and Anastasia Ioppolo — set meet records to also highlight the meet. The Lady Buckhorns finished second with 74 team points, while Delaware Valley was third with 55.
For the second straight season, Marzolino, who is headed to Lehigh University, won the 100 hurdles and the high jump. She darted away from the field for a time of 15.35 seconds in the hurdles, and cleared a spring season-best 5-5 in the high jump.
“I carried the momentum of the hurdles into the high jump,” said Marzolino, who also finished second to Ioppolo in the long jump at 17-7½ and added a third in the triple jump. “And then it even carried into the long jump where I hit a personal best.”
In the pole vault, Heine, who is going to the University of New Hampshire, cleared 11-6 to win the event for the first time after back-to-back third-place finishes.
She will head to the state meet for the fourth straight season. Last spring, Heine finished with a fifth-place medal.
“There is something to be said about qualifying for states all for years, but there is really something special about winning the gold,” said Heine, who also placed fourth in the long jump at her final district meet. “I never expected to get the title. The competition in this district has always been stacked.
“Winning is the icing on top.”
And Sabatini, who just started running the 800 at mid-season, built a big lead on the first leg of the race and stayed strong on her way to a time of 2:17.58.
The newcomer also ran as part of the 3,200 relay with freshman Allison Dammer, sophomore Elyse Simakaski and senior Hannah Hughes. The group opened the meet with a gold medal in a time of 9:48.62.
“It was really exciting for me and for the whole team,” Sabatini said. “To see everything come together and all the work pay off at the district meet is pretty good.”
Abington Heights senior Antonio Maletta split the hurdles races in his showdown with Meyers’ Nazir Dunell.
Meyers moved up from 2A to 3A this season, and Dunell, last season’s PIAA champion in the 110 hurdles answered the challenge from Maletta with a gold-medal time of 14.39 seconds.
Maletta was second in a personal-best time of 14.54 and both are headed to the state meet.
Then, in the 300 hurdles, Maletta evened it up by edging Dunell at the finish despite stumbling in after a collision with the final barrier.
“Obviously, I came in and wanted to do my best competing against an amazing hurdler,” said Maletta, who clocked in at 39.34, just ahead of Dunell’s 39.80. “Me and him, just competed. He had PR’s (personal records) in his events, and I had a PR in the 110 hurdles. Both guys got something out of this, and that is why I like track.
“It’s going to be great having two athletes representing District 2 in both hurdles events.”
ABINGTON HEIGHTS DISTRICT 2 RESULTS
3200 Relay: Abington Heights, first (Allison Dammer, Elyse Simakaski, Gianna Sabatini, Hannah Hughes) 9:48.62; Triple: Third, Calista Marzolino (AH) 36-0.25; Pole: First, Danielle Heine (AH) 11-6; 100 Hurdles: First, Calista Marzolino (AH) 15.35; Sixth, Mariel Curra (AH) 17.19; High: First, Calista Marzolino (AH) 5-5; T-eighth, Anna Scoblick (AH) 4-9; 400 Relay: Third, Abington Heights 51.85; 300 Hurdles: T-fourth, Anna Scoblick (AH) 49.24; sixth, Anna Marchetta (AH) 49.49; 800: First, Gianna Sabatini (AH) 2:17.58; Fifth, Hannah Hughes (AH) 2:25.01; Seventh, Elyse Simakaski (AH) 2:26.89; Long: Second, Calista Marzolino (AH) 17-7.5; Fourth, Danielle Heine (AH) 17-5.75; 3200: Third, Abigail Marion (AH) 11:58.66; Seventh, Modupe Osuntokun (AH) 12:20.82; Shot: Fifth, Adele Hollander (AH) 33-0; 1600 Relay: Third, Abington Heights 4:07.48;
3200 Relay: Second, Abington Heights 8:29.84; Discus: Second, Ryan Flynn (AH) 146-8; 110 Hurdles: Second, Antonio Maletta (AH) 14.54; 1600: Third, Stephen Haggerty (AH) 4:33.20; 300 Hurdles: First, Antonio Maletta (AH) 39.34; Third, Shervin Mokhtari (AH) 40.75; Pole: Seventh, Nick Klapatch (AH) 11-6; 800: Fourth, Ethan Mattox (AH) 2:02.79; 3200: Third, Stephen Haggerty (AH) 10:10.31; 1600 Relay: Second, Abington Heights 3:30.24