Lakeland Track and Field: Boys Program History

                       THE HISTORY OF LAKELAND BOYS’ TRACK AND FIELD 

           

            Beginning many years ago (1960), one of the most storied track and field programs took shape on an old, cinder oval around Crawford’s Field in Jermyn.  It has come a long way since.

 

 

            Lakeland has become synonymous with winning and championships.The white, red, and blue sash uniforms set standards for all Lackawanna Track Conference teams.

 

  

            In 1960, the Lakeland Lakers took to the track.  The team was made up of students from the jointure of Jermyn, Mayfield and Scott High Schools.  Members included Burrell Deats, Nelson Oakes, Lester Clark, Donald Race, Mike Dolan and Jeff Webb from the Scott School, and Allan Mensky, Robert Jones, John Jenkins, Donald Phillips, James Davis, Jerome Friedman and John Gerrity from the Jermyn School.  The team was coached by John R. Hogarth.  Interestingly, the track did not measure a full 440 yards and the athletes were posting times thought to be competitive at the district level, however, their times did not match up.  In a Tri-Meet that season, Bob Jones posted the only victory for the Lakers.  It came in the 880.

 

 

            Unfortunately, Scott withdrew from the jointure and the program was discontinued.  In the fall of 1974 the Lakeland High School opened, complete with an asphalt track that circled the football field.  In 1975, Ray Caucci was hired as the head boys’ track coach.  That year the team had a 3-3 record.  Team members included Jack Kaufman (800 meter), Lenny Virbitsky (hurdles), Joe Burgio (400 meter), Kevin Clauss (PV), Bobby Wilmot (hurdles and jumps), Billy Gilbert (1600 and 3200 meter), Fred Brunori (hurdles), Gordon Podhyski (sprints), Ralph Emmitt (javelin), Ed Krzan (throws) and Matt Allan (400 meter and jumps). 

 

 

             In 1976, the Lakeland Chiefs program was taken over by Dominick “Nick” Romanini.  Some of the team members were Joe Burgio (middle distance), Billy Gilbert (distance) and Tony Virbitsky (hurdles).

 

         1976 Chiefs

 

             It took only four seasons for the Chiefs to become champions.  In 1980, the Chiefs ran away with their first Lackawanna Class AA Jordan Relays and Lackawanna Conference Meet titles.  Some of the stars of that team included PIAA medal winner Bob Speicher, who dominated the sprints.  He won sixth place State medals in the 200 and 400 meter dashes.  Other standouts include Randy Matours (hurdles), John Rolka (throws), Vince Burgio (middle distance and high jumps), Mike and Pat Kraky (middle distance), Tony Rusnak (throws and pole vault), Tom Virbitsky (distance) and Al Wanas (jumps).

   1980 Chiefs 

1980 Chiefs

      With many of their standouts returning, the Chiefs were a powerhouse in 1981.  Bob Speicher blistered his way to four gold medals at the District 2 Class AA championships.  He went on to become the first Lakeland athlete to capture a gold medal at the PIAA State meet, winning the 400 in 48.99 seconds.  That school record still stands and may never be touched. Surprisingly, Rominini stepped down as coach; but, the Chiefs were not done winning.

 

              In 1982, Phil Tochelli took over.  While team success was not immediate after a 5-4 record, the best was yet to come.  Still in that first season, there were some highlights as Mark Prebich won district gold in the 110 and 300 hurdles.  John Rolka struck gold in the shot put and Tom Virbitsky won silver in the 1,600.  Mark Prebich went on to place fifth in the 300 hurdles and Rolka was fifth in the shot at the State meet.

 

            One year later, Lakeland began its historic march through the Lackawanna Track Conference.  The Chiefs shared the 1983 Lackawanna AA title with Scranton Prep.  It would be the first of seven consecutive championships won by the program under Phil Tochelli. During this stretch, the team won 51 consecutive dual meets, a Lackawanna Track Championship record.  They would also go on to win three Jordan Relays and four Lackawanna Conference Meet Championships from 1983 to 1989.  The program produced some of the most outstanding athletes that ever competed in the Lackawanna Conference and District II. 

The following happened during the Chief's dominant 83-89 span.

                          Tom Prawdzik (Throws), a Penn State football recruit, dominated the throwing events, winning six gold medals and a silver in the shot and discus at the District meet for his career.  Prawdzik set the LTC record in the shot put and was undefeated for three years in the league in his two events. His personal individual dual meet record was 63-2 in his two events. At the State Championships, Tom Prawdzik finished with four career medals.  He is a member of the Lakeland Hall of Fame.

                          Joby Fawcett (Hurdles/Sprints/Jumps) won eight district gold medals.  He was the winner of the first two All-Region Track Performer of the Year awards.  Fawcett won three straight scoring championships and set Lackawanna Track Conference and the school record in the 110 hurdles at 14.0, which still stands.  He finished with three individual medals at the state meet, including a silver in the 110 hurdles, a bronze in the 200 and a sixth in the 100.  He was ranked third nationally in the 110H behind future NFL receiver Qadry Ismail and future Olympian Michael Bates.  He set 5 school records in his career and held three District 2 junior high records in the 100, 200 and 110 hurdles.  As of 2011, the 110H JH district record still stands.  He never placed worst than second in his varsity career in any event.  He is a member of the Lakeland Hall of Fame.

                          Blain Fawcett (Jumps/Hurdles) set a school record in the triple jump and the LTC record for most points in a single season (176 -- nine meets), breaking his brother Joby's record of 158 in eight meets. Fawcett also went on to perform at Bucknell University where he earned 8 varsity letters in indoor and outdoor track, and was a Patriot League champion in the Javelin. 

                          Frank Krantz (Pole Vault/Jumps) set a LTC record in the pole vault (14-6) and school record in the triple jump in his senior year.  Krantz went on to be an NCAA champion at Susquehanna University where he is a member of the school's Hall of Fame.  

                         Other team stars include sprinter Greg Hine who had a four gold medal winning meet as a junior in 1985.  He finished with six golds in his career and won a fifth at the state meet in the 400.  Frank Calautti (sprints), Bob Kropiewnicki (middle distance), Bob Jones (middle distance), Bill Conway (hurdles), Carmen Meo (distance) and Angelo Mottola (pole vault) all had outstanding careers and were the lifeline of the 51 meet winning streak. This era of Lakeland Track was not just one of the most dominant TRACK teams in this area's history, but one of the most dominant SPORTS teams this area has or will ever see.  

                       

               In 1990, Dunmore ended Lakeland’s 51 meet win streak.  But, Lakeland avenged that loss by winning the District II AA team championship later that season.  The Chiefs won three gold medals, including Don Mosley (pole vault), Jon Prawdzik (javelin) and Tom Mark (400).  The Chiefs also won five silver and three bronze medals to secure the title.

 

            For the next two years, despite having many outstanding athletes, Lakeland was not able to dethrone Dunmore as the AA Lackawanna Conference champions.  In 1991, the Chiefs had four gold medal winners at the District II meet.  Jon Prawdzik (javelin and discus), Don Mosley (pole vault) and the 400 relay team of Mike Krisa, Joe Lawler, Nate Gilroy and Dave Wallinger.  The team captured the Jordan Relays Championship and Jon Prawdzik earned a sixth place medal at the State Meet.  In 1992, however, Lakeland won only one District II medal when Bill Smith won the bronze in the discus. But it would not be the end for this program. 

 

            Starting a new era in 1993, the Chiefs regained the Lackawanna Conference AA Championship and they would not relinquish it for fourteen years. At the District level, Lakeland had only one gold medal winner, Kevin MacGregor in the javelin. The team also won one silver and four bronze medals. MacGregor went on to win a silver medal in the javelin at the state meet. 

           

            The 1994 season had new challenges.  The asphalt track, desperate for repairs, was dug up and not ready for the season.  The team practiced in the parking lot and ran all of their meets away.  Undaunted, Lakeland still managed to win the Lackawanna Conference AA and the Jordan Relay Championships.  However, the team managed only one gold medal at the District Meet, a first place in the discus by Greg Caucci, along with one silver and two bronze.

 

           

            In 1995 Lakeland earned two gold medals at the District Meet.  Mike Scone in the 1600 meter and Greg Caucci in the discus.  Athletes also earned three silver and five bronze medals at the District Meet.  Hurdler Peter Seymour went on to earn a fifth place medal in the 110 hurdles at the State Meet. This season was the start of Lakeland's second 51 meet win streak.

 

           

            In 1996, even though they won the Lackawanna Conference championship and continued the win streak, the Chiefs were able to win only four medals at the District Meet, two silver and two bronze.

           

 

            Determined to win the District Meet, the 1997 team worked and developed a piercing focus.  Throwers Joe Obloshny, Mike Kutch and Ben Cole, along with sprinters, Jamie Machiesky, Dave Hilling, Gary Anderson and hurdler Alan Bowerman led the Chiefs. At the District Meet, the throwers, coached by Tom Prawdzik, dominated, winning one gold, three silver and one bronze.  Along with hurdler, Mike Selevenis (silver 110 H), Dave Thomas (silver HJ) and a silver in the 1600 and 400 relays and a bronze in the 3200 relay, the Chiefs won the District AA Team Championship in dominating fashion, scoring 188 points.  Joe Obloshny went on to win the bronze medal in the javelin at the State Meet, Jamie Machiesky an eighth place State medal in the 400 dash and the 1600 relay team of Dave Wilcha, Dave Hilling, Alan Bowerman and Jamie Machiesky took a fourth place State medal.

 

           

            In 1998, the win streak continued.  After dominating the league yet again, some wondered if Lakeland would ever lose.  These Chiefs were impressive. Led again by a strong group of throwers, Joe Obloshny (gold shot and javelin and silver discus), Justin Kucharski (bronze shot) and Mike Kutch (gold discus) the Chiefs were able to repeat as District AA Champions with 124 points.  Dave Thomas (silver high jump), Brian Vanderburg (bronze 1600 meter), Nick Laurito (bronze 800 meter), Ryan Nolan (gold 110 H and silver 300 H) and Alan Bowerman (bronze 300 H) all contributed to the team total. At the State Meet, Joe Obloshny won a gold medal in the javelin with a heave of 226 feet, 5 inches, and added a seventh place in the discus.  Mike Kutch also earned a bronze medal in the discus at the State Meet. The win streak continued.  

         

            In 1999, Lakeland's second 51 meet win streak was ended with a loss to North Pocono.  District II awarded medals to the top six finishers and the Chiefs took home more than their share.  Lakeland won three gold medals, including Ryan Nolan in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles and Justin Kucharski in the shot put.  They earned enough points from other top finishers (Brian Vanderburg, silver 800 meter, Justin Kucharski, silver discus, Julius Burden, Bronze high jump and fifth place 110 H, Chris Mack, bronze Pole Vault, Darius Salko, fourth place pole vault and Gary Anderson, sixth place 100 meter), along with a bronze medal in the 3200 meter relay (Brian Vanderburg, Sam Seymour, Ryan Surace and Keith Wormuth) and a bronze in the 1600 meter relay (Brian Vanderburg, Ryan Surace, Keith Wormuth and Ryan Nolan) to three peat as District AA Champions.  Ryan Nolan went on to win an eighth place State medal in the 300 hurdles. 

           

            In 2000, seniors Ryan Nolan, Brian Vanderburg and Julius Burden led the Chiefs at the District Meet to give the Chiefs their fourth consecutive team Championship.  Ryan Nolan (gold 110 H, silver 300 H), Brian Vanderburg (gold 800 meter) were joined by Keith Wormuth and Luke Croop to earn the gold in the 1600 meter relay.  Other top performances included Julius Burden (silver high jump), Dom Esgro (silver javelin), Keith Wormuth (bronze 800 meter), Steve Wasch (bronze 200 meter, 4th place 100 meter), Bobby Machiesky (6th 200 meter), Justin Roberts (6th pole vault) and Luke Croop (6th place 110 H) along with 5th  place finishes in both the 400 meter and the 3200 meter relays.  At the State Meet, Ryan Nolan won bronze in the 110 H and 5th place in the 300 H, and joined Brian Vanderburg, Keith Wormuth and Luke Croop to win the 5th place medal in the 1600 relay.

 

            The 2001 season brought a large number of returning athletes both on the track and in the field, giving the Chiefs high hopes of success. At the District Meet, Lakeland managed to win only one gold medal, Steve Wasch in the 200.  However, Lakeland athletes won four silver (Steve Wasch, 100 meter, Bobby Machiesky, 400 meter, Keith Wormuth, 800 meter, and Justin Roberts, pole vault), four bronze (Luke Croop, 110 H and 300 H, Shaun Kazmierski, discus and Dom Esgro, javelin) two fifth place and one sixth place individual medals.  To show the overall strength of the team, Lakeland’s relays won silver in the 1600 relay (Keith Wormuth, Luke Croop, Bobby Machiesky and Jon Rogan), silver in the 3200 relay (Keith Wormuth, Jon Rogan, Dave Machiesky and Jason Tochelli), and bronze in the 400 relay (Shaun Kazmierski, Steve Wasch, Bobby Machiesky and Brian Hilling).  The team effort enabled Lakeland to win their fifth consecutive District Team Title.  At the State Meet, Steve Wasch won the 8th place medal in the 200 and the 400 meter relay took 8th place. 

          

             With the return of several key performers, the Chiefs entered the 2002 season with high expectations.  With Steve Wasch leading the sprinters, and Bobby and Dave Machiesky leading the middle distance runners, success looked like it would be forthcoming.  However, a hamstring injury to Wasch, who set a conference record in the 100 with a time of 10.53 seconds, hurt the team’s chances of repeating as champions.  However, Bobby Machiesky took over in the sprints and dominated. An outstanding team effort led by Bobby Machiesky (gold, 200 meter, 400 meter, silver, 100 meter), Dave Machiesky (gold, 800 meter) kept the Chiefs in the hunt for the team title.  Bobby Machiesky teamed with T. J. Turpack, John Wormuth and Dave Machiesky to win gold in the 1600 relay.  Dave Machiesky teamed with Jason Tochelli, Josh Pregnar and Kevin Bandru to upset favored Scranton Prep and Blue Ridge to win gold in the 3200 relay.  Fourth place finishes by Justin Roberts (pole vault) and 400 relay team (Brian Hilling, Tony Prudente, Steve Wasch, and T. J. Turpack) fifth place finishes by John Wormuth (400 meter and javelin) and sixth place finish by John Robinson (triple jump) enabled the Chiefs to win their sixth consecutive District title.  Bobby Machiesky went on to win the eighth place medal at the State Meet and the 1600 meter to relay team placed fourth.

          

 

 

                In 2003, the Chiefs won one of the closest and competetitve meets in the history of the league against the heavily favored Wallenpaupack Buckhorns.  This win locked up the league title.  At the District Meet, the Chiefs won four gold medals; Joe Tuzze (shot put),  Jon Robinson (triple jump), Dave Machiesky (800 meter) and the 1600 meter relay (TJ Turpack, Jon Machiesky, Tony Prudente, Dave Machiesky), two silver (John Wormuth, javelin and shot put), three bronze (John Wormuth, discus and 400 meter and Jon Machiesky, 300 H), four fourth place (J. Machiesky, 110 H, Tony Prudente, 200 meter, Kevin Bandru, 1600 meter and the 400 meter relay), and a fifth place (Tony Prudente, 100 meter).  The effort was not enough, as the Chiefs finished second to Meyers, no small feat in that Meyers is a perennial powerhouse.  At the State Meet John Wormuth took the silver in the javelin, Dave Machiesky took bronze in the 800 meter, and the 1600 relay (T.J. Turpack, Tony Prudente, John Wormuth, Dave Machiesky) took silver running the fastest time ever by a Lackawanna Conference team in 3:19.83.  It was also the third fastest time ever run in AA state history. 

           

            

                

                The 2004 season saw the Chiefs repeat as Lackawanna Conference, Jordan Relay and Ice Breaker Relay champions.  At the District Meet, Lakeland athletes won three individual gold medals; Joe Tuzze, shot put, Tony Prudente, 400 meter and Jon Machiesky, 300 H, three silver; Jon Machiesky, 110 H, Nick Chaykosky, 300 H and Mark Bucklaw, 3200 meter, two bronze; Joe Tuzze, discus, Chris Borgna, javelin, three fourth place finishers; Tony Prudente, 200 meter, Wally Zabrowski (LJ and TJ), five fifth place; Tony Prudente, 100 meter, Chris Bennett, shot put, Travis Pregnar, 400 meter, Mark Bucklaw, 1600 meter and Kyle Lavery, Pole Vault.  In the relays both the 3200 meter, (Travis Pregnar, Charlie Mason, Tim Toolan and Craig Merkel) and the 400 meter relay (Joe Tuzze, Machiesky, Ryan Hughes and Nick Chaykosky) won silver medals.  Only a disqualification in the 1600 meter relay prevented the Chiefs from another gold medal. Even with the outstanding performance by the team, Lakeland again finished second to Meyers.  At the State Meet, John Machiesky won fourth place in the 110 H and sixth in the 300 H, Joe Tuzze took bronze in the shot put and fifth in the discus and Tony Prudente took fourth in the 400 meter.

    

         "We always have people coming after us.  This is Lakeland Track.  It's just like a job, you have to get it done."  

                -Jon Machiesky, Hurdler, 2004

           

              Graduation took several athletes from the program.  Heading into the 2005 season  many questions had to be answered for the Chiefs.  In surprising fashion, at the District Meet, Lakeland won eight gold medals, (Nick Chaykosky, 110 H and 300 H, Joe Tuzze, shot put and discus, Mark Bucklaw, 1600 meter and 3200 meter and freshman Drew Babcanec, 800 meter).  The 400 relay team of Joe Tuzze, Colin Striefsky, Ryan Hughes and Harry Curnow also won gold.  The team also won four bronze (Kyle Pepson, 1600, Kyle Lavery, High Jump, Colin Striefsky, 200 meter and 1600 meter relay team (Ed Anderson, Dominick Gravine, Tim Toolan and Drew Babcanec), fourth place medals won, included Harry Curnow, 100 meter and 200 meter, fifth place medals, Kyle Pepson, 3200 meter, Colin Striefsky, 100 meter and 3200 meter relay team (Tim Toolan, Drew Babcanec, Craig Merkel and Jeff Bachak).  With these outstanding performances, the Chiefs were able to win the District AA team championship for the ninth time in the program’s history. At the State Meet, Joe Tuzze took silver in the shot put and fourth place in the discus.

 

              The 2006 season ended with a tough loss to Wallenpaupack ending the Chiefs chances at a league title.  The team did rebound to win a 15th straight Jordan Relay title and the District II title.  At the district meet, Mark Bucklaw struck gold in the mile and the 3200 Relay team (Kyle Pepson, Craig Merkel, Drew Babcanec, Mark Bucklaw) dominated with a gold medal performance.  At the state meet, Bucklaw cruised to a 5th place medal and the 3200 team got a bronze.

 

           The 2007 season can be defined as a bittersweet season for head coach Phil Tochelli.  The team ran away with the AA League Title.  Unfortunatly the team could not keep their momentum going at The Jordan Relays. Scranton Prep ended the Chiefs 15 year run as Jordans Champions.  This did not stop the Chiefs from narrowly defeating Valley View at the District meet, which Tochelli won for the 11th time in his career.  Mark Bucklaw won gold in the Mile and paced the 3200 relay team (Bucklaw, Kyle Pepson, Ryan Arthur, and Drew Babcanec) to another gold medal.  Pepson and Babcanec took second and third in the 800Pepson set a new school record in the event with a 1:56.44. Vince Tuzze added a silver in the discus. At the state meet, Bucklaw outkicked the field in exciting fashion winning 3rd state title for the boys team in the mile in a school record of 4:20.03.  The 3200 Relay ran to a second place finish with a blistering school record of 7:57.49.  Another record that might never be erased.   Following the season, Tochelli announced his retirement, ending one of the most storied coaching careers in the history of the state.  Tom Prawdzik, who coached throws under Tochelli, was appointed head coach.  The 4th coach in the programs history.   

 

            The 2008 season ushered in a new era of lakeland track.  The team, with many returning stars from the previous season, sputtered to a 2-3-1 season.   Its first losing season in almost two decades.  The team was not short of talent however, winning the newly rejuvinated Lackawanna League Meet.  At the district meet, The 4x800 Team of Mike Lisowski, Ryan Arthur, Matt Kuglar, and Drew Babcanec gained a gold.  Babcanec added to his impressive resume by getting a silver in the 800mJustin Virbitsky added a bronze in the shot put.  Virbsitsky then teamed with Vince Tuzze to 1-2 the discus throw.  At the state meet, Babcanec added an 8th place in the 800m.

 

            In 2009, the team was plagued by low team numbers.  Going against AAA and AAAA schools, the Chiefs survived in the past by winning with their depth.  That depth was no longer there.  The team finished 1-5.  It's lowest win total since the 1970's.  The team had some individual talent.  Cory Phillips added 4th and silver medals (300H, 110H).  Al Tuzze continued his family's throwing event dominance with a gold in the shot put.  The Tuzze brothers of Al and Vince 1-3ed the discus.  Al taking the bronze and Vince taking the gold.  At the state meet, Vince Tuzze went out with a 6th place medal in the discus. 

 

            In 2010, the team was again hurt by low team numbers.  Unable to compete with the low numbers against the big school powers, the team went winless at 0-7.  At the district meet, Steve Munley earned a bronze in the 110H.  Al Tuzze struck gold in the shotput for the second straight year.  

 

            In 2011,  much of the same continued.   Ryan Nolan and Tony Prudente, two assistants who ran for the team in its glory years were brought in to try and help turn things around.  Although they coached the junior high team to a district title, they could not overcome the deficit in team members on the varsity level.  The team again went 0-7.  Overmatched in every meet, the team members that were still left worked extremely hard to try to turn things around.  At the district meet, Steve Munley added a 4th in the 110H, a 4th in the high jump, and a third in the triple jump.  Al Tuzze added a silver in the shot, ending one of the more successful throwing careers in district history.  

 

           After the 2011 season, a head coaching change was made.   Art Davis, a substitute teacher in the district and former Mid Valley and Millersville University runner, was appointed head coach.  The 5th in the school's history.  

 

           The 2012 season, guided by the heavy recruitment efforts of new head coach Art Davis and a huge influx of talent from the junior high level, brought the program back to a respectable status.  The team, wearing the old Lakeland sash uniforms, marched to a 4-3 record, a 2nd place in the jordan relays, a 3rd place at the Spagna Meet, and a 5th place at the district meet.  A group of talented underclassmen lead the effort at districts.  Freshman Mark Arzie grabbed a silver medal in the 800m after teaming with fellow freshman Nathan Morgan, junior Zach Krieger, and senior Tim Von Storch to gain a silver in the 4x800.  Arzie then teamed with sophomore Gavin O'Donnell, junior Brandon Newberry, and junior Casey Albino to gain a silver in the 4x400.  O'Donnell added a 4th in the 110H and Albino added a 4th in the 400m.  Junior Dante DeAntonio, in his first season in track and field, gained a silver in the shot-put and a 5th in the javelin.  Although no championships were won, a solid foundation has been set for years to come.  

 

          The 2013 team mirrored the storied Lakeland teams of the past.  It marched through a Lackawanna Division III schedule culminating with a championship clinching victory over Dunmore in the final meet.  The team also won the Spagna Conference Meet, Jordan Relays, and for the 12th time in school history - won the District II championship.  This team was built on its depth, which went three deep in almost every event.  At the district meet, the 4x800 team of Nathan Morgan, Casey Albino, Zach Krieger, and Mark Arzie struck gold.  Gavin O'Donnell finished with two golds (Triple Jump, 4x400) and two silvers (110H, 300H).  Mark Arzie also won the 800m and was a part of the victorious 4x400 relay.  Nathan Morgan added a silver in the mile and a bronze in the 800m, Chet Anuszewski added a bronze in the 110H, and Casey Albino finished his career in the 400m with a bronze and was part of the gold medal team in the 4x400.  Dante DeAntonio ended his career with a silver in the shotput and freshman Garth Estadt grabbed his first district medals with a bronze in the 300H and was part of the winning 4x400.  Billy Thomas and Willie Demyan finished off the scoring with a 4th and 6th in the discus. After turning an 0-7 team with 11 kids on it into a district champion in two years, Head Coach Art Davis was named coach of the year. 

  

2013 District Champions 

The 2014 season went as well as any coach, fan, or athlete could ask for.  This group, guided by a group of seniors who have been the backbone of this immaculate turnaround the last few seasons, dominated every challenge that stood in their way.  The team was not challenged in their march through the Lackawanna League schedule.  The team easily went 7-0, while winning the Shippensburg Invite for the first time in school history.  During the postseason, the team dominated the Jordan Relays for the second straight year.  Their win was the 20th Jordan's title in school history.  The team then made quick work of their AA competition in the Spagna League Meet.  A meet in which Lakeland would have beaten all of the AAA schools as well.  The District Meet showed Lakeland's full power.  The team ran away with the title leaving the Lackawanna League and Wyoming Valley League in their wake. This was Lakeland's 13th district title. At the district meet Junior Nathan Morgan, Junior Mark Arzie, and Senior Gavin O'Donnell all finished with district championships. The Chiefs started the scoring and finished the scoring with victories in the 4x800 meter relay (Adam Davis, Nick Setta, Arzie, Morgan) and 4x400 relay (Collin Cooper, Arzie, Garth Estadt, and Morgan) while showing their depth with a second place finish in the 4x100 meter relay (Koda Smith, Tim Hackenberg, Chet Anuszewski, and Estadt). Morgan won the mile in a time of 4:21.16 while Arzie picked up the win in the 800 (1:58.35) and Gavin O'Donnel won the triple jump (43-03.25).  Morgan picked up a second place in the 800 as well.  Garth Estadt finished second in the long jump with a new school record and state qualifying jump of 21-6.25.  O'Donnell finished second in the 110 hurdles and he also finished third in the 300 hurdles while Estadt finished fifth in the 300s.  Senior Chet Anuszewski finished third in the pole vault and 110 hurdles.  Senior Tim Hackenberg finished his career with a second place finish in the 200 and a fourth place finish in the 100.  The Chiefs also got points from sophomores Collin Cooper (5th in the 400), Nick Setta (7th in the 800), and Connor Albino (8th in the discus).   At the state meet, the team gained its first medal since 2010 when the 4x800 team of Setta, Davis, Arzie, and Morgan won bronze and the 4x400 team of Cooper, Arzie, Estadt, and Morgan earned a 4th place medal.  Gavin O'Donnell ended his impressive career with a 7th place medal in the 300 Hurdles.  This group will go down in history as the the team that put Lakeland back on the map.  When this group of seniors and juniors showed up as sophomores and freshmen, the team had 10 members and was not close to winning a meet in years.  Through hard work and dedication from athletes and coaches, as well as an appreciation and respect of the past, they turned this program back into the dynasty it once was.  With the JH team winning a league title, the winning should not stop anytime soon...

 

Lakeland continued its dominant run in the 2015 season.  The team once again was lead by seniors who were the faces of the program the last 5 years.  Mark Arzie and Nathan Morgan were Freshman when the championship turnaround started. Every year they led by example on and off the track. Their final year wearing the famous Lakeland sash uniforms ended with mutiple state medals.  Morgan teamed with Arzie in the 4x800 to grab a silver medal at the state meetArzie anchored the 4x400 to an elusive state titleMorgan added a 7th place medal in the 800 as well.  Arzie and Morgan also led the team to a League title, Jordan's title, and District title.  At the district meet medals were won in clumps.  Lakeland dominated like it has many years before.  The 4x800 relay team of Mark Arzie, Mike Arzie, Nathan Morgan and Cyril Babcanec and the 4x400 relay team of Collin Cooper, Mark Arzie, Babcanec and Morgan won district championships while the 4x100 of Tyler Schwartzstrauber, Cooper, Babcanec and Garth Estadt placed second. Mark Arzie and Nathan Morgan sealed the victory with a 1-2 finish in the 800. Morgan also picked up a second in the 1600. Other Lakeland Athletes Scoring points were Mike Arzie (3rd) and Joe Wanat (7th) in the 3200, Cooper (5th) in the 400, Babcanec (8th) in the 200, Estadt (4th) in the 300 hurdles and (4th) in the long jump, Caleb Morgan (6th) and Dan Brown (7th) in the 110 hurdles and (2nd/State Qualifier) in the triple jump, and Stephen Liuzzo (4th) and Josh Dippel (5th) in the discus.  At the state meet, the 4x800 relay team of Mark Arzie, Cy Babcanec, Nick Setta, and Nathan Morgan captured a silver medal with Morgan adding a 7th place medal in the 800m.  The 4x400 team of Collin Cooper, Garth Estadt, Cy Babcanec, and Mark Arzie won the state title, the program's 4th state championship in it's history.  

 

In 2016, Lakeland showed it is creating one of the most dominat dynastys this area has ever seen in local sports.  They again went undefeated during the regular season, won the Wyaluasing Invite, Jordan Relay Championship, Spagna Meet Championship, and District II Title.  The team capped the season off with a second straight state championship in the 4x400 relay.  The following medaled at Districts: 100 Cy Babcanec (5th), 200 Babcanec (3rd) 400 Babcanec (1st),  Collin Cooper (3rd), 800 Cooper (2nd), 3200  Mike Arzie (3rd) ,110 hurdles Caleb Morgan (3rd), 300 hurdles Garth Estadt (2nd), Morgan (3rd)  Logan Bednash (8th), 4x1 Paulino, Joe Pidgeon, Tyler Schwartzstrauber, Matt Pidgeon (3rd), 4x4 Cooper, Joe Pidgeon, Matt Pidgeon, Estadt (1st), 4x8 Paulino, Setta, Arzie, Cooper (1st), High jump Estadt (3rd) Long Jump Estadt (5th), Discus Stephen Liuzzo (4th) Wes Strong (7th), Javelin Seth Dippel (5th). 

At the state meet Garth Estadt grabbed a 6th in the 300 hurdles. And the 4x400 of Collin Cooper, Garth Estadt, Matt Pidgeon, and Cy Babcanec ran the second fastest time in school history while winning their second straight state title.  

 

       

      The 2017 season was more of the same for Lakeland.   The dynasty rolled on with a League title, Spagna title, and District II title.  The Jordan's streak was ended by Montrose but Lakeland got revenge by beating the Meteors by 1/2 point in the district meet.  Lakeland's fifth title in a row.  The following medaled at districts: 100m- Cy Babcanec (2nd) 200m Cy Babcanec (1st), Tyler Schwartzstrauber (5th) 400m Cy Babcanec (1st), Matt Pidgeon (4th) 4x100 Tommy Pidgeon, Tyler Prudente, Tyler Schwartzstrauber, Matt Pidgeon (2nd) 4x400 Matt Pidgeon, Logan Bednash, Tyler Schwartzstrauber, Cy Babcanec (1st) 4x800 Logan Bednash, Noah Chup, Tommy Pidgeon, John Noldy (4th) Pole Vault Tommy Heller (4th) Shot Put Kevin Johnson (3rd) Discus Stephen Liuzzo (1st) and Javelin Seth Dippel (4th).

At the state meet Cy Babcanec grabbed a 6th in the 400m and the 4x400 team of  Matt Pidgeon, Tyler Schwartzstrauber, Logan Bednash, Cy Babcanec also got 6th.  

 

 

 

Championship Totals 1977-2017:

16 District Titles

29 League Titles

22 Jordan Relay Titles (15 Straight - 1991-2006)