Colt Young remembers the days of South Williamsport track and field when his teammates would run to Dairy Queen to refuel during practice.
Few took the sport seriously just a few short years ago when having a good time outweighed the appetite for victories. It began to change a year later, though, with the hiring of Ted Deljanovan as head coach, according to Young.
The South Williamsport alum sold the program to his athletes and two years later, the Mounties are in position few ever thought possible: A win away from a HAC-III championship.
Griffin Molino of South Williamsport runs the anchor leg for the win in the 4X800 during a meet with Montoursville and Loyalsock at Montoursville Thursday.
The Mounties moved within a victory of their first league championship in boys track and field since winning a West Branch title in 1984 with an 80-70 win over Loyalsock at Montoursville on Thursday.
Deljanovan had to be quite a salesman for his program. The Mounties have had some outstanding individuals over the years, but rarely could compete at the dual meet level with limited numbers. Scores like 140-10 or 130-20 were the norm.
Home meets were and still are non-existent. Deljanovan jokes his team is on the nation's longest away streak. Every track meet is competed outside the borough because South's facilities aren't up to regulation. Deljanovan said the facility has working pole vault and jumping pits but the track surrounding the football field is just 339 meters long - 61 meters shy of regulation.
South Williamsport does utilize the stadium on occasion for practices but usually runs outside its gates and through the streets of South Williamsport. South runners share the road with vehicles and can be seen running one of many streets, including an 800-meter stretch near the recycling center that includes Hill Street, Second Avenue, and Matthews Boulevard.
"I'd like to publicly apologize to anyone in South Side," Deljanovan said.
They may excuse him after the Mounties moved into a first-place tie with Warrior Run in the HAC-III with a 3-0-1 record. South Williamsport can assure itself of at least a share of the league championship with a win at Bloomsburg on Tuesday. The Defenders close out their league schedule on Tuesday at home with Loyalsock.
"(Winning the league title) is a huge first priority right now as a team," South Williamsport's Griffin Molino said. "It's amazing how we can go from winning one meet last year to where we are now with no facilities."
The Mounties were within one event of their second tie of the season when the 1,600-meter relay team of Young, Andrew Gipe, Dakota Rosenberg and Donovan Keen took the track for the day's final event. The quartet delivered the crucial five points that turned a possible tie into a 10-point win for the Mounties over the Lancers
Young added 10 points earlier in the meet with a sweep in the hurdles. Finishing first in the 110 hurdles was a big step for the senior who said it was his first clean run in the event this season. He finished in 43.9 in the 300 hurdles, running them for the first time in two years.
"Coming from where I started in ninth grade with no facilities and no serious coaching or anything, winning one meet this year was a big deal," the senior said. "As soon as we found out we could win all of them that was our goal pretty much and we knew we could do it as long as everyone stepped up."
Molino continued to lay his footstep in the distance events, winning the 800 (2:02.0), 1,600 (4:49.88) and 3,200 (10:28.0). South Williamsport swept the 3,200 with Kiefer Ohl and Sean Wither finishing second and third against the Lancers.
Molino and Young helped South overcome a 46-17 disadvantage to the Lancers in the field by winning the track, 63-24, and moving within a win of ending a 38-year league title drought.
"It would be great to do that again and to finally show everybody, not only in the area but especially in South, we are not a joke and we are an actual team and we are doing big things," Molino said.
The Mounties didn't have enough depth, however, to beat host Montoursville. The Warriors defeated South Williamsport, 84-66, and Loyalsock, 85 1/3-64 2/3. Matt Krezmer, who will compete at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia today, won the javelin with a safe throw of 164-4. The senior also won the discus.
The South Williamsport girls defeated Loyalsock, 75-74, for their first victory in two years. Montoursville didn't field a full team and its runners ran the meet as an exhibition.
The Mounties, who were 0-8 last year, lost their first four dual meets this season before breaking through yesterday.
The 1,600-meter relay team of Katy Fuller, Miranda Young, Annie Fessler and Stephanie Fernandez sealed the victory by winning the day's final event with a time of 4:28.36.
Returning district qualifier Alisha Wein provided 15 points by sweeping the throwing events.
"We saw an opportunity to go after Loyalsock and try to win and it came down to one event," Deljanovan said. "This is huge. I thought we had an outside shot. You could see a difference in their competition level today. They were really going after it."
Kati Piger helped keep the Lancers within striking distance by winning the triple jump, long jump and 100-meter dash.
Montoursville 84, South Williamsport 66
South Williamsport 80, Loyalsock 70
Montoursville 85 1/3, Loyalsock 64 2/3
3200 relay - 1. South Williamsport (Ohl, Gipe, Wither, Molino), 9:08.48; 110 hurdles - 1. Young, SW, 17.4; 2. Nolan, Mtv, 17.7; 3. Heilmann, L, 18.7; 100 - 1. Walker, Mtv, 11.3; 2. Foran, SW, 11.5; 3. (tie) Batkowski, Mtv, Tyler Quigley, L, and Newton, L, 11.6; 1600 - 1. Molino, SW, 4:49.88; 2. Gipe, SW, 5:03.49; 3. Rohrer, L, 5:11.35; 400 - 1. Foran, SW, 50.9; 2. Rosenberg, SW, 51.2; 3. Evans, Mtv, 51.3; 400 relay - 1. Loyalsock, (Dougherty, Newton, Fletch Quigley, Tyler Quigley) 45.3; 300 hurdles - 1. Young, SW, 43.9; 2. Heilman, L, 45.5; 3. Hernandez, Mtv, Hernandez, Mtv, 45.9; 800 - 1. Molino, SW, 2:02.82; 2. Gipe, SW, 2:08.60; 3. Sims, L, 2:10.9; 200 - 1. Walker, Mtv, 22.9; 2. Rosenberg, SW, 23.3; 3. Snook, SW, 23.9; 3200 - 1. Molino, SW, 10:28.0; 2. Clees, Mtv, 11:42.0; 3. Dodge, Mtv, 11:46; 1600 relay - Montoursville (Walker, Stoner, McMahon, Evans), 3:31.5; Long jump - 1. Quigley, L, 18-3 ; 2. Batkowski, Mtv, 17-2; 3. Dougherty, L, 16-11 ; Triple jump - 1. LaPoint, L, 40-5 ; 2. Nolan, Mtv, 37-7 3/4; 3. Rosenberg, SW, 37-7 ; High jump - 1. LaPoint, L, 5-10; 2. Lee, L, 5-8; 3. Nolan, Mtv, 5-4; Pole vault - 1. Burch, SW, 8-0; 2. O'Connor, Mtv, 7-6; 3. Huyck, Mtv, 7-6; Javelin - 1. Krezmer, Mtv, 164-11; 2. Dougherty, L, 144-7; 3. Barnes, Mtv, 143-4; Discus - 1. Hepburn, L, 125-7; 2. Krezmer, Mtv, 119-3; 3. O'Malley, Mtv, 117-3; Shot put - 1. Koser, Mtv, 42-6; 2. Hepburn, L, 40-6; 3. Trimble, Mtv, 40-5.
South Williamsport 75, Loyalsock 74
3200 relay - 1. South Williamsport (A. Fessler, K. Fuller, A. Nevill, M. Young), 10:58.63; 100 hurdles - 1. Nicole Dougherty, L, 17.2; 2. Melissa Flook, SW, 19.2; 3. Skye Mchamme, SW, 19.8; 100 - 1. Kati Piger, L, 12.9; 2. Lauren Raemore, L, 13.2; 3. Stephanie Bellott, L, 13.6; 1600 - 1. Lexy Henninger, L, 5:33.15; 2. K. Tsai, SW, 6:20.01; 3. A. Ardell, SW, 6:27.18; 400 relay - 1. Loyalsock (Bellott, Cardillo, Piger, Raemore), 52.9; 400 - 1. K. Fuller, SW, 1:05.9; 2. M. Young, SW, 1:07.2; 3. S. Blosser, SW, 1:07.2; 300 hurdles - 1. Flook, SW, 54.5; 2. McNamme, SW, 54.7; 3. Martin, L, 56.2; 800 - 1. Henninger, L, 2:28.71; 2. Fuller, SW, 2:29.80; 3. Fessler, SW, 2:36.89; 200 - 1. Raemore, L, 28.5; 2. Bellott, L, 28.9; 3. Shoulder, SW, 29.0; 3200 - 1. Daskivich, L, 13:08.59; 2. Ardell, SW, 14:06.59; 3. Mackenzie, L, 14:09.64. 1600 relay - 1. South Williamsport (Fuller, Young, Fernandez, Fessler), 3:28.36 Long jump - 1. Piger, L, 15-5; 2. Doherty, L, 14-7; 3. Cardillo, L, 13-6; Triple jump - 1. Kati Piger, L, 33-3 ; 2. Angela Cardillo, L, 30-1 ; 3. Gabby Burch, S, 25-3; High jump - 1. Burch, SW, 4-6; 2. Fay, L, 4-2; 3. Cardillo, L, 3-10; Pole vault - 1. Burch, SW, 8-0; 2. Waldman, SW, 5-6; 3. no place; Javelin - 1. Wein, SW, 108-11 ; 2. Hirada, SW, 72-11; 3. Hill, L, 65-8; Discus - 1. Wein, SW, 92-7; 2. Croll, L, 55-3; 3. Estrella, SW, 52-9; Shot put - Wein, SW, 27-6; 2. Daskivich, L, 24-11; 3. Aichner, L, 23-6;