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Walsh, Grula, Huyck show their athleticism on track, in field

SCRANTON – High school athletes may have their measurables tracked at an occasional camp, but, in general, there is no event equivalent to an NBA Combine or NFL Combine to compare them all to each other.

One competition that can serve that purpose on the scholastic level is a major track and field meet.

The running, jumping and other abilities of top athletes – among them many who excel in other sports, including basketball – are compared in a variety of events.

JB Hoops players Lexi Walsh, Joe Grula and Taylor Huyck stood out, showing off their athleticism Tuesday and Wednesday when District 2 of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association held its championships at Memorial Stadium.

Walsh, a junior at Holy Cross and a JB Hoops Bucci player, showed her stamina as a runner.

In the 3200-meter run, the longest race in a high school track and field meet, Walsh captured the Class 2A (small schools) in 11:43.05. She was also third in the 1600-meter run in 5:20.77.

Grula, a junior at Hazleton Area and a member of the JB Hoops Reagan boys high school team, displayed his versatility, proving he can do more than just run and jump.

As a thrower, Grula won a gold medal in Class 3A by heaving the javelin 187-7. He also earned medals as a high jumper and triple jumper by placing fourth and was 11th in the long jump.

Each District 2 championship, Class 3A and 2A split into boys and girls, had 19 schools competing.

The top six in each event earned medals while the top eight scored points for their teams.

Huyck, a freshman from Susquehanna and a member of the JB Hoops Plisko girls high school team, was a member of two medal-winning relay teams, including one that included a Susquehanna and JB Hoops Plisko basketball teammate.

Huyck was part of a 400-meter relay team that finished third in Class 2A. Bethany Maby joined her on the 1600 relay team that was fourth.

As an individual, Huyck missed being one of the eight finalists by one-hundredth of a second while taking ninth in the 200 dash in 28.94. She was the second-fastest of the seven freshmen sprinters who entered the event.

JB Hoops program graduates Taryn Ashby, Isabella Cosmello and Michael Cusatis, all high school seniors, earned medals.

Pittston Area’s Ashby was a silver medalist in the girls Class 3A javelin with a throw of 138-10. She surpassed the state qualifying standard to earn a return trip to the May 26-27 PIAA Championships in Shippensburg where she will try to improve on last year’s ninth-place finish.

Ashby also scored points in the shot put by placing eighth and competed in the long jump.

Cosmello, who won two district relay gold medals in 2016 as a junior, took third in the Class 2A girls 400 in 1:01.85 for Blue Ridge.

Hazleton Area’s Cusatis also excelled in the 400, a grueling event that combines sprinting with necessary endurance. He was fourth in Class 3A in 51.56 seconds.

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