H.S. cross country: Culp leads Dallas team to perfect finish

By Tom Robinson - For Dallas Post | October 13th, 2016 9:30 am

LEHMAN TWP. – The team results remain the same.

Only the individual order seems to change for the Dallas Mountaineers.

Dallas came up with a new combination Wednesday in the Wyoming Valley Conference boys cross country finale at Lake-Lehman.

The Mountaineers picked up three wins to make it 102 straight victories and six straight titles and the first of those wins with senior Jason Culp leading the way.

Culp has been a big part of that streak and the program’s other growing list of accomplishments. He was the number-three runner in both meets last year when Dallas won Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state and District 2 Class 2A titles.

But, he had never gotten to lead the team to the finish line before Wednesday, his final regular-season meet with a defending state championship team, which otherwise still features underclassmen.

“Today was our last cluster meet for my senior year so I kind of had a little bit of adrenaline going into that,” Culp said after finishing first in a field of 56 runners from six teams. “I really wanted to get the win.

“I kind of had some motivation.”

Culp’s teammates were right there with him in the 15-49 wins over Tunkhannock and Wyoming Valley West and 15-50 victory over host Lake-Lehman.

Josh Wyandt was one second behind Culp’s 17:16, Jack Zardecki was two back and Adam Borton finished five seconds off the lead.

Mitch Rome and Steve Postupak took the next two spots and Josh Jarden was eighth, behind only Tunkhannock’s Jack Tidball, to give the Mountaineers seven runners in a 32-second pack.

“Toward the end, my teammates and I were kind of feeling good,” Culp said. “I think they saw that I was feeling good and kind of let me pull ahead at the end to get the win.

“They knew how important it was for me to get that win for my last dual meet.”

Sweeping the top several spots is nothing new to the Mountaineers.

Their average win this year was by 15.7-46.8. Of the 18 WVC wins, a dozen were by the maximum 15-50 score, which is the result of sweeping the first seven places against that opponent. Another four saw Dallas score the minimum 15 points, which requires at least the top five finishers.

With another regular-season title behind them, it is time for the Mountaineers to aim toward repeating some of their postseason titles.

“I think they guys are just getting ready for the big push now at the end of the season,” Mountaineers coach Matt Samuel said. “We’re getting ready for the championship season now.”

They looked ready Wednesday.

Tunkhannock and Lake-Lehman each beat Wyoming Area and Wyoming Seminary to finish 2-1 on the day.

Tunkhannock, which will host Wednesday’s Ed Narkiewicz Championship Meet at the Wyoming County Fairgrounds at 2 p.m., finished 11-7.

Lake-Lehman went 7-11.

Dallas cross country coach Matt Samuel cheers on one of his runners.
http://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_xcc3CMYK.jpgDallas cross country coach Matt Samuel cheers on one of his runners. Fred Adams | For Dallas Post
Lake-Lehman cross country coach John Sobocinski checks the time on his runners as they cross the finish line on Wednesday.
http://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_xcc2CMYK.jpgLake-Lehman cross country coach John Sobocinski checks the time on his runners as they cross the finish line on Wednesday. Fred Adams | For Dallas Post

By Tom Robinson

For Dallas Post

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