Abby Zolner of Dallas clears hurdle for first gold in track and field

By Tom Robinson - For Dallas Post
Dallas’ Samantha Mazula, left, beats out West Scranton’s Keyla Lantigua and Coughlin’s Arianna Brittingham in a District 2 Class 3A girls 100-meter dash preliminary heat at Scranton Memorial Stadium on Monday. - Bill Tarutis | For Dallas Post

SCRANTON – Abby Zolner has been winning gold medals in the swimming pool since her freshman year.

The leader of Dallas’ second-place finish in the state swim meet will finish her athletic career at the state track meet after winning District 2 gold in that sport for the first time Monday night.

Zolner’s time of 46.18 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles made her the champion of that event by a comfortable 1.73-second margin during the District 2 Class 3A Track and Field Championships.

The track gold medal represents a positive return on time invested for Zolner, who has trained for swimming for about six months each year while track has been limited to two months in the short, spring season.

“I’ve been more successful with track with the ratio of time to practice,” said Zolner, who considers swimming her number-one sport but has also been a significant contributor to championship cross country teams.

Zolner knew she wanted another sport beyond swimming when she signed up for track and field as a seventh grader. She also knew she didn’t want “to just run.”

Trying the hurdles was the answer and she picked up the form pretty quickly.

In those two months each spring, Zolner has progressed to the point of champion of what can be a grueling event, with the help of traits that have benefited her in the pool and on the cross country course.

“I’m better in the 300 than the 100,” said Zolner, who was fifth in the 100 hurdles and part of the fourth-place 1600 relay team. “The endurance definitely helps me.”

Dallas won a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 girls title and was second in the boys standings in the regular season, but Zolner will be the only Mountaineer at the state meet.

The balance that helped produce a division title led Dallas to second in the girls team standings behind Lackawanna Track Conference champion Abington Heights, which ran away with its third straight title by a 104 ½-61 margin.

Samantha Mazula placed in the top four in four events. She was second in the 400 relay, third in the 100 and fourth in both the 1600 relay and 200.

Alondra Church, who was eighth in the 200, and Ally Francis ran with Mazula on both relays.

Celia Reabuck completed the 400 relay lineup.

The top eight in each event scored points.

Alicia Langan was third in the discus. Other place-winners for Dallas were: Missy Leonard, fourth, 800; Megan Borton, sixth, 1600; Hollie Holthaus, sixth, pole vault; Grace Jarden, seventh, 800; Kaitlyn Hodakowski, seventh, 3200; and Sarah Krokos, eighth, discus.

All 13 of Tunkhannock’s points came in the throws.

Gabrielle Roote was second in the javelin while Rebecca Avery was sixth in the shot put and seventh in the discus.

Dallas’ Samantha Mazula, left, beats out West Scranton’s Keyla Lantigua and Coughlin’s Arianna Brittingham in a District 2 Class 3A girls 100-meter dash preliminary heat at Scranton Memorial Stadium on Monday.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL051518D2-3A-Track_3.jpgDallas’ Samantha Mazula, left, beats out West Scranton’s Keyla Lantigua and Coughlin’s Arianna Brittingham in a District 2 Class 3A girls 100-meter dash preliminary heat at Scranton Memorial Stadium on Monday. Bill Tarutis | For Dallas Post

By Tom Robinson

For Dallas Post

Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-991-6387 or by email at news@mydallaspost.com.

Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-991-6387 or by email at news@mydallaspost.com.