Bringing home the bronze
GNA’s Gesecki is a medalist again

By ktomlinson@leader.net
SHIPPENSBURG – In four dominant years as a member of Greater Nanticoke Area’s track and field team, Abigail Gesecki’s toughest opponent has always been her nerves.
Despite all her success, Gesecki admits that she’s still a nervous wreck before a race.
“I get very stressed out before my races. Like very stressed out,” she said. “Ever since I started with the 400 my freshman year. But once the gun goes off all that nervous energy is gone and you just have to focus on what you can get done.”
It was that ability to focus that allowed Gesecki to win the third state medal of her high school career.
On Saturday afternoon, on the track at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium, Gesecki claimed a bronze medal in the Class 2A 800-meter run of the PIAA Track and Field Championships.
She came from way back in the last lap to finish with a time of 2 minutes, 17.07 seconds – less than three seconds off the pace set by race-winner Benita Taylor.
Gesecki, who ran a 2:19 at districts, thought her time might have been even better if not for a slow start that left her near the back of the field of 12 runners after the first lap. But after another runner stumbled at the starting line, Gesecki hesitated.
“After the girl fell I was leery about pushing out too fast, which was a bad idea on my part,” Gesecki said. “I should have just pushed out. So I was a little boxed in and got behind. It actually worked out better for me because I could see every place and try to work my way up gradually. It was tougher. I figure if I had a better start I could have had a better time, but who knows. You play the cards you’re dealt.”
Gesecki, who placed eighth in the 400 as a freshman and fifth in the 800 as a junior, was determined not to leave Shippensburg without a third medal.
Not only did she succeed in that quest, but she shaved more than a second off the 2:18.49 it took her to run the 800 a year ago at the state meet.
“I saw around the beginning of the second lap that I was in eighth and I was right with the other girl,” said Gesecki, who will run for Navy next year. “I really wanted a medal. That was my goal. My second goal was to get in the top three, or at least above fifth place because that’s where I finished last year. My time went down, so I’m thrilled.”|
Dallas senior Hillary Adams also competed in the 800. She finished in 12th with a time of 2:26.38.
Gesecki and Adams were the only Wyoming Valley Conference runners to escape Friday’s qualifying heats.5/28/2006
Gesecki shows mettle in 800
By Jill Snowdon - Citizens' Voice

SHIPPENSBURG — The start of the 800 meter final wasn’t exactly how Abby Gesecki had hoped it would be. But the finish certainly made up for it.
The Nanticoke Area senior closed out her high school track career with a memorable ending as she captured a bronze medal in the Class AA 800 with a personal best time of 2:17.07.
Gesecki took a conservative approach to the first lap after a fellow competitor fell at the starting gun. After falling to the back of the group going into the final 400, Gesecki rallied and made a strong move to the front in the last 200 meters.
Thanks to a hard sprint she was able to post her best-ever finish at the state meet in the final day of competition at Shippensburg University.
Besides Gesecki, only the Dallas girls 3200 meter relay team earned a medal in Saturday’s competition.
“After that girl fell, I was a little leery on pushing out too fast, which was a bad idea on my part,” Gesecki said. “I should have pushed out, so I was a little boxed in and behind. But, it actually worked out better for me because I could see every place and try to work my way up gradually.”
Gesecki was in 8th place, along with Dallas’ Hillary Adams after the first lap. She snuck into sixth and then fifth before her final push on the home stretch.
“I usually start out in front and then some people gradually pass me and I can see where I’m at,” Gesecki said. “I was all the way in the back and it was a little harder, but my time went down, so I’m thrilled. I definitely wanted to leave everything out there on the final race of my high school career.”

No second for McGrady this time
GNA star takes gold in 100

Greater Nanticoke Area hasn’t had a successful track and field team in the recent past. But that doesn’t change the outlook for senior Thomas McGrady.

In 2005, McGrady finished second in the 100 at the Class 2A portion of the District 2 Track and Field Championships. He missed out on the gold medal by two hundredths of a second. On Tuesday, he turned the tables as he won the race by four hundredths of a second with a time of 11.75.

“I worked so hard this year and my coaches pushed me really hard,” a jubilant McGrady said. “They kept telling me ‘Second place, second place’ and now I won it and it feels great to finally win. It’s been a great day. It’s nice to have Nanticoke get some recognition. It’s sad that I’m the only boys winner, but we all work hard and have a great connection.”

McGrady will advance to the PIAA Championships, which will be held at Shippensburg University on May 26-27.

Girls win Gold

Leigh Ann Rentko of Nanticoke Area advanced to the state meet by winning the 400. Nanticoke Area’s Abby Gesecki (800), also advanced to the state meet via gold medals on Tuesday.

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