Trojan Track & Field

Trojan Track & Field

Citizens Voice Girls Track & Field All-Stars

Amiah Lukowski
School: Nanticoke Area
Grade: Sophomore

Event: 200 meters, triple jump

Lukowski didn’t falter after a move to Class 3A. She won a D2 title in the 200 (26.01) and also won the triple jump (37-foot-3.75), in which she placed 11th at states.

Nanticoke Area's Lukowski eyes PIAA track medal

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After some discussion between coach and runner, one of the fastest girls in District 2 opted to sit out of a sprint at last week’s Class 3A track and field championships.
Nanticoke Area coach Jeff DeRocco had his sophomore Amiah Lukowski set to run in the 100, 200 and 400 — and she was seeded second in each race. But they decided it would be best to keep her legs fresh and remove the 400 from her busy day, which also included a fourth-seeded spot in the triple jump.
“I was supposed to run the 400 at districts this year instead of the triple jump because I didn’t commit a lot of time to the triple jump,” Lukowski said. She explained that skipping the 400 would save her for the 200 later on.
The move worked to perfection. Lukowski took second in the 100 but ran away with 200 gold. Then, she won the triple jump on her last attempt.
As Lukowski showed last Tuesday at Scranton Memorial Stadium, she’s brought more to the table as a sophomore this season, even after a record-setting freshman year and a move up to Class 3A.
She’s now set to return to the PIAA Track and Field Championships on Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University, this time in two events as she continues to progress.
“She’s just blessed with terrific speed and has been working hard out of the start in the 200 and really enjoys that race,” DeRocco said. “It seems like she’s found a new love in some of the jumping events too, the triple jump being her favorite.”
Lukowski said she wasn’t sure what to expect of herself as a freshman, when she competed with the Trojans “a little more for fun.” She tried the triple and long jumps but didn’t stick with them.
Then, the postseason came around and Lukowski made history.
The freshman broke the D2 Class 2A record in the 200 — set by Hanover Area’s Julia Laiuvara in 1992, in 25.74 seconds — when she raced to the finish line in 25.69. She also took second in the 100 to Meyers’ Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, who last week won her fourth consecutive District 2 title in the event.
So, Lukowski has been fast from the beginning of her varsity career. DeRocco noted, though, that she’s changed off the track this season. She’s taken track and field more seriously by researching the competition around her, for example.
“Who’s good out of the block and who has the top end speed that she’s competing against,” are things they consider when determining if Lukowski should perhaps skip a 400 to get ready for a challenging 200 opponent, DeRocco said.
“It’s really been a boost to our program with someone with her ability,” he said, “and I think she’s starting to embrace her talent there and embrace what she’s bringing to the program.”
Lukowski said she felt higher expectations this season — “people would notice” if she didn’t perform well. Hard work throughout basketball season made her stronger and carried into the track and field season, where she continued to excel.
Her success at districts came despite the Trojans’ move to Class 3A, while they stayed in the Wyoming Valley Conference’s small-school Division 2. The sprinters she raced against during the WVC regular season competed Wednesday at the Class 2A district meet; Lukowski, meanwhile, ran against an entirely unfamiliar field.
“It’s kind of hard because you only get one shot against them, and you’ve never seen them run before,” Lukowski said. “You don’t know if they start off fast, or if they start off slow and get faster.”
Without any mental notes tucked away, Lukowski simply ran her race and punched her second ticket to states.
She ran a 12.85 to take second to Wyoming Area’s Jalen Rhodes (12.70) in the 100, won the 200 by .45 seconds in 26.01 and — after a foul, and with one jump remaining — took the triple jump by a quarter-inch with a 37-foot-3.75 leap.
Lukowski had never gotten even as high as 35 feet before, but she knew she had jumped far when her momentum made her fall into the sand.
“I knew I had a chance in the triple jump. I never jumped over (34-foot-4) before, and my first jump was 36,” she said. “I don’t know what I did differently.”
Lukowski will need another career day to climb the state medal stand this week; she’s seeded 28th in the 200 and 14th n the triple jump. Regardless of her outcome at states, though, it’s clear Lukowski — only halfway through her varsity career — can compete with the best either PIAA classification has to offer

WVC Track & Field Preview
Eric Shultz - Citizens Voice

Head coach: Boys: Zach Pientka. Girls: Jeff DeRocco

2016 record: Boys: 1-6 in WVC, 17th in District 2 meet. Girls: 1-6 in WVC, 10th in District 2 meet.
Returning state participants: Boys: None. Girls: Amiah Lukowski (100 meters, 200 meters).
Graduated state participants: Boys: None. Girls: None.

Athletes to watch: As the Trojans’ numbers continue to grow, they’ll look for Tyler Thomas (jumps), Trevor Grohowski (distance) and Austin Urbanski (hurdles) to continue to improve in their events. Matt Wrubel (sprints), Christopher Thomas (mid-distance), John Guszak (throws) and Kris Seiwell (throws) are others to watch. Lukowski turned heads with two D2 championships in her freshman season and could have an even better year in store this time. Emily Scott (distance), Courtney Day (hurdles, shot put), Veronica Penko (hurdles) and Taylor Zabrenski (javelin) are other key athletes entering the season.