Mark Cassarella

About This Inductee
Mark Cassarella, won two gold medals and a bronze in the World Disability Games.  Prevented from participating in high schools sports at West Hazleton High School (Class of 1990) because he suffered severe injuries in an auto accident, Cassarella conquered his disability in wheelchair competitions and by participating in marathon road races.
He was a member of the Chariot Express Junior Track Team in 1987 and ’88, the John Heinz Senators Junior Track Team from 1985 to 1990 and the U.S. Junior Track Team in 1989.  His track and field participation in tournaments included regional meets at Middlesex Community County College in NJ in 1987 and ’88, Mid Atlantic Regional Meets at Fisherville, Virginia in ’88, ’90, and ’92; regional meets at Salisbury State College in Maryland in ’89 and ’90, a national meet at Johnson City, Tenn. in ’88, a national meet at Salt Lake City, Utah in ’89, a national meet at De Auza College, Cupertino, CA., in ’90, a national meet at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO., in ’91 and in the World Disability Junior Games at Tropical park, Miami, FL., in ’89.  Cassarella competed in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 800m relays, discus, shot put, javelin, and slalom events at the meets.  His road race accomplishments include participating in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in 1987, the Eckley Miners’ Village 10K Run in ’88, a 10K run in Elizabethtown in ’88, 5K runs in Wilkes-Barre in ’88 and ’89, 5K runs in Fisherville, VA., in ’88-’90 and Hardee’s National Cup Marathon in Harrisburg in ’90.
Casarella is a son of James Casarella of Drums and Kay Weikel of West Hazleton.  He is married to the former Nicole Poncheri, a native of Hazleton.  His Brother, Jim Casarella of Tresckow, is a former West Hazleton athlete and is very much involved in local sports.  A sister, Lisa Zakarevicz resides in  Philadelphia.  In addition to graduating  from West Hazleton HS, Casarella is also a graduate of Wilkes University, the class of 1994.  He is employed by First Union Bank in Philadelphia.