Cross Country Team Places 2nd In PIAA District XII Championships
The La Salle College High School Cross Country team captured 2nd place in the PIAA District XII Championship at Belmont Plateau.
The team was led by senior co-captain Brendan Bilotta who ran a personal best of 16:38 to place 3rd overall to individually qualify for the PIAA State Championship. Brendan will be joined in Hershey next weekend by sophomore Patrick Grant who also ran a personal best of 17:01 to place 10th overall and grab the 5th and final qualifying spot.
The scoring for the Explorers was rounded out by a big PR from junior Ryan Mitchell of 17:10 for 14th place, a PR of 17:21 for junior Corey Driscoll in 17th place, and a near-PR of 17:25 from junior Michael Phayre for 18th place. Just behind that pack was sophomore Eddie Goebel in 19th place with a time of 17:28. And rounding out the team was freshman Stephen Paul who gamely hung on for 35th place in 18:42 - making him the first freshman to ever compete for La Salle in the PIAA District XII Cross Country Championships. The 5 scores for the Explorers averaged a season best of 17:07 on the USATF-Certified Belmont 5k layout, and improvement of 12 seconds!
Prior to 2012 a 2nd place finish would have been good to qualify the team for the PIAA State Championship. However when the PIAA moved to 3 classifications (A, AA, AAA) from 2 (AA, AAA) the District XII AAA classification went from 2 team spots and 10 individual qualifiers to just 1 team spot and 5 individuals (despite District XII having placed both of their qualifying teams inside the top 10 in the State in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011). Even with that La Salle had captured all 5 individual spots last year, and those 5 individual placed 5th as a team at the 2012 PIAA State XC Championship.
Brendan Bilotta and Pat Grant will run for LSXC in the PIAA State Championship next Saturday, November 2nd at 1:15pm at the Hershey Parkview Course.