Track and Field Team Wins Indoor Catholic League Championship
The Track and Field Team at La Salle Collge High School captured the 2015 Indoor Philadelphia Catholic Leqague Championship on Sunday at Lehigh University. It was the program's sixth indoor championship (1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2013), and second in the last three years. The team tallied an impressive 154 points to outdistance defending champions Cardinal O'Hara who finished second with 95 points.
The Explorers were led on the track by junior Charles Headen. Headen captured two individual titles in the 60m and 200m – both in State Qualifying times, with the 60m the second fastest in the State this year (and believed to be the second fastest in school history). Headen also anchored the second place 4x200m relay of Tabriz Bumpas, Chris Della Donna, and Winston Eubanks who, along with Headen, ran a season best of 1:34.18, also a state qualifying timing.
Following the meet opening 4x200m the Explorers scored points in every event but for one. Bumpas placed third in the 60m High Hurdles in a PR of 8.74 to lead two other scorers, Mike Becattini and Matt Lombard, into the finals (fifth and sixth respectively). Della Donna joined Headen in scoring in the 200m grabbing sixth place in 23.51.
In the distance events the Explorers fought gamely. Senior Stefan Sutton ran a great race to take second in the 800m in a State Qualifying 1:59.68, and Ian Challingsworth closed well to finish fourth in 2:02.51. Patrick Grant picked up a third place in the mile (State Qualifying time of 4:31.50). Senior captains Sean Princivalle and Ryan Mitchell helped seal the team win with big runs in the 3000m. Princivalle unleashed a big kick over the final 400m to capture his first ever PCL win in 9:04.47, while Mitchell took fifth in 9:17.07.
The team showcased their strength and depth in the relays. The Distance Medley Relay of Evan Addison, Greg Sywulak, Michael Phayre, and Stephen Paul placed second. The 4x400m relay team of Sywulak, Challingsworth, Zack Beavers, and Sutton raced extremely well to earn an exciting second place in 3:34.86. And in the final event of the day ,the Explorers put an exclamation point on their win by capturing the 4x800m relay that featured strong legs from Phayre, Paul, Addison, and Brendan Price, who combined to win in 8:31.11.
The field events were every bit as impressive, and showcased the Explorers incredible depth. With six entries in both the Shot Put and the Pole Vault the team had three scorers in both events. In the Shot Put Keith Wagner, Rodney Walker, and Noah Walker placed third, fifth, and sixth. In the Pole Vault, Eddie Eason won his second consecutive title (State Qualifying jump of 14'0"), for which he would earn field event MVP! He was followed by fellow scorers Jeff Beatty, and John Hamilton who vaulted to fourth and sixth. The sophomore duo of Alex Sislo and Mike Wells went 1-2 in the High Jump to post a big 18 points. Sislo also added a second place in the Long Jump (21'3"), and a fifth place in the Triple Jump (41'3"), where he scored behind senior captain Bumpas who was 2second in 41'9.25". The extremely well-coached field event athletes earned 51 points in four jumping events, and 60 points total.
The Track and Field team will travel to Lehigh one final time for the TFCAofGP Meet of Champions on Saturday as their final tune-up for the PTFCA State Championship. The State Championship will be held at Penn State University on Sunday, March 1, 2015. At present the Explorers have nine athletes qualified in the following events:
Charles Headen - 60m #2, 200m #5
Stefan Sutton - 800m #20
Patrick Grant - 800m #24, Mile #10
Eddie Eason - Pole Vault #12
4x200m (Bumpas, Della Donna, Eubanks, Headen) #20
4x800 (B. Price, Sutton, Challingsworth, P. Grant) #3