Cross Country Team Wins PIAA District XII Title, Places 5th in State at PIAA Championships
The Explorer's 5th place finish marked their 8th top 10 finish in 9 years in the PIAA.
The La Salle College High School Cross Country Team followed up their PCL championship by capturing their 3rd consecutive PIAA District XII title (5th in 9 years in the PIAA) and then concluded their season by placing 5th at the PIAA State Championship.
On Thursday, October 27th the team placed 6 runners in the top 7 of the PIAA District XII Championship. The team was led by individual champion junior Evan Addison. Addison ran 16:34 to win on a chilly rain day. He was followed shortly by senior captain Steve Paul in 2nd place running 16:42. Then the La Salle pack of Brendan Price, Quinn O'Neill, Greg Galbreath, and Vincent Twomey placed 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively all between 16:51-17:05. Freshman Ethan Maher added depth placing 15th in his first ever varsity race.
The team then travelled to Hershey for the PIAA State Championship on Saturday, November 5th. La Salle finished the day in 5th place with 204 points, just a mere 2 points behind 4th place (the team had been ranked PA#4 for most of the season). The Explorers got out well and ran aggressively early on, and found themselves in 2nd place as a team at the 1 mile mark, and running strong in 3rd place at the 2 mile mark.
Unfortunately the team's top runner Evan Addison, in 25th place at the 2 mile mark, was unable to finish, and the team's 2nd runner Steve Paul, in 35th place at the 2 mile mark struggled home in the final 250m to place 97th (for 56 team points as La Salle's 5th man) .
But despite these difficulties the depth of the Explorers came through. The strong pack running the Explorers featured all year saved the day, as senior captains Brendan Price and Quinn O'Neill ran tough and finished 55th (32 team points in 17:00) and 58th (33 team points in 17:01), and were quickly followed by freshman Vincent Twomey and senior Greg Galbreath in 70th and 71st (41 and 42 team points, both running 17:05). Freshman Ethan Maher finished in 17:33 good for 133rd place (72nd in team places).
That the Explorers finished 5th as a team on such a day was a testament to their depth and strong pack running. Returning Addison, and the freshmen Twomey and Maher (as well as 7 other runners who broke 18:00 (10 total) and 12 other who broke 18:30 (15 total) at Belmont Plateau), bode well for their future.
Additionally, the Explorer's 5th place finish marked their 8th top 10 finish in 9 years in the PIAA (2013 the team failed to qualify when District XII only had 1 team qualifier), and their 5th top 5 finish in 9 years.