Cross Country Team Wins 3rd Consecutive Catholic League Championship
La Salle XC set the PCL all-time low score record. Until Saturday no team in the history of the PCL had been able to score a perfect 15 points (placing 1st-5th with your top 5 runners).
The La Salle Cross Country team captured the PCL championship for the third consecutive year, and for the 10th time in the past 15 seasons (since 2003). The team captured league titles at all three levels – Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity.
The day began with the freshman team turning in a great performance placing 12 runners in the top 20 and 15 in the top 25. The team managed to get their first two finishers, Owen Norris in 2nd and Max Manganiello in 3rd both broke 19:00 running 18:49 and 18:58 respectively. Not far behind them was the pack of Patrick Coyle, AJ Frank, and Brendan Fry finishing 5th, 6th, and 8th. Peter Re placed 9th, Julian Paris 12th, Michael Lombardi 14th, Owen Donahue 16th, Jordan Paris 17th, Ryan Zimmerman 18th, Jackson Forde 20th, Connor Bogansky 22nd, AJ Citro 23rd, and James Loftus 24th. The Freshman team scored 24 points to outdistance St. Joe's Prep by 10 points.
In the Junior Varsity race the team's incredible depth was fully on display. The JV team would not only score a perfect 15 points to capture the PCL JV Title, take the top 12 spots, place 17 of the top 20, and 20 of the top 25. But the team's 17:47 average was only bettered by Cardinal O'Hara's varsity team (O'Hara had a 17:34 average, 3rd place St Joe's Prep's varsity team averaged 18:14). The first 4 JV finishers all broke 18:00 – Matthew Zilligen won in 17:30, Griffin Pumilia was 2nd in 17:41, Thomas Price was 3rd in 17:45, and Conor Christian was 4th in 17:48. Behind them were three more runners under 18:30 (La Salle's standard for a Varsity letter), Jimmy Lombardi in 5th, Dan Gervino in 6th, and Matthew Hladczuk in 7th. The other top 25 finishers were: Michael Reilly 8th, Sean Krumenacker 9th, Michael Loftus 10th, Shawn McKenna 11th, James Marek 12th, Chris Mulligan 14th, Ben McGrath 15th, Dan Boyle 16th, Jack Harrington 18th, Kyle O'Conner 19th, Pete Wright 22nd, Kellen Reiche 24th, and Matt Earley 25th.
Finally, the varsity team ran a tremendous race to set the PCL all-time low score record. Until Saturday no team in the history of the PCL had been able to score a perfect 15 points (placing 1st-5th with your top 5 runners).
The Explorers did some great pack running early on, and received some big performances from everyone who raced. The team was led by senior captain Evan Addison who captured his first PCL XC crown in 16:19. He was followed by the sophomore duo of Vincent Twomey and Ethan Maher in 2nd and 3rd in 16:44 and 16:46. Senior captain Sean Egan also turned in a great run to PR in 16:50 and place 4th.
Then the drama came as sophomore Brady Koors ran the entire final mile stride-for-stride with Anthony Harper from Bonner & Prendi, Brady was able to out sprint him at the end to take 5th place in a PR of 16:57, putting all 5 of the Explorer scorers ahead of everyone else in the League! The top 5 scorers averaged an amazing 16:43! Not far behind were Paul Ghantous in 7th (17:15), and Jack Seiberlich in 10th (17:31), all 7 of the runners earned 1st Team All-Catholic.
The Explorers had 5 others make 1st Team All-Catholic during the season, giving the team 12 1st teamers – Matt Zilligen, Griffin Pumilia, Thomas Price, Conor Christian, and Jimmy Lombardi. In addition Dan Gervino earned honorable mention All-Catholic during the season.
The team will now prepare for the PIAA District XII Championship on Thursday at Belmont Plateau. The Explorers have won 3 consecutive District XC titles, and 5 of the 9 since 2008. The District meet will serve as the qualifying meet to the PIAA State Championship in Hershey, PA on Saturday, November 4th.
Full results available:Tweet from Penn Track XCThe LaSalle boys put forth a historically dominant performance at the #PCLChamps scoring a perfect 15 points!📽️: https://t.co/00VGWZo4ZL pic.twitter.com/9ljFFBUOQl— PennTrackXC (@PennTrackXC) October 22, 2017