The La Salle College High School Cross Country team turned a new page on the season with their first invitational of October. After battling injuries and illnesses up and down their roster throughout the month of September, the team was finally able to run their full line-up at the Shore Coaches Invitational at Holmdel Park in New Jersey.
The results showed a dramatic difference. After placing 10th in both of their September invitationals the Varsity team pulled off a major upset and took 1st place in a very competitive Championship race. The Explorers bested a field that included the #16 ranked team in the US, 6 of the top 8 ranked teams in New Jersey, and the #4 ranked team from Pennsylvania.
It was great pack running that carried the varsity to the victory. Senior Jack Magee led the way for the Explorers placing 16th overall in 16:42 for the very challenging and historic 5,000 meter course. Just 8 seconds behind Magee in 16:50 was Tom Coyle running in his first competitive race of the season, and placing an impressive 21st. Following Coyle was the great races of Andrew Stone, Brendan Bilotta, and Matt Greco who placed 28th, 30th, and 41st respectively, running 17:00, 17:01, and 17:12 for just a 30 second spread for the 5 scorers. The strong pack running allowed the Explorers to edge past the highly ranked Northport (NY) and Wallkill Valley (NJ) teams by just 4 and 8 points respectively. Rounding out the varsity race were great performances by Evan Quain and Will Delaney in 17:44 and 17:48.
The Explorers also received outstanding races from both their JV and Freshman teams. Each squad placed 2nd overall in their races. The Junior Varsity team was led by Sophomore Sean Princivalle who ran 18:18 for 2nd place individually. Behind Princivalle, the JV also showed excellent pack running with a big race from sophomores Ryan Mitchell, Michael Phayre, and Corey Driscoll, placing 13th, 16th, and 22nd overall. The JVs scoring was rounded out by junior Matt McCarry in 29th place. Stefan Sutton and Matt Bowen also ran tough races to contribute to the team effort.
The Freshman were paced to their 2nd place team finish by the amazing run of Patrick Grant. Grant took home the individual gold running 11:46 for 2 miles to win by 6 seconds. Joe Cuce, Keegan MacMaster, and Eddie Goebel all brought home medals (top 35 finishers) by placing 18th, 20th, and 29th respectively. Nick Camusi rounded out the team scoring, and followed in by Frank Livolsi, and Jake Donahue.
The Explorers will compete in PCL Meet #6 this Wednesday, and then finish their preparations for the PCL Championship on Saturday, October 20th.
For more information on the Cross Country Program, visit: http://www.lschs.org/crosscountry.