The La Salle Cross Country team captured 2nd place in the PIAA AAA Boys State Championship on Saturday at the Hershey Parkview Cross Country course. The runner-up finished marked the 4th consecutive year on the PIAA Podium for the Explorers, with three straight runner-up finishes following their 2017 title. In the 13 years La Salle has been a member of the PIAA the Explorers have 12 top 10 finishes, 9 top 5 finishes, and 5 top two podium finishes.
This year's state meet featured a set-up to be Covid safety compliant, with teams running in heats of just 4 schools (and only district winning teams having qualified for the meet).
View Photos from the Meet
by Paul Manganiello
The Explorers runner-up finish was led by the fantastic run from Drew Brill. Brill's time of 16:45 was good enough for 12th overall and 4th in the team scoring - which made Brill the top sophomore in the field. He was followed by a strong race from his brother Zach. Brill's time of 16:59 was good for 26th place overall and 9th in the team scoring. Next was a good race from senior captain Max Manganiello who crossed the line in 17:11 for 34th overall and 12th in team scoring. Behind him was a great race from Michael Lombardi in 17:35 for 57th overall and 21st in team scoring. Finishing out the team scoring for the Explorers was senior captain Patrick Coyle who battled back from injury this season to give a valiant effort in the heat to cross the line in 18:07 at 74th overall for 30 team points. That gave the Explorers just 76 team points.
That trailed the impressive 49 points from North Allegheny, and actually tied the Explorers with defending State Champions and preseason #1 Downingtown West. But the Explorers captured their spot on the podium thanks for the gritty finish from junior Francis Dougherty who crossed the line in 18:21 at 84th overall and 38th in the team race - that was good enough to beat Downingtown's 6th man by 8 places and give the Explorers their spot on the podium. The team was rounded out by sophomore Ryan McGinley who placed 104th overall.
The team received fantastic senior leadership all year and will be in a great position for next year returning 4 runners and many underclassmen who impressed throughout the year. The team will now take two weeks off before beginning training for the winter season.
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