On Saturday December 4th, the La Salle Cross Country team participated in the Running Lane National Championship at the John Hunt Cross Country Course in Huntsville, Alabama.
The race brought together more than 100 of the best high school programs from across America and produced the single greatest high school cross country race ever run. The boys Gold Race saw four individuals break the National Record for fastest high school cross country 5k ever, with the top 3 from Newbury Park HS (CA) running 14:03, 14:05, and 14:05, plus a 4th runner from Niwot HS (CO) running 14:09 to all break the national record of 14:10. The Newbury Park team averaged 14:14 for their 5 scorers to also break the national record for fastest team average.
La Salle had been the 30th team taken into the 30 team Gold Race field. The Explorers proved themselves on the national stage running a brilliant team race to capture 26th place. The team was led by their front 3 of Will Rau, Drew Brill, and Zach Brill. The threesome ran together throughout having gone out in a speedy 4:41-4:44 at the one mile mark. Senior Rau led them across the line with an enormous PR off the strength of a final mile of 4:52 to run 15:16 and place 118th overall, good for 63 team points. Following right behind him was the duo of Drew and Zach Brill who both also ran PRs of 15:29 and 15:29 good for 163rd and 166th overall and 90 and 93 team points respectively. Behind the front three the Explorers second pack ran some great team cross country with Cole Casadei, Francis Dougherty, and Josh Lloyd running as a pack throughout.
The sophomore Casadei was 4th for the Explorers with a big PR of 15:50 for 241st overall and 151 team points. Right behind him was senior captain Dougherty with another big PR of 15:56 good for 256th overall and 165 team points. The team was rounded out by the PRs of seniors Luke Burman and Josh Lloyd both running 16:35.
The top 5 scorers for the Explorers averaged a remarkable 15:36 to set a new school record (and also believed to be a Pennsylvania all-time best 5 runner average).
The varsity cross country team will return 3 runners in Drew Brill, Cole Casadei, and Ryan McGinley (missed Running Lane with sickness), plus their 8th man form the PA State Meet Phil Coleman. With such a strong JV and Freshman team this year the Explorers will be hungry to train hard over the next year to make a return trip and try to improve upon their 26th place national finish.
The La Salle Indoor Track & Field team will open the Winter Season for the Explorers this coming weekend at Lehigh University and Ursinus College.