Indoor Track & Field Team Wins Catholic League Championship
The La Salle College High School Indoor Track & Field team captured the program’s first Indoor Philadelphia Catholic League championship since 1999. The team was led by an outstanding group of senior leaders, and turned in one of the finest all-around team performances in school history. By a score of 136-99 the Explorers outdistanced a very good Cardinal O’Hara team.
The day began at 9:30am with a true program highlight when the 4x200m relay team of Corey Muggler, Sean Waters, Levi Hardy, and Luke McCann captured 2nd place, and both shattered the school record and qualified for the PA State Championship in 1:34.36! That phenomenal races was then followed up by the foursome of Patrick Grant, Michael Bishoff, Evan Quain, and Brendan Bilotta capturing the Distance Medley Relay title in a very strong 10:53.92. The early momentum was then built on with the outstanding performance of the trio of Tom Coyle, Andrew Stone, and Jack Magee who ran great mile races to finish 1st, 2nd, and 4th, in 4:20.57, 4:22.05, and 4:26.15 – all PA State Championship qualifying times (and PA #3, 4, and #14 performances).
With all the excitement on the track the Explorers were quietly turning in an excellent day in the field. To start the day Luke Persichetti captured the PCL title in the Shot Put with a great throw of 53’2.5”, and sophomore Keith Wagner picked up 4 points by finishing 4th in 39’8.5”. On the runway senior Corey Muggler gamely battled through a fever to finish 2nd in the Long Jump in a State Qualifying mark of 22’1.5”, and junior Mike Koller jumped a personal best of 20’0.25” to grab an unexpected 5th place. Koller then added a 3rd place in the High Jump clearing 6’0”.
As the meet moved in to the afternoon segment the Explorers held a 19 point edge with several pivotal events remaining. The first of those key events was the 2nd and 4th place finishes of Eddie Eason and Chris McCrea in the Pole Vault, clearing 12’0” and 11’6”. Then on the track Andrew Stone and Jack Magee turned in their second outstanding performances taking 1st and 3rd in the 800m in 1:58.79 and 1:59.98 – both under the State Qualifying Standard. Back on the runway Corey Muggler continued his memorable day by belting out a PA#3 mark of 45’6.5” to win the Triple Jump (and break his own school record), and sophomore Tabriz Bumpas contributed a remarkable 40’9” jump good for 6th place and more important points.
Then it was back to the track as the Explorers tried to mathematically wrap up the title before the hard-fought relays would begin. And seniors Tom Coyle and Matt Greco more than did their part in the 3,000m. Coyle put an exclamation point on the day by capturing his second PCL individual title of the day (for which he would earn co-meet MVP honor), as he ran a PA#3 time of 8:46.88 shattering his old meet record and closing the race with a final 200m of 27.5! Matt Greco continued his remarkable comeback from surgery to repair his collapsed lung in the fall by running a great season best of 9:08.46. With the meet title then decided the Explorers brought home the 4x400m relay title in 3:34.11 as Jack Magee, Levi Hardy, Luke McCann, and Andrew Stone all ran amazingly strong for the third running event of the day for each of them. And then the 4x800m relay of Pat Grant, Mark DeSantis, Michael Phayre, and Evan Quain finished off the day with a solid 3rd place finish in 8:38.06.
It was a true team effort in front of many supportive parents, teammates, alumni, and fans, who all enjoyed celebrating the hard earned win with the team. The Explorers will now compete in the TFCAofGP Meet of Champions this weekend as a final preparation for the PA State Championship at Penn State University on Saturday, February 23rd.