Cross Country Team Wins Catholic League Championship

Cross Country Team Wins Catholic League Championship

The team will compete on October 27th in the PIAA District XII Championship looking to secure a top 2 finish for a trip to the PIAA State Championship in Hershey.


The La Salle College High School Cross Country team captured the 2016 Philadelphia Catholic League team championship on Saturday at Belmont Plateau with a 30-32 win. It was the Explorers second consecutive title and their 9th in the last 14 years.

The day started in impressive fashion at the freshman team showed their strength led by a blazing fast 17:18 individual win for Ethan Maher. Maher was followed by the great pack of Bradden Koors (17:59), Griffin Pumilia (18:07), and Dan Gervino (18:20) in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The scoring was rounded out by the strong run of Matt Hladczuk (19:06) in 6th – for a team score of 16 points!

Additional depth was provided by the strong runs of Ben McGrath (19:26) in 9th, Tom Agnew (19:45) in 12th, George Costello in 15th, Michael Herron in 16th, Jack Rhines in 19th, and Dylan Gianfrancesco in 20th.

The JV team then really showed the Explorers' depth by scoring a perfect 15 points and taking places 1-11, and 18 out of the top 25 places. They were led by an incredible win from Dave Kennedy (17:28). He was quickly followed by Tom Farrell (2nd, 17:31), Nick Cardamone (3rd, 17:35), Jack Galbreath (4th, 17:48), Conor Christian (5th, 17:49), Mac Costonis (6th, 17:51), John Loftus (7th, 17:58), Paul Ghantous (8th, 18:02), Thomas Price (9th, 18:09), Kieran Morgan (10th, 18:13), Matthew Zilligen (11th, 18:14), Matt Pires (13th, 18:19), Michael Eastmond (14th, 18:25), Michael Loftus (16th, 18:28), Spencer Norris (17th, 18:41), Shawn McKenna (18th, 18:51), Kellen Reiche (24th, 19:11), and Chris Mulligan (25th, 19:12).

The final race of the day was the highly anticipated matchup with PA #5 Cardinal O'Hara (the winners of the 2010-2014 PCL Titles, the only other program to win PCL titles since 2000). And the race was every bit as close as predicted. The Explorers trailed O'Hara by just a few points with 1200m remaining but closed their races very well to earn a hard fought 2 point win, 30-32.

PCL Championship Photo Slideshow

The varsity team placed all 7 runners in the top 15 (1st Team All-Catholic), led by the great runner-up performance from junior Evan Addison (16:18, 6th in school history). Following him was the big race from Steve Paul (4th, 16:39), who passed an O'Hara runner in the final 800m for a 2 point swing. Then the great pack of Brendan Price (7th, 16:50), Quinn O'Neill (8th, 16:54), and Vince Twomey (9th, 16:59). Clutch depth was added by Greg Galbreath (12th, 17:07) who placed ahead of O'Hara's 5th man, and Sean Egan (15th, 17:38).

A final analysis of the days results prove out the Explorers depth. Taking 5-man team averages the Explorers had the fastest average of 16:44 from their varsity, but impressively their JV team had the 3rd fastest average of the day (17:39), then their 2nd JV team would have had the 5th fastest (18:02), the freshman with the 6th fastest (18:11), and the 3rd JV team with the 7th fastest (18:25) – so 5 of the top 7 team averages in the PCL on Saturday belonged to the Explorers!

The team will compete on Thursday, October 27th at Belmont Plateau in the PIAA District XII Championship looking to secure a top 2 finish for the trip to the PIAA State Championship in Hershey (Saturday, November 5th).

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