Cross Country Team Wins PIAA State Championship
The Explorers are the 1st Catholic League or District XII Program to win the PIAA State Championship.
The La Salle College High School Cross Country team captured the 2017 PIAA State Championship Saturday, November 4th at the Hershey Parkview Cross Country Course.
The team entered the meet ranked #2 in PA. The seven varsity runners asserted themselves early on and grabbed the lead by the 1 mile mark, and still held over a closing field at the 2 mile mark. The final mile was extremely hard fought as the Explorers tried to hold off the defending State Champions Council Rock North. As the teams climbed the final hill to the last straight away it was clearly extremely close.
The Explorers were led, as they were all year, by the great race from senior captain Evan Addison who ran a strong 16:12 for 11th place overall. Addison has helped to set the tone for the Explorers all year with his relentless work ethic and assertive racing. However, CR North showed their strength by placing 3 runners in the State Medals (top 25), in 10th, 13th, and 16th, and their 4th runner was not too far behind either in 46th.
But, as it has been all year, it was the Explorers depth that helped them to the win. Sophomore Brady Koors ran the best race of his career, battling through the crowded field to finish a great 37th place in 16:39. He was followed quickly by sophomore Ethan Maher and junior Paul Ghantous who both ran huge races of 16:52 to place 53rd and 54th, their races were key to the Explorer's team chances.Then, just 8 seconds behind them was another gritty race from senior captain Sean Egan in 72nd with 17:00. Sean's strong finish and deep resolve in the midst of the toughest part of the field was enormous as every place would matter.
Yet, after 5 runners both La Salle and CR North were tied with 130 points. In Cross Country ties are broken by the place of each team's 6th runner, and the Explorer's 6th man, sophomore Vince Twomey ran a hard-fought and resilient 17:02 for 82nd place. Both Twomey and junior Jack Seiberlich (17:11 for 102nd place) managed to place ahead of CR North's 5th runner to provide La Salle with their tie-breaking win.
Video of Team Celebration
Shot by Kellen Reiche '19
In a fitting end to the Explorer's first ever PIAA State Championship all 7 runners contributed to the victory in big ways, and as it was all year long, it was a true team effort. The win for La Salle marked the first ever PCL and District XII Boys State team championship. And it was the first time since 2004 that a team from outside District 1 or District 7 (only North Allegheny) had captured the title. It was the perfect end for their two great senior leaders, Evan Addison and Sean Egan. It will be fun to see what the Explorers can do during both Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field, and next year as they return 5 of the 7 who raced, as well as their 2 alternates from Saturday (junior Matthew Zilligen and sophomore Griffin Pumilia).
Coach Bielecki Interview:
LSXC PIAA State Championship History:
2008 – 2nd place
2009 – 3rd
2010 – 10th
2011 – 7th
2012 – 5th
(with 5 runners as individual qualifiers while District XII only had 1 qualifying team)
DNQ (District XII only 1 qualifying team, LS had 2 individuals)
2014 – 10th
2015 – 4th
2016 – 5th
Official Scoring From PennTrackXC