Cross Country Wins Fourth Straight Catholic League Championship
It also marked the 12th straight season (Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field, and XC) that the Explorers have captured the PCL Title.
The La Salle Cross Country team captured the Philadelphia Catholic League Cross Country Championship on Saturday at Belmont Plateau. The win marked La Salle's 4th consecutive PCL team XC title, and their 11th XC title since 2003. It also marked the 12th straight season (Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field, and XC) that the Explorers have captured the PCL Title.
The day began with the Freshman team running away to a win. Led by a fantastic run from Matt Dyer to capture the individual title in 17:44, he was closely followed by the pack of Will Rau (18:28), Jimmy Johnston (18:44), Tim Brandt (18:52), and Francis Dougherty (18:55) who placed 2, 3, 4, and 6. Incredible depth was added by Liam Addison (7th in 19:19), Peter Reilly (9th in 19:42), Andrew Thomson (11th in 19:52), Joe Solana (14th in 20:27), Patrick Smith (17th in 20:47), Braden Hynes (19th in 21:04), and Michael Zavatsky (21st in 21:17) giving the Explorers 12 of the top 21 finishers in the race. The first 5 freshman averaged 18:32 which was only bettered by 2 other schools varsity teams in the championship race. And this was despite missing the injured Ethan Jappe who ran 19:35 in his only race at Belmont this year. The future is bright for this freshman class.
In the Junior Varsity race the Explorers depth was on full display. The team took places 1-9 and amazingly had 20 of the top 30 finishers! Led by an outstanding individual win by junior Jack Harrington (17:29), the top 4 Explorers in the JV race all would have earned 1st team All-Catholic (top 15) had they been in the Varsity race. Behind Harrington places 2-9 were Griffin Pumilia (17:38), Max Manganiello (17:43), Ben McGrath (18:00), Michael Lombardi (18:09), Patrick Coyle (18:18), Michael Loftus (18:40), Owen Donahue (18:41), and Owen Norris (18:48). All of whom would have been at least Honorable Mention All-Catholic (top 25) if they had been in the varsity race. Behind that group of 9 came Ryan Zimmerman (11th in 19:05), Jordan Paris (13th in 19:19), Jackson Forde (15th in 19:21), Julian Paris (17th in 19:29), Jack Young (21st in 19:39), Kellen Reiche (24th in 19:47), Brendan Fry (25th in 19:51), Joey LaMorte (26th in 19:56), Eric Ford (27th in 19:58), Marty Manion (28th in 19:59), and Matt Earley (29th in 20:00).
Finally, in an incredibly impressive race the Varsity team matched their perfect score of 15 from last year, but this year improved upon that and placed 1-6, and 8th. Led by junior Vince Twomey's individual win in a great 16:20, fellow junior Ethan Maher ran an outstanding race of his own for 2nd in 16:28. The Explorers were aggressive from the start, ran tough throughout, and closed it down really well. Behind the junior duo came Paul Ghantous in 3rd (16:51), a great PR from Matt Zilligen in 4th (16:57), Bradden Koors in 5th (17:00), Jack Seiberlich in 6th (17:03), and then Dan Gervino in 8th (17:18).
The team will be back at Belmont on Thursday for the PIAA District XII Championship and look to secure the lone AAA Boys qualifying spot to Hershey for the PIAA Championship on Saturday November 3rd.