On the second morning of the Penn Relays, Abington, West Chester Henderson and LaSalle were among 12 teams who qualified for Saturday's boys’ 4x800-meter Championship of America.
The Ghosts, the reigning PTFCA indoor state champions in the 4x800, won the first large schools heat with a time of 7:50.99. Junior Tevin Smith (2:00.8), senior Charles Ross (1:55.1), senior Eleazar Cardoso (2:01.0), junior Kyle Moran (1:54.1) led the way.
The time was just below Abington’s 7:50.86 that won indoor states on March 6 at Penn State.
Yesterday, West Chester Henderson finished second in its small schools heat with a time of 7:51.24 behind senior Stash Grab, senior Will Kellar, senior Achraf Khattabi and junior Luke Lefebure.
Then LaSalle clocked at 7:51.39 in their large schools heat, coming in fourth. Freshman Andrew Stone, junior Chris Muggler and seniors Nick Molloy (Lehigh) and Tom O’Kane led the way for the Explorers.
Saturday’s favorite will be Long Beach Poly of California, which ran a 7:43 flat – the fastest time in the country this season – in LaSalle’s heat. Long Beach Poly was originally scheduled to run in Abington’s heat but showed up late, Molloy said.
Abington seized the opportunity to place first, while O’Kane said Long Beach Poly’s pace helped the Explorers near their goal of a 7:50 time.
O’Kane, who said he is leaning towards attending St. Joseph’s University, also credited LaSalle’s younger runners with keeping their team in the hunt.
“Our young guys really set us up well,” O’Kane said. “Nick and I went along for the ride and were able to on.”
Molloy nodded and said Stone, only a freshman, rose to the occasion in his most important high school outdoor meet to date.
Both the Abington boys and girls are representing well at Franklin Field this weekend.
On Thursday, Ghosts junior Leah Nugent won the girls' 400-meter hurdles with a national season best time of 59.15 seconds.