The top two boys teams in Pennsylvania journeyed to Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday and came away with statement performances in a regional preview of sorts at the Manhattan Invitational.
La Salle Academy (RI) took the win with 77 points. PA's LaSalle scored 143 points for runner-up honors in what was a very close race for the next few spots. LaSalle College reversed the result from the Bowdoin Classic two weeks ago over New Jersey's Christian Brothers Academy. CBA, which topped LaSalle at Bowdoin, took third at Manhattan with 152 points.
Ethan Maher turned in another strong race, placing tenth to lead the way for the Explorers, covering the hilly 4K in 12:36. Vincent Twomey was 21st in 12:57 and Bradden Koors was 29th in 13:13 to make for a strong 2-3, and Dan Gervino (40th) and Patrick Coyle (43rd) were LaSalle's other scorers.
Downingtown West scored 158 points for fourth. Aiden Barnhill paced the Whippets with a ninth place finish in 12:35, the top PA boy in the field. Declan Rymer was 27th, Holden Betz was 38th and Ben Datte was 39th for D-West.
It was a strong showing for the Keystone State top teams on Saturday. Manhattan served as a precursor to NXR-Northeast, which will take place on November 30 at Bowdoin (NY).
It was also a first look at LaSalle vs. D-West, which are the two boys teams that have separated themselves from the rest of PA in Class AAA.
The next few months leading up to the state meet and then regionals. A lot can change in that time, but Saturday presented a good midseason showdown. The strength of the region was on display. Could the Northeast be a contender for wildcards to NXN?
If we learned one thing from Manhattan, it's that Pennsylvania will be a factor for NXN bids out of the Northeast.