Above: Council Rock HC Dave Marrington discusses the Council Rock North Win.
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For the 11th time and the second time in the 21st century, Council Rock North has won the State Championship title. Council Rock North (CRN) underwent a name change in 2002 when Council Rock South HS was built. North was added to the name to help denote a difference between the two schools.
From 1987 to 1999, the Council Rock boys won nine state championships, including five in a row between 1991 and 1995. Simply stated, Council Rock North has a legacy, and this year, the CRN boys lived up to it.
On Saturday (Nov 4), the squad knew they could win the title. After all, they just came off of a convincing victory at the District 1 Championship, one of the most competitive districts in the state. Yet, they knew they'd have to battle fellow championship favorites La Salle College HS and State College while fending off other teams trying to steal a crown.
At the halfway point of the race, Lower Merion led with 124 points. Council Rock North was in second, 9 points back, La Salle was in third, and Souderton was in a distant fourth. Notably, State College was down in seventh. It became apparent that our three favorites, CRN, La Salle, and State College, were all implementing a similar strategy. Each team's spread was less than 25 seconds. For CRN and La Salle, that number was skewed by Brady Ott (CRN) and Cole Casadei (La Salle), who each found themselves in the top pack. Each team's next four were separated by less than six seconds each.
By the 4K mark, things had shifted. La Salle found themselves leading, while CRN was desperate to make up an 8-point gap.
Photo by GameDayPix
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Over the final 1000m, Jayden Neels made up one spot, Andrew Young passed three runners, Lucas Poliseno made up eight positions, and Matt Gosling passed eleven opponents. Only some of those positions were points-paying, but regardless, CRN found eight points and beat La Salle 134-136.
CRN posted a 16:47 average with a 48-second spread. Meanwhile, La Salle averaged 16:46, State College averaged 16:51, Souderton averaged 16:47, Lower Merion averaged 16:51, and North Allegheny averaged 16:53 as the teams finished in that order.
Top 6 Teams in 3A
|1||Council Rock North||134||9+23+30+32+40 (51+97)||0:47 1-5 Split | 16:46 Avg|
|2||La Salle College||136||5+19+21+44+47 (50+67)||1:07 1-5 Split | 16:46 Avg|
|3||State College||142||15+20+27+38+42 (43+86)||0:36 1-5 Split | 16:50 Avg|
|4||Souderton Area||144||4+16+26+34+64 (77+90)||1:31 1-5 Split | 16:47 Avg|
|5||Lower Merion||183||2+10+12+46+113 (128+129)||2:41 1-5 Split | 16:51 Avg|
|6||North Allegheny||185||3+22+24+61+75 (80+81)||1:50 1-5 Split | 16:53 Avg|
State College wasn't quite able to close the early deficit. However, they continued to run as the tightest pack in the field and finished within 36 seconds of one another. State College will return five of their starting seven, so they'll return next year as THE District 6 Powerhouse.
Souderton Area almost stole one. They finished just 10 points back from Council Rock North, a result that none of us predicted. Aiden Maue had a phenomenal day, and his team stepped up behind him. James Kuduk found himself in 25th (16 points), while Aidan Kearns and Stephen Keller finished in 41st (26 points) and 50th (34 points).