La Salle splashes past Archbishop Wood

Despite bringing back only three seniors from last year’s state championship-winning team, La Salle entered the week still undefeated in Philadelphia Catholic League meets.

After Monday, the Explorers still are without a loss in league play following a 96-83 La Salle win over PCL counterpart and host Archbishop Wood in an evening meet at Eugene Klinger Middle School in Southampton.

The Explorers, who are now 7-1 overall and 5-0 in league meets, started out by winning the 200-yard medley relay and never relinquished their lead, despite the Vikings keeping the score close throughout the evening.

“I brought most of my younger kids today and Thomas Conroy had a really nice day with the 100 backstroke and while anchoring a relay,’ La Salle coach Fran Lichtner said. “The idea (tonight) was to get these younger kids some experience and get them a chance to shine a little bit and they all did a really nice job. I’m very pleased. We worked very hard, but we’re also almost at the time of the season where we’re going to be getting ready for the big meet.’

Conroy led off the 200 medley relay to start the meet, swimming a 27.44 to help the Explorers win the race by more than eight full seconds. Liiam Duffy, Gabe Labella and Evan Wilt were part of the relay team which finished with a time of 1:49.09 to help the Explorers to an early eight points.

After Gus Lawn helped the Vikings (3-3, 3-3) to a win in the next event, the 200 freestyle, the Explorers ripped off a pair of consecutive wins, with Duffy leading the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:10.19, which was followed by a 23.66 second showing by Harrison Schultz in the 50 freestyle.

Wood won the next event, with James Brazukas scoring a 133.30 to easily capture first place in the one-meter diving portion of the meet, but La Salle came right back, as Thomas Rogers swam a 57.32 to win the 100 butterfly.

Wood’s Timothy Quigley, who finished second in the 100 butterfly, went on to win the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:05.69. Quigley then led the 400 freestyle relay team which also finished in first, beating out La Salle’s team — one which was anchored by Conroy — by 1.25 seconds. Wood’s time of 3:39.18 gave the Vikings eight points and a very respectable finish in the tough league meet.

“My kids really swam well,’ Wood coach Charlie Stillwell said. “They knew it was going to be a good meet and La Salle brought enough kids for it to be competitive and my boys wanted to make it competitive and they did. They swam well, they represented themselves well and they’ve been getting a lot better over the years. This is our best year by far and we’re going to have a winning record at the end of the year. We have a really good shot to win District 12 and send a few kids to states with 1-2 in relays and lot of individuals. We’re really looking forward to it.’

The Vikings got a solid showing from Lawn, who finished in second place in the 100 freestyle to go along with his win in the 200. Lawn also started off Wood’s 200 freestyle relay team which finished in second place.

Stillwell, who will have his Vikings take on Bonner-Prendergast this Wednesday, is very impressed with his team, especially his younger swimmers.

“I have a very good freshman class with six new guys,’ he said. “They’ve infused a lot of the older kids, so I have a really good mix of young and old and it has really helped the team a lot.’

Other winners for La Salle, which is off until it faces St. Joseph’s Prep at La Salle University on Feb. 4 in the final dual meet of the year, include Kevin Durning, who won the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:09.00.

Durning also anchored the winning 200 freestyle relay team, which included Harrison Schultz, Rogers and Evan Wilt.

When asked if he believes his team has what it takes to return to the state championship, Lichtner said he believes his team is one of the few in the hunt for a title.

“We will be very competitive,’ he said. “There are probably 3-4 teams in the mix and I believe we are one of them. This is a much younger team than last year. I only have three seniors, so we’re going to find out who is really going to step up when we have our district meet in three weeks, and ultimately when we get up to Bucknell. I don’t know if I can really name anybody that will step up the most yet. That remains to be seen.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply