James goes the distance to get Delco record

UPPER PROVIDENCE — Cardinal O’Hara’s Kevin James has had his mind on Steve Hallinan’s Delaware County Cross Country Championships course record time of 15:33 for some time now.

“It was the only school record of his that I didn’t have,’ said James, the reigning Daily Times Boys Runner of the Year. “As soon we got here and saw it was good ground conditions, I realized I could take a good shot at it.’

The senior ran 15:22 on an overcast Saturday afternoon at Rose Tree Park to smash Hallinan’s record by 11 seconds and successfully defend his individual title in the process. Behind him, O’Hara sophomore Ryan James placed second, junior Rob Morro placed third, senior Drew Pastore was seventh, and sophomore Billy Donovan grabbed ninth to score 22 points and take a record sixth-straight team title.

“That was our big thing today,’ said O’Hara head coach Tom Kennedy. “We wanted to go for that streak record.’

O’Hara was also targeting the record low of 19 points scored by Kennedy’s 2012 squad, but the Lions ultimately fell short by 3 points.

“We were hoping to go for the lowest score ever, but that didn’t happen. That’s a credit to the kids that broke up our top five,’ Kennedy said.

Those finishers were senior Ryan Rastatter of Bonner-Prendergast in fourth place, Springfield sophomore Liam Galligan in fifth place, Bonner-Prendie junior Sean Sullivan in sixth, and senior Taylor Orcutt of Penncrest in eighth. Justin Miller, a senior from Springfield, was just behind them to complete the top 10.

The O’Hara boys credited the team’s closeness and willingness to work together as the reason for their success Saturday.

“We run together every day,’ said Morro, the third-place finisher. “Ryan (James) had a really good day, and I was just trying to stay close to him. He ran really gutsy and kept me pushing myself.’

“We’re a really tight-knit group,’ added James, who also said that the team performance is a huge motivation behind his individual success. “If I’m up toward the front and I start feeling tired running with the top guys I just always have in the back of my head that I have to push not just for myself but for my team. They need me to do well as much as I want to do well for myself.’

Despite missing the all-time points record, Kennedy was satisfied with the team’s effort.

“It was a record-setting day,’ he said. “We didn’t get all the records we wanted, but we were happy.’


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