CBA, Delbarton, Westfield Go 2-3-4 in DMR At Penn Relays

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. Christian Brothers Academy found itself in a very familiar position at Friday's at the 127th Penn Relays presented by Toyota.

The Colts, who have won three Championship of America distance medley relay titles and have more appearances in the race than any other NJ team, once again found themselves battling for the coveted wheel in a driving rain storm at Franklin Field.

CBA, who won their titles in 1985, 1988 and 2011, was leading at the final handoff, but Rocky Hansen of Christ School in North Carolina dropped a 4:05.65 anchor to bring his team across the line first in 9:58.15, No. 2 in meet history, just off the meet record of 9:57.77 set in 2018 by NJ's Hopewell Valley.

Nick Sullivan held off a late charge from Delbarton's Collin Boler to bring CBA across second in 10:13.68. Boler split 4:11.24 and picked off seven runners to take third for the Green Wave in 10:15.33. Westfield, the 1995 DMR champ, finished fourth in 10:17.40. Defending champion Union Catholic ran 10:22.62 for ninth, Cinnaminson finished 10th in 10:23.67., and Rahway, making its first appearance in the DMR,  placed 16th in 10:40.34.

For CBA, tied with Bernards for the most DMR wins by a NJ team at Penn with three, Jack Falkowski led off with a 3:06.69 for the 1,200 leg, and handed to Sean Lawson  in second place. Lawson split 50.04 to keep the Colts in second. Conor Clifford then blasted a 1:54.60 on his 800 carry, the fastest two-lap split of the race, to hand the baton to Sullivan in first, 1.19 seconds ahead of Hansen.

Sullivan ran 4:22.36 to secure the runner-up spot for the Colts, whose time of 10:13.68 was especially impressive in the brutal conditions.

"Under these conditions, in these circumstances, it's great," said Sullivan said. "We're proud of how we ran. If you told us before the race that we were gonna finish in second place, we would've been pretty happy. We're a competitive team and we always want to win whenever we come to stuff like this.''

Falkowski said the goal is obviously to always win.

"Obviously we came to win,'' said Falkowski. "That's the goal for every race. We were able to pull out second, which isn't bad, but we definitely wanted first."

Delbarton, who ran finished second in 10:02.81 at the New Balance Indoor Nationals last month, was bidding for its first relay wheel. But the Green Wave couldn't keep Boler who spit 4:03.80 indoors, close enough to have a shot to win.

Westfield, fourth in the C of A 4x800 last year, was aiming for its first wheel since winning the DMR in 1995. The Blue Devils were right up near the front the whole way in its first DMR appearance at Penn since placing fourth in 1997.

Liam Maurillo, running just his second 1,200, led off for the Blue Devils with a strong 3:07.75. Joe Pierro followed with a 49.56, and then Jon Scalia ran 1:56.91 for 800 to hand-off to Avery Keith in the third place. Keith split 4:23.20.