RBC relay teams qualify for Penn Relays

“They are pretty excited. They’ve taken a step up.” – Rob DeFillippis Red Bank Catholic High School track coach

BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer

Saturday’s Colts Neck Relays were a last chance opportunity for teams to attain qualifyingmarks for the Penn Relays.

Red Bank Catholic’s boys 4×800 relay team was not one of those teams searching for a qualifying time. With an 8:12 run indoors, the Caseys were all but assured of making the prestigious Penn Relays (April 24-26). However, that wasn’t enough for the Caseys. Mike Quinn, Jon Cusik, Kevin Byrne and Bobby McGann wanted to run faster and, did just that – finishing second to Westfield with an 8:08.72.

“We definitely needed it for our mindset,” said coach Rob DeFillipis.

Freshman Byrne, running the third leg for RBC, delivered the best race of his young career, a 1:57.8 split to highlight the Casey effort, which will improve their seeding at Penn (they will run the morning of April 25).

Quinn ran a 2:04 to start it off for RBC with Cusick following with a 2:01. With Bryne hammering out his 1:57.8, the Caseys moved into contention to win the race that was loaded with teams looking to run fast to qualify for Penn. McGann closed with a 2:05.7 that put RBC second to Westfield (8:04.58).

One of the teams behind RBC was Mater Dei, which managed to qualify for Penn with an 8:14.48.

This was the first time in five years that the Casey will be going to Penn in the 4×800. Another sign of the progress the program is making.

While the boys’ 4×800 team knew it was going to Penn, DeFillipis had not anticipated that the girls Distance Medley squad would be going to Penn for the Championship of America DMR.

Back in January, DeFillipis had taken the quartet of Molly McNamara, Janine Louie, Katie Andree and Kate Rochford to Yale University to run a DMR. They ran a very respectable 12:33.

As it turned out, it was far more than respectable holding up over the next three months to get the quartet to Penn.

“They are pretty excited,” DeFillipis said. “They’ve taken a step up.”

It is believed to be the first girls DMR team in school history to qualify for Penn. They are racing Thursday night at Philadelphia’s Franklin Field.