July 12, 2023 –
This is the second of a series for the City Six athletic programs where we look back at the bright, shining stars from the athletics season.
We will name the Team of the year and Student Athlete of the year for each school. In addition we will list an honor roll for teams and student athletes. A team recognition will be noted by a championship, post season advancement, and / or a significant achievement. To be named as a player one should have a national award or honor, a league accolade, significant achievement, or team record.
Let’s take a look back at this past season on the at McCarthy Stadium, the Gola Arena, the track, the links, and the rivers for La Salle University.
Team of the Year: La Salle Men’s Rowing – The Explorers team finished the season as the only ranked program at La Salle, getting the 19th place in the IRCA/TRA Coached poll. It is their best finish in school history. The team had its Varsity 8+ boats finish among the top 18 teams in the country at the 120th IRA National Championships. The Explorers had two boats in the Varsity 8+that placed 16th and 18th. 16th ranked Boat #2 turned in a time of 6:02.88 in the C Final. That boat won gold at the Kerr Cup and Murphy Cup, and placed second in the Bergen Cup. This team got a bronze medal at the Knecht Cup, and placed fourth at the Dad Vail Regatta. Boat #1 rowed the distance in 5:55.84 placing 6th in the C Final. Elizabeth Boyle (coxswain), Tyler Lancaster, Tristano Pitetti, Kurt Rudolph, Thomas Saady, Joel Bevenour, Owen Moody, Luke Iannelli, and Ethan Hack rowed for Boat 2. Explorer rowers Nick O’Neill (first team) , Patrik Farkas (honorable mention), and Robin Hamann (honorable mention) were named to the Empacher-Intercollegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-American teams in Division 1/2.
Student Athlete of the Year: Eleanor Mancini
Mancini had an outstanding performance in the 10,000 Meter Run in the NCAA Eastern Regional. Mancini won the race and qualified to run in the national championship. She turned in a time of 33:15.35, over five seconds faster than the second place finisher Mercy Chelangat of Alabama. In the final Mancini ran a time of 35:19.21 to finish 19th. Mancini started the year in cross country. She qualified for the NCAA Championships running a 20:28.5, a career-best in the 6K run. In the Atlantic 10 5K meet Eleanor finished just under 2 seconds behind sister Liz for the individual championship turning in a 16:40.2 effort. In the Outdoor season Mancini set the school record in the 5K running a time of 16:05.96 at the Penn Relays. At the A10 Outdoor championships she won the individual championship in the 10,000 Meters, her third consecutive, with a winning time of 33:55.84, a facility record. Mancini won that race by nearly a minute and 30 seconds. It was an impressive year for the graduate student from Media, PA.
Honor Roll Teams
Outdoor Track and Field
An outstanding year highlighted by the performances of distance runner Eleanor Mancini, who is named the Athlete of the Year for La Salle. There are many others in addition to El Mancini, who contributed to the success of the Explorers. Dennis Manyeah won gold in the high jump at the Atlantic 10 Championships. His winning jump was a height of 2.11m. David Butts is the 3,000 meter Steeplechase champion getting to the finish line in 9:00.78. Christine Mancini, Eleanor’s sister, claimed gold on the 800-meters with a time of 2:08.26.
In the Atlantic 10 Championships the Explorers team placed four boats in the top six earning their highest finish in twenty years. The two boats with the best performances were the 2nd Varsity 8+ and 2nd Varsity 4+ as both rowed in their respective Grand Final and took 5th place. In the Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+ both finished 6th in their races. The Second Varsity 8+ covered the course in 8:33.99. The team members were; Arya Singh (coxswain), Lily Henshaw, Madison Hintze, Clare Cornish, Maddie Lisitsin, Kate Vasey, Dijana Majkic, Kyra Baldassarra, and Izzie Stevens. The Second Varsity 4+ had Salena Huynh (coxswain), Callie Bullard (stroke) Audrey Allen, Emily Ulrich, and Veronica Brewer (bow) turn in a time of 10:19.24. The Varsity 8+ rowed the distance in 8:04.24 while the Varsity 4+ hit the finish line in 10:02.37.
La Salle Women’s Swimming 200m Medley Relay
Lauren Fenn, Gabriela Herbreder, Tori Fenn, and Emma van Selm swam a time of 1:42.42 in the event which is the new program record. The team lowered the mark from 1:42.95 set in 2018.
Student Athletes Honor Roll
Liz Mancini, Women’s Cross Country who claimed her first Atlantic 10 individual title winning the 5k race in 16:38.6. This was her personal-best and the second fastest time over the course. Mancini earned her second consecutive league championship in the 5,000 Meters with a winning time of 16:49.42, nearly 10 seconds faster than the second pace finisher.
Khalil Brantley, Men’s Basketball who was selected to the All-Big Five First Team. He led the team in scoring average at 14.3 points per game, and totaled 458 points over the season. He also ranked at the top of the team lists in: made free throws sinking 109 of 146; assists handing out 132; and he stole the ball 50 times as a sophomore. Brantley scored a career-high 29 points against Rhode Island. In that game he made 12 of 15 from the free throw line, another collegiate-best.
Molly Masciantonio, Women’s Basketball who led the nation in the assist to turnover ratio. Masciantonio assisted 118 times and turned the ball over just 25 times, the fewest among the top-50 players in the statistic, to have a ratio of 4.72, the best in that category by a wide margin.
Kayla Spruill, Women’s Basketball who made 54 three-pointers this season to give her the school record with 221 made three-pointers. She ranked second on the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game and 5.1 rebounds. Spruill is the only Explorer to earn three straight end of season conference awards.
Francesca Co’, Water Polo who earned All-MAAC First Team honors. She led the Explorers in; shots getting 246, goals with 90; 26 assists; 69 steals; and 26 field blocks. Co’ extended her single-game program record in steals getting 10. The junior attacker is from Rapallo, Italy.
Kayleigh Zeman, Women’s Golf who shot the lowest score in program history at the MAAC Championships. She turned in a 22-over par effort to lead the Explorers to an eighth place finish. This tied the best placement for La Salle at the tournament.