Plenty of discussions surrounded Southeastern Pennsylvania boys' track and field this spring.

Most were enjoyable. However, coaches and competitors would like to forget a few.

Folks are still talking about Central Bucks South's record-setting performance in the Class AAA 4x800-relay final. And there are even more discussions about Abington's state-meet disaster.

Here are some of the highs and lows of the season:

Team of the year

Sorry, North Penn supporters, but Upper Dublin is Southeastern Pennsylvania's top team regardless of classification or league.

Sure, the Knights nabbed another District 1 Class AAA title. But the Cardinals always produced on the big stage.

Upper Dublin's third-place finish at the Class AAA state meet was the best effort by any local team. The Cardinals' quartet of Matt Lorenzo, Chris Melton, Paul Reilly, and Mike Palmisano won the Penn Relays' Championship of America distance medley race. Upper Dublin's winning time was 10 minutes, 8.46 seconds. Only eight high school teams in the nation have run faster times, according to Dyestat.com.

Upper Dublin has much more than one of the nation's premier distance medley relay teams. Melton, Paul Reilly, Patrick Reilly, and Palmisano combined to run a time of 7:40.04 to finish second in the 4x800 at the Class AAA state meet. It was the sixth-fastest time in the country, according to track historian Jim Spiers.

Co-coaches of the year

Floyd Dinkins and Rich Ames were the masterminds behind Upper Dublin's success. The duo's training methods, devotion, and motivation were the big reasons for the Cardinals' success and national recognition in two relay events.

Highlight of the season

The Central Bucks South boys' 4x800-meter relay team set the National Federation of State High School and PIAA state-meet records. The quartet of Jeff Dickson, Dave Manion, Matt Poiesz, and Tom Mallon did that by winning the Class AAA event in 7 minutes, 33.48 seconds. Wissahickon set both previous records by running a 7:36.24 in 1982. The Titans' state-meet time was the nation's third-fastest time of the season, according to Spiers.

Best individual performance

Palmisano had a hand in 24 of the Cardinals' 28 total points at the Class AAA state meet.

The Princeton-bound senior won the 1,600 in 4:13.93, finished third in the 800 (1:54.85), and ran a leg on Upper Dublin's second-place 4x800 relay team.

Heartbreak of the year

Abington's Chris Morales had a chance to leave the Class AAA state with multiple gold medals. Instead, the senior left Shippensburg University empty-handed. Morales was the pre-meet favorite to win the 400 meters. He failed, however, to qualify for the final.

Morales said he injured his hamstring while running the ninth-best time, 48.64 seconds, in the trials. Hatboro-Horsham's Colin Dempster ran the eighth and final qualifying time, 48.63. On the following day, the Ghosts' quartet of Charles Ross, Macey Watson, Tony Parker, and Morales appeared to win the 4x400 final. However, they were disqualified after a runner ran out of his lane.

Contact Keith Pompey
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