Central Bucks South's boys' 4x800 relay team made history this season.
Overmatched opponents from all over the state had no choice but to witness the domination firsthand. They also observed an individual whose performances kept fans and coaches staring in amazement at their stopwatches.
Jeff Dickson, Dave Manion, and Matt Poiesz are all standout half-milers, but it was Tom Mallon who was the catalyst behind the Titans' success.
Whether running the open 800 meters or teaming up with the three seniors in the 4x800, the junior was an unconquerable force.
For his efforts, the 17-year-old is the Southeastern Pennsylvania boys' track and field athlete of the year.
"Time-wise, I think he can run with some of the best," Central Bucks South coach Mike Cox said, comparing Mallon to Pennsylvania's all-time great half-milers. "He is very exciting to watch."
Folks at last month's PIAA track and field state championships would agree. He had the most impressive performance of any competitor.
The junior anchored the Titans' 4x800-meter relay that set National Federation of State High School and PIAA state meet records. Dickson, Manion, Poiesz, and Mallon won the Class AAA race in 7 minutes, 33.48 seconds. Wissahickon set both previous records by running a 7:36.24 in 1982. In the process, C.B. South posted this season's third-fastest time in the country, according to track historian Jim Spiers.
Mallon highlighted the performance with an anchor leg of 1:49.0. He followed the historic moment by coasting to his second consecutive Class AAA boys' 800 victory. Mallon stayed behind Hempfield's Kevin Hull until the final 300 meters of that race. He ended up winning the event in 1:52.77. Hull was second in 1:53.88.
"Being able to break the [NFHS] record and being on the national scene was just awesome," said Mallon, who went undefeated this season in the 800.
Mallon had hoped to add another record-setting performance this season. He wanted to break former Penn Wood standout Mark Fowler's 25-year state-meet record of 1:50.31 in the Class AAA 800. But, still fatigued from his impressive relay split, Mallon opted to do just enough to win.
"I'll be back next year, trying to break it," said Mallon, who lists Stanford, Virginia, Texas, and UCLA as the front-runners in recruiting him. "But one record, that was plenty for me."