Historic run for Central Bucks South's Mallon
A seemingly endless party of a track season just concluded for Central Bucks South's Tom Mallon. Opponents from all over Pennsylvania witnessed the celebration firsthand. In many instances, they were left awestruck.
A seemingly endless party of a track season just concluded for Central Bucks South's Tom Mallon.
Opponents from all over Pennsylvania witnessed the celebration firsthand. In many instances, they were left awestruck.
That's because the senior solidified his spot as one of the premier 800-meter runners in state history by repeatedly outmuscling and outrunning competitors.
"It was a really exciting season," said Mallon, The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania boys' track and athlete of the year for the second consecutive season. "I'm really happy with everything that I did."
The Stanford signee's proudest moment came Friday night when he set the Pennsylvania state record in his marquee event.
His fully automatic time of 1 minute, 49.01 seconds in the Pennsylvania Distance Festival surpassed the state-record time, handheld, of 1:48.8 set by Archbishop Kennedy's Paul Vandegrift in 1987. Vandegrift's time converts to a fully automatic 1:49.04, thus giving Mallon the record.
"It's an awesome feeling to finally be put up there with Vandegrift," Mallon said. "He's just an outstanding runner. And to finally break his record, that's what I have been shooting for forever."
His winning effort was also the nation's best of the season as of Friday, according to MileSplit.us.
Running behind the event's rabbit, Central Bucks South's Nick Drozd, Mallon came through the 400 in 53.6 seconds Friday night. After Drozd dropped out of the race, Mallon completed 600 meters in 1:21. He then powered his way into the state record book.
Even without the record, Mallon would have been one of the state's most-celebrated half-milers.
Last weekend, Mallon won his third consecutive Class AAA title in the 800 at the PIAA state championships. And he did it in spectacular fashion. His time of 1:49.31 broke the state-meet record of 1:50.31 set by Penn Wood's Mark Fowler in 1984.
Undefeated in meet finals, Mallon also placed first at the District 1 Class AAA meet, the Suburban One Continental championships, and the Henderson Invitational.
He also teamed with Yacine Zerdoum, Drozd, and Jon Eisemann on the Titans' 4x400 relay that placed fifth in the Class AAA state meet in 3:19.20.
However, the all-American's most memorable accomplishment came Friday night at West Chester Henderson.
"This is just a nice exclamation point to the end of his career," Titans coach Mike Cox said of Mallon's topping Vandegrift's record. ". . . It's been a great, great career."