Sophomore Connor Melko won the 800 and 1,600 and the Bishop Eustace distance team piled up a ridiculous 54 points in three events to lead the Crusaders to their third consecutive state Parochial B indoor championship and fourth overall.
With the 10-8-6-4-2-1 scoring system, there are 31 points available per event, so 93 total points in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Eustace scored more than half of them — 54 of 93, or 58 percent of all available distance points in the entire state.
Eustace outscored second-place Hudson Catholic 66-48 to win the Parochial B title. Eustace won Parochial B in 2010, 2015 and 2016.
With four indoor titles, Eustace trails only Willingboro (14), Haddonfield (7) and Woodbury (5) among South Jersey schools. Bridgeton and Winslow also have four.
Eustace also won outdoor state titles in Parochial B in 1992, 1995 and 1996 so now has seven overall championships.
The 1969 Eustace team scored the most points in Parochial B, but that came during a two-year period in which the NJSIAA inexplicably decided not to award state team championships. That 1969 Eustace team is regarded as the unofficial state Parochial B champs.
As for this year’s meet, Eustace scored 24 points in the 1,600, 20 points in the 800 and 10 in the 3,200 for 54 of 66 points in the three long track races.
Some 42 of those points came from Melko, sophomore Andrew Massaro and junior Nick Hutchison.
Melko won the 800 in an indoor PR 2:01.47 and the 1,600 in 4:38.04, Hutchison ran 10:00.62 for second in the 3,200 and 4:42.09 for third in the 1,600, and Massaro ran 4:39.11 for second to Melko in the 1,600.
Junior Philip Sobocinski ran 2:05.11 and sophomore Sean May an indoor PR 2:05.15 for third and fourth in the 800, and senior Michael Dziuba added two points with a fifth-place finish in the 3,200 for a total of 54 points for the Eustace distance team.
The Crusaders also got big points in the field from two seniors – Michael Fisher placed third in the pole vault and Montel Johnson was fourth in the shot put.
May, Massaro and seniors Daniel Hullihan and John Nguyen also teamed up to place fifth in the 1,600-meter relay.