PHILADELPHIA COUNTY CHAPTER
CATHOLIC WAR VETS INVITATIONAL
(Also known as the Miriam Funston Catholic War Vets Memorial)
  The Catholic War Vets Invitational was founded and sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of Catholic War Vets in 1952.  The cross country race was a strong competitive race on the high school race calendar held in November and was one of the few races where some of the best schools from the Pittsburg area came east to run against some of the best schools in the Philadelphia area.   For years, the Catholic high schools did not compete in the PIAA (even though they had some of the best teams in the state) and the race winner was often refered to as the State Champion.   The race was held on the 2 3/8 mile course on the Cobbs Creek golf course in West Philadelphia from 1952 until 1965. The race was moved to the Belmont Plateau Park 2.3 mile course in 1962 until 1973.  The course was increased to 2.9 miles in 1974 until the race was discontinued. 

YEAR                             TEAM CHAMPION  (AREA )                           INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION  (SCHOOL)         TIME                    NOTES
1952                              WEST CATHOLIC (PHILA)                            HENRY NEALIS  (WEST CATHOLIC)           14:53  *Nealis was PCL Champ. St Thomas More 2nd. 
1953                              PITTSBURG CENTRAL (PITTSBURG)      BOB FARRELL (WEST CATHOLIC)              14:11    *Farrell was PCL Champ
1954                             WEST CATHOLIC (PHILA)                             BOB FARRELL (WEST CATHOLIC)              14:22
1955                             CENTRAL CATHOLIC (PITTSBURG)         PATRICK MURPHY (CENTRAL CATHOLIC)   13:42
1956                             CENTRAL CATHOLIC (PITTSBURG)         JOE FRIDAY (CENTRAL CATHOLIC)          13:12
1957                             WEST CATHOLIC (PHILA.)                           ANGELO SIVIERI (WEST CATHOLIC)         13:37     *Silvieri  was PCL Champ
1958                             CARDINAL DOUGHERTY  (PHILA.)            PAT TRAYNER (MONSIGNOR BONNER)  13:26    *Traynor and CD where PCL Champs
1959                             CARDINAL DOUGHERTY (PHILA)              FRANCIS CARVER (CARD. DOUGHERTY) 13:31    *CD won the Eastern Championship!
1960                             WEST CATHOLIC (PHILA.)                           TOM STUBBLEBINE (WEST CATHOLIC)   13:13
1961                             PITTSBURG CENTRAL (PITTSBURG)      MIKE COFFEY (CARDINAL DOUGHERTY) 13:13   *Coffey was PCL Champion.
1962                             CARDINAL DOUGHERTY (PHILA)             TOM DONNELLY (LA SALLE)                          13:15  *Donnelly and CD were  PCL Champion
1963                             CARDINAL DOUGHERTY (PHILA)             TOM DONNELLY (LA SALLE)                          13:35  *Donnelly and CD were PCL Champion
1964                             PITTSBURG CENTRAL (PITTSBURG)     TOM DONNELLY (LA SALLE)                          13:00 *This was Donnelly 44th straight XC win!
1965                             PITTSBURG CENTRAL (PITTSBURG)     JOHN LYONS (ROMAN CATHOLIC)             13:04   *Lyons was PCL Champ
1966                             BISHOP MCDEVITT (PHILA.)                      PAT MCKENNA (BISHOP MCDEVITT)        13:16   *McDevitt was PCL Champions. 
1967                             PITTSBURG CENTRAL (PITTSBURG)     TOM DAVID (BISHOP CANEVIN)                   13:08 
1968                             BISHOP CANEVIN (PITTSBURG)              RAY PARENTI (BISHOP CANEVIN)               13:06
1969                             BISHOP CANEVIN (PITTSBURG)              ROLAND CHAMP (BISHOP CANEVIN)        13:02   * Meet Record
1970                             NO RESULTS FOUND FOR THIS YEAR
1971                             LA SALLE (PHILA.)                                         JOHN JENNINGS (CARD. DOUGHERTY)   12:58 *CR/MR  Jennings and La Salle-PCL Champs.
1972                             LA SALLE (PHILA)                                          JOHN JENNINGS (CARD. DOUGHERTY)   12:45 *CR/MR Jennings and LS repeat as PCL Champs
1973                             SAINT JOSEPH (BUFFALO, NY)                BOB LEE (PITTSBURG CENTRAL)               12:53
1974                             SAINT JOSEPH (BUFFALO, NY)                JOHN BURNS (LA SALLE)                              14:18 *Burns wins PCL and this breaks CR (Gillman/14:21
1975                             CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (MA.)                     JOHN MORBACHER (LA SALLE)                  14:52 
1976                             GEORGETOWN PREP (MARYLAND)        JOHN WEHNER (SALESIANUM, DE.)         15:02
                                       ARCHBISHOP CARROLL (PHILA)             DEBBIE KOESTERER (ARCH. CARROLL)  NA         *First time there was a girl's race
                                                                NO RECORD OF RACE IN NEWSPAPER ACCOUNTS AFTER 1976 RACE                         


Belmont Plateau Cross Country Hall of Fame
611 Jamestown Street
Philadelphia , Pa  19128

Dave Thomas, Founder and President
          

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