- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 12, 2024
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Len Wasileski has achieved excellence on the playing fields and in the classroom at Mount Carmel Area High School. In addition to earning 9 varsity letters in his time at MCA, Len was also the valedictorian of the class of 1972. This was at a time when the local school graduated well over 200 students each year.
Wasileski would achieve tremendous success as a Cross-country runner for legendary coach Gerald Breslin. During the 1970 and 1971 seasons, MCA would register a terrific 38-10 record that culminated in the team winning the Susquehanna Valley League Championship in 1971. The harriers would also register a runner-up finish at the District IV Championship meet in ‘71. Wasileski would qualify to compete in the State Championship meet following the season.
Len also participated in MCA basketball for Coach Scott Gross and was able to earn three varsity letters for the Tornadoes. Along with Walt Madalis, Hank Szymanski, and Albert Klokis, Len would lead the Tornadoes to their first winning season since 1967 with a fine 12-10 record in the always tough Schuylkill League. That team would establish a new modern day record for points scored in their 116-81 victory over Minersville. They would also establish marks for the most points scored in a quarter – 41 and in a half – 68 and the most field goals scored in a game with 47. Len was able to connect on 98 of 137 foul shots during the 71-72 season, and that was the 4th most ever at MCA up to that date. His 14 foul conversions in a game vs Shenandoah was the fourth best at that time. By virtue of their fine play, the Tornadoes qualified for the District XI tournament, only to lose to Northampton in the opening round. Despite the defeat, the District playoff appearance was the first Tornado Five since the 1939-40 season. The Torndoes averaged 71.7 points per game, the best production since the 1967 season. For his efforts, Len was named the MVP of Tornado basketball by his coaches.
In the spring, Len turned his attention to the cinders as a middle-distance runner for Coach Breslin. Len participated in the 880-yard run, the mile run, and was a member of the 2-mile relay team. The 2-mile relay team established a new school record at 8:21.7 – because of the conversion to meters, this record still stands today. Other members of that team were Walt Madalis, Rich Ferri, and Jeff Yoder. Len achieved a 5th place finish in the mile, a 3rd place medal in the 880 and 2-mile relay at the District IV meet and was able to represent MCA at the State Championship Meet in the 880 in 1972.
Wasileski returned to track in 1997 as an assistant to J. Kevin Jones with the girls track program at Southern Columbia High School. His responsibilities included the sprinters, mid-distance and distance runners. Some of their runners were the most successful in Southern history, evidenced by the 4 x 800 meter relay team medaling at states in 1999 and 2000. Hillary Roth would add her name to that list by medaling in the 1600 in 2004. Cynthia Adams qualified for states from 2007-2010 at the 800 meters.
Len is married to Anita Arthur Wasileski and has two daughters, Lura Wasileski Good and Kristen Wasileski Diehl. Len attended Bucknell University from 1972-74 and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Physical Therapy.