Southampton junior Gustavo Morastitla saved his best time of the year for when it mattered most.
Morastitla finished 33rd out of 127 runners in the boys Class B race in 16:42 on the 5K (3.1-mile) course at Chenango Valley State Park in Chenango Forks, New York, outside of Binghamton.
Morastitla had the second-best time among Suffolk County runners, behind Miller Place senior Tom Schott (26th in 16:36), and he was fourth among all Long Island runners. Morastitla also beat out three runners he had finished behind just a week earlier at the Suffolk County (state qualifier) meet, including Jack Ryan of Westhampton Beach (37th in 16:48) who won the Suffolk County Class B race a week earlier, Philip Gunther of Sayville, and Brendan Murphy of Miller Place. Morastitla was 27 seconds faster at states than he was in the county (state qualifier) race.
Southampton head coach Eddie Arnold had high praise for Morastitla, who will compete in the indoor track season this winter and the outdoor track season in the spring before returning for his senior cross country season next year.
“I was so impressed with the way he handled it,” Arnold said. “His internal fortitude and drive is just outstanding. He did so well on an unfamiliar course.”
Four Pierson sophomores competed in the Class D race at states, gaining valuable experience for the future. In the boys ‘D’ race, Pierson’s Hunter Hansen was 73rd out of 122 runners in 18:29. The girls were led by Caroline Jungck, who was 64th of 116 runners in 22:18. Carly Browngardt (71st in 22:37) and Blair Potter (73rd in 22:41) also competed.