Cross country runners from East Hampton and Southampton had a chance to see how they stack up against their classmates at the Jim Smith Invitational at Sunken Meadow Park on Saturday.
Runners were divided according to both gender and grade, with freshmen competing in a 1.8-mile race, while sophomores, juniors and seniors competed in separate 5K (3.1-mile) races. Each race had close to or more than 200 runners, and the top 25 in each race were given T-shirts and medals.
East Hampton’s Erik Engstrom won the sophomore race, in 17:57, while Jack Link was eighth in the senior race, in 17:54. Freshman Josh Dempsey was ninth in the freshman race, in 8:51.
Among the girls, eighth-grader Liana Paradiso was seventh in the freshman race, in 11:06, while Dana Cebulski was seventh in the junior race, in 21:52. Jackie Messemer was 37th in the junior race, in 23:56.
Before the invitational, the Bonac boys cross country team beat Westhampton Beach, 22-34, at Sunken Meadow in a 2.8-mile race on September 17. Engstrom won the race, in 15:55, while Link was second with a time of 16:18, and Adam Cebulski was fourth, in 16:30.
East Hampton improved to 2-0 in League VI. The girls lost, 32-16 (low score wins), to Miller Place on the same day in what was their first League VI meet of the season.
Both the boys and girls teams were scheduled to host League VI dual meets at Cedar Point Park on Tuesday, September 24, in what East Hampton boys coach Kevin Barry said would be the first home meet for the program in 24 years. Prior to this season, East Hampton had its home meets at Indian Island in Riverhead, an hour from East Hampton. But this year, East Hampton was able to get the Cedar Point Park 2.7-mile course certified to host meets—which Barry said is a relief considering the amount of time it takes for his team to get to cross country meets.
For Southampton, Lumei Abatangelo was 14th in the freshman race, in 11:35, while in the senior race, Erika Gulija was 21st, in 23:54.
Mariner Spencer Crough had a great performance in the boys freshman race, taking fourth, in 9:36, while teammate Ryan McCabe was 12th, in 9:54.
In the sophomore race, Sebastian Hunter-Cuyjet was 14th, in 19:11, and in the junior race, Kyle Vella had a personal-best time of 19:53, taking 45th.
Timmy Squires was 44th in the senior race, in 19:37.
Earlier in the week, both the Southampton boys and girls teams lost by a wide margin to powerhouse Bayport/Blue Point in dual meets, although head coach Eddie Arnold said that many runners had personal-best times racing against the tough team.
The Pierson girls cross country team took a long bus trip up to the Baldwinsville Invitational, near Syracuse, over the weekend. In the 2.95-mile Small Schools race, Hannah Jungck finished 69th out of 189 runners with a time of 22:05, while Elena Skerys finished 100th, in 22:55, and Arlena Burns and Paola Zeas came in together, at 24:24. Maya Buckner finished in 24:49, and Rose O’Donoghue finished in 26:31.