ESM Girls Cross Country On Verge Of First League Title And Undefeated Season

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The Eastport South Manor girls cross country team is on the verge of securing its first League V title and undefeated season in program history after its latest 24-33 victory over Islip at Sunken Meadow Park in Kings Park on October 8. The Lady Sharks faced a winless Comsewogue on Tuesday in their final dual meet of the season. Results occurred too late for this week’s article and will appear in next week’s edition of The Press.

ESM (4-0) has been led by the duo of Taylor McClay and Alex DeCicco this season and they continued to run well last week against Islip, which had been undefeated coming into the meet. McClay and DeCicco both won the meet as they crossed the finish line together in 18:42. Ashley Schafer was the next runner in for ESM at 20:00, which placed her fourth.

ESM went to the Manhattan Invitational at Van Cortland Park on Saturday. McClay, a freshman running in her first varsity race at an invitational, placed fifth overall out of 196 runners in 15:30 in the 2.5-mile race. DeCicco placed 18th overall, 16:01.

“She’s proven she’s ready,” ESM head coach Brian Methven said of McClay.

All four freshmen who ran in the freshman race for ESM medaled. Nicole Navan placed 12th in 7:36, while Ashlyn Dalton placed 23rd overall in 7:49.

The ESM boys cross country team was looking for an undefeated season as well, but that came to an abrupt end with a 24-35 loss to Islip at Sunken Meadow on October 8. It’s the first loss for ESM (4-1 League V) since losing to Kings Park in early September, 2011.

Tom Meehan won the race and it was the first time he was really pushed in a dual meet this season, according to ESM head coach Mike Doyle. Meehan finished in 15:08 while Islip’s Mike Watts finished second in 15:11. ESM’s Ryan Corbett finished third in 16:40, but then Islip took the next few spots to win the race. ESM was without its third best runner in Brandon Turbush, who injured his ankle a few days before the race. Even with Turbush, though, Doyle said it would have been tough to beat Islip.

ESM still had a shot of sharing the League V title with Harborfields on Tuesday had it defeated the Tornadoes. The results of that meet occurred too late for this edition and will appear in next week’s edition of The Press.

The Sharks went to the Manhattan Invitational on Saturday and raced in the prestigious Eastern States Championships. Meehan placed 38th overall in 13:05, which was 10 seconds slower than his time from a season ago. Doyle said it was slower than what he or Meehan expected, that being said, it was still the second fastest time of any Suffolk County public school runner in the race. Ryan Udvadia of Shoreham/Wading River finished in 12:28.

Corbett ran the freshman 1.25-mile race and finished third overall in 6:10. The two runners ahead of him shattered the course record of 5:56. They finished in 5:53 and 5:51, respectively. Mike Schnall medaled after finishing 49th in 6:47.

Westhampton Beach

The Westhampton Beach boys and girls cross country teams hosted the 12th annual Westhampton Beach Cross Country Invitational on Thursday, October 10, at Indian Island Park in Riverhead. There were 12 teams that competed on the boys side, while 11 teams competed in the girls races.

The Westhampton Beach boys won their varsity race with 64 overall points, while Southampton placed second with 82 points and East Hampton placed third with 92 points. Mount Sinai won the girls race with 59 points, with Lindenhurst placing second with 119 points and Stony Brook placing third with 121. The Westhampton Beach girls placed fourth overall with 123 points.

Westhampton Beach had four runners place in the top 15 of the boys race. Graham Brown placed third overall in 17:20, Alex Patricolo placed fifth overall in 17:43, Roger Llivasaca placed 13th overall in 18:28 and Jimmy Jordan placed 14th in 18:29.

The Lady Hurricanes were paced by Grace Gilbakian in their varsity race. She finished ninth overall in 21:19. Bryanna Gristina (23:01), Daniela Campino (23:07) and Caroline Corrigan (23:14) all placed 24th, 26th and 28th, respectively.

For the second straight season, the Westhampton Beach freshman girls won the freshman race. Jennifer Jordan won in 12:48 while Kaitlyn Brierton came in second in 13:28.

Both Westhampton Beach cross country teams won their respective dual meets last week on October 8. The boys (3-2 League VI) defeated the Eagles, 15-40, at Sunken Meadow. Alex Patricolo won the race in 16:32 on the 2.8-mile course. The Lady Canes defeated Rocky Point, 26-31, improving their record to 2-2 in League V.

Hampton Bays

The Hampton Bays boys cross country team continues to deal with a lack of depth on its roster this season. The Baymen lost, 25-36, to Mattituck at Indian Island on October 8.

Nick Berglin won last week’s race in 17:17 and was followed by his brother, Christian, at 18:18. But Mattituck took the next six spots to win the race. Mattituck’s third-place runner finished in 18:28, well behind the Berglin brothers, but since the Baymen lack any strong runners after them, it was tough to win the meet.

Hampton Bays competed at the Westhampton Beach Invitational last week and had a successful meet. Nick Berglin placed second overall in the varsity race in 17:15 and Christian Berglin placed 11th overall in 18:12. The Baymen, for the first time under head coach Fran Arato, won the freshman race. Chris Downs placed second overall in 11:40 while Dan Ruiz placed fifth in 11:45.

The Hampton Bays girls cross country team lost, 16-39, to Mattituck on October 8 at Indian Island. Cameron Heaney placed fifth in 23:46 and was followed by Christina Pasca at seventh place in 25:04. Pasca placed sixth overall in the freshman race at the Westhampton Beach Invitational in 14:31.

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