Our extended Shelter Island School cross country family had quite a ride this fall.
Joining the 2017 boys team were sophomore Alberto Morales and freshmen Jason Green, Nicholas Mamisashvili, Theo Olinkiewicz and Matthew Strauss. For the new athletes, it was an adventure in a sport that defines what “team” is all about, whether it’s in competition or in practice, getting through the good, the bad and the ugly together and emerging stronger.
The bad and the ugly were captured so well at the state championship race in Rochester, competing in sub-freezing temperatures in snow and lots of churned up mud.
For seniors Francesca Frasco, Lindsey Gallagher, Joshua Green, Justine Karen, Jack Lang and Isabella Sherman, 2017 meant the culmination of their very successful high school cross country careers and an end to an experience near and dear to them.
The other essential members of the girls team included sophomores Emma Gallagher and Lauren Gurney, as well as 8th grader Emma Martinez Majdisova. The other vital members of this year’s boys team included junior Michael Payano, sophomores Jonas Kinsey and Kal Lewis, freshmen Junior Gil, Tyler Gulluscio and Brandon Payano, as well as 8th grader Pacey Cronin.
The boys and girls teams ran to their third undefeated season in a row, capturing the League Championship and County Championship Class D titles. In more than one championship race, the odds were against both Island teams to win, but their ability to rise up to the challenge and run their best put them on top.
The boys team and the girls team ran to fourth and eighth place finishes, respectively, at the state championships, the highest finishes of both teams in school history.
Individual accomplishments abounded. Lindsey Gallagher captured the league champion, division champion, and county champion titles and earned All-League, All-County, Academic All-County and All-State Honors. Kal Lewis captured the league champion, division champion, county champion and state champion titles and earned All-League, All-County, All-Long Island and All-State Honors.
A coveted invitation only offered to a select few, both individuals also competed at the New York State Federation Championships.
Emma Gallagher earned All-League and All-Division honors. Frasco earned All-League honors. Joshua Green was named All-County, All-Division and All-League. Kinsey, Gil and Brandon Payano were honored for earning All-Division and All-League.
From the coach’s perspective, Coach Toby Green and I couldn’t have asked for a better mix of athletes to work with — diverse, eclectic, funny – it made our ride fun.
It was a bittersweet end for our seniors moving on to the next new and exciting phases of their lives. We’ve spent six years with most of them, building very special relationships with each and we and their teammates will miss them and their leadership come cross country next fall.
We wish them all the best.