The Shelter Island varsity boys and girls cross country teams begin their fifth season this year.
The roster for the boys’ team is similar to 2017. The boys’ team lost two seniors to graduation and one to relocation, but many veteran athletes have returned and we’ve added a couple new faces.
Seasoned runners on the boys roster include senior Michael Payano; juniors Jonas Kinsey, Alberto Morales and Kal Lewis; sophomores Domingo Gil Jr., Tyler Gulluscio, Jason Green, Nicholas Mamisashvili, Theo Olinkiewicz and Matthew Strauss; and freshman Pacey Cronin. New additions on the boys team include sophomores Jalill Carter and Daniel Schulteis.
The girls’ team, however, has changed dramatically, with essentially a whole new lineup. The team lost four seniors to graduation and one to relocation. Junior Emma Gallagher is the only veteran runner for the Lady Indians backed up by the new faces of freshmen Ariana Carter and Olivia Overstreet, and 7th graders Sophie Clark, Kaitlyn Gulluscio and Madison Springer.
Payano, Lewis and Gallagher will be guiding their respective teams as captains.
For the boys it will be business as usual as they try to repeat as league and Class D County champions for the fourth year in a row. For the girls, with five of six girls being new to the team, our goals this season are to build the team and have fun while learning the sport.
We will also continue to build upon the progress that each and every one of these girls has made to date and continue right on through to the end of the season. My expectations for the year are simple: support each other and bring your best to each practice and to each race.
On a hot and tropical Saturday, September 15, our race season officially began with the Jim Smith Invitational hosted by Port Jefferson High School at Sunken Meadow State Park.
The first race of the day was the 1.47 mile freshman girls race, which included all girls from 7th through 9th grades. Our crew had never seen the course, so we walked the course before racing it. The girls’ reactions were amusing as we walked up the long climb to Hernia Hill, a.k.a. Snake Hill, which is the halfway point in the race.
But come race time, among all the pre-race jitters in a field of over 160 athletes, the girls handled it well and did their best. Ariana Carter and Overstreet ran together posting times of 12:38.54 and 12:42.74, respectively. Kaitlyn Gulluscio and Clark posted times of 15:52.00 and 16:52.11. In their first cross country race, there were personal records (“PR”) all around.
The remaining Indians ran the 5K course, which is one of the most difficult courses in the state. On the 5K course, runners climb “Hernia Hill” just over a mile into the course and then descend all the way back down to sea level before climbing another beast of a hill called “Cardiac Hill.”
The boys posted 5K times as follows: Tyler Gulluscio 19:57.22, Kinsey 20:04.48, Gil 20:13.69, Payano 22:07.69, Mamisashvili 23:26.03, Olinkiewicz 24:08.44 (PR), Jalill Carter 24:35.20 (PR), Green 25:11.30, Strauss 27:25.80. For the girls, Gallagher ran 25:23.21.
Cronin, Lewis, Schulteis and Springer did not run.
Our first league meet is Tuesday, September 18 versus Mattituck at Indian Island County Park, followed by a league meet on Tuesday, September 25 versus Pierson on our home course at the Shelter Island Country Club’s Goat Hill.
We only have two home meets this year. Please come on down on September 25 to cheer us on!