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Cross Country division championships ahead

Members of the boys cross country team did battle at Saturday’s Manhattan Invitational. They are (l-r) Alberto Morales, Jalill Carter, Jonas Kinsey, Junior Gil, Kal Lewis, Michael Payano, Tyler Gulluscio, Jason Green, Theo Olinkiewicz and Matthew Strauss. Not pictured is Nicholas Mamisashvili.

As the season begins to wind down, the action heats up. With seven races under their belts, the varsity boys and girls cross country teams have only one final league meet and the Division Championships before the County Championships on November 2.

On Tuesday, October 9, the Indians traveled to Sunken Meadow State Park for a league dual meet versus Port Jefferson, a Class C school. The boys race is always a cliff hanger and for the past four years it has come down to Shelter Island and Port Jeff for the League 8 Championship. The Port Jeff boys team had won the League Championship 18 years in a row until 2015. In 2015, the underdog Shelter Island boys defeated Port Jeff by 1 point and repeated those 1-point margin wins in 2016 and 2017.

With no less drama than the previous years, it was another close race on the 2.8 mile course. Scoring for the Indians, junior Kal Lewis took first place with 15:16; sophomore Junior Gil took fourth with 16:01, a personal record (“PR”); junior Jonas Kinsey took sixth with 16:20 (PR); sophomore Tyler Gulluscio took eighth with 16:55 (PR). and freshman Pacey Cronin took twelfth with 18:26 (PR). The other Indians ran times as follows: senior Michael Payano 18:27; sophomore Nick Mamisashvili 18:32 (PR); sophomore Theo Olinkiewicz 18:44 (PR); sophomore Daniel Schulteis 20:07 (PR), junior Alberto Morales 20:15; sophomore Jalill Carter 20:19 (PR), and sophomore Jason Green 21:40. Although many of the Indians ran personal records, the Royals had the stronger team performance and defeated the Indians 26-31. The Indians’ league record is now 3-1.

In the girls race, junior Emma Gallagher led the lady Indians with a first-place finish in 19:11, followed by freshman Ariana Carter in sixth place with 25:24; seventh grader Kaitlyn Gulluscio in seventh with 26:10, and freshman Olivia Overstreet in tenth with 26:46. Seventh grader Sophie Clark, still recovering from illness, stuck to her plan of running only the first mile as a workout and then dropped out. The Lady Indians lost to Port Jeff 22-35.

Saturday morning, October 13, the Indians traveled to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to take part in the Manhattan College Cross Country Invitational. A very well-organized event, more than 400 boys and girls teams from all over the country showed up to race and they were sorted into 40 equally seeded races. With each race containing 100 to 180 athletes, the number of athletes had to have exceeded 4,000 during the course of the day.

The day started with a chilly rain, overcast skies and temperatures in the low 50’s, great racing temperatures. The girls were the first to race. Carter and Overstreet ran the girls freshman race on the 1.25 mile cross country course, running 9:15.0 and 9:51.3 minutes, respectively. Eighth grader Madison Springer, Kaitlyn Gulluscio and Clark ran the intermediate girls race, against other seventh and eighth graders on the 1.25 mile course to times of 10:17.3, 12:15.6 and 12:20.5, respectively.

All the girls set PR’s as they all continue to steadily improve upon their season’s performances.

For the boys, Cronin was the first to race in the 1.25 mile freshman race to a time of 8:17.2 minutes. By the time the junior varsity races went off about 11 a.m., the rain had stopped and continued to remain dry the rest of the day. Morales, Jalill Carter, Green and Strauss ran the 2.5 mile junior varsity race to times of 17:10.8, 18:08.9, 18:36.0 and 20:37.0, respectively.

In the varsity race the Indians were assigned, Lewis took first place on the 2.5 mile course with a time of 12:54.2 and Tyler Gulluscio also medalled with a time of 14:40.6. The other Indians ran as follows: Kinsey 15:20.9, Gil 15:32.0; Payano 15:36.2; Olinkiewicz 17:20.4, and Schulteis 18:04.2. All the boys set PR’s as they continue to sharpen their racing skills for the upcoming championship races.

On Tuesday, October 23, the Indians compete in the Division Championships at Sunken Meadow State Park.