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Running for fun and running to win

Some cross country athletes at the October 23 Shelter Island 5K race. From left, Kaitlyn Gulluscio, Ariana Carter, Olivia Overstreet, Emma Gallagher, Tyler Gulluscio, Jason Green, Kal Lewis, Jalill Carter, Junior Gil and Jonas Kinsey.

On Saturday, October 20, the Shelter Island varsity cross country teams, sans uniforms, started their week off right in their own backyards as they supported the Shelter Island Fall 5K for the benefit of the North Fork Breast Health Coalition, the Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Southampton Hospital and Lucia’s Angels.

It was a race run for fun, and fun they had, taking it easy in anticipation of the Division Championships they would run the following Tuesday. For most of these athletes, the first distance race of their lives as youths is the Shelter Island 5K and it is always enjoyable to return to it whether racing or just running for fun.

On October 23, the varsity cross country teams traveled to Sunken Meadow State Park for the Section XI, Suffolk County Division Championships. The boys team was split into two races, the championship race and the individual qualifier race.

The boys championship race included the top 20 teams from Suffolk County, Class A, B, C and D included. The boys championship 5K race went off first. Scoring for the Indians, junior Kal Lewis took fifth place overall in 16:48.81 minutes, junior Jonas Kinsey ran 18:21.10, a personal record (PR), sophomore Tyler Gulluscio ran 18:59.77 (PR), sophomore Junior Gil ran 19:17.66 (PR), and senior Michael Payano ran 20:19.30 (PR). Freshman Pacey Cronin ran 22:11.98 (PR) and junior Alberto Morales ran 22:14.35.

Next up was the girls race in the 5K team qualifier race. Scoring for the Lady Indians were junior Emma Gallagher in 23:50.00, freshman Ariana Carter in 28:00.54 (PR), freshman Olivia Overstreet in 30:26.98 (PR), eighth grader Madison Springer in 30:28.30 (PR) and seventh grader Kaitlyn Gulluscio in 39:27.76 (PR). Seventh grader Sophie Clark ran 40:36.23 (PR).

The final race of the day for the Indians was the boys 5K individual qualifier. Sophomore Nicholas Mamisashvili ran 21:09.30 (PR), sophomore Theo Olinkiewicz ran 22:03.92 (PR), sophomore Jalill Carter ran 22:34.17 (PR), sophomore Daniel Schulteis ran 24:09.46, sophomore Jason Green ran 24:27.83 and sophomore Matthew Strauss ran 25:59.09, narrowly missing his PR by only three seconds.

On Friday, November 2, the Indians will compete in the State Qualifiers also known as the County Championships. The State Qualifiers is a 5K run on the Sunken Meadow course. This will be the deciding race for who goes to the State Championships for Classes A, B, C and D.

Both the boys team and the girls team are the defending Class D Suffolk County champions. Wish us luck.  Go Indians, run fast!