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Island athletes go north for glory

Kal Lewis’ stunning and history-making victory at the state chamionships was the big news of the weekend in Plattsburg this week.

Here’s the rest of the story of the Shelter Island School cross country teams’ trip upstate.

Our run at he state championships began on Friday, Nov. 15, when seven Shelter Island boys and two girls, all state qualifiers, met to board a special South Ferry nearly 90 minutes before the “first boat.”

The initial plans were for all of the East End high school athletes to meet at Exit 63 off the Long Island Expressway in Coram to board the charter buses at 6 a.m. with the rest of Suffolk County’s 94 state qualifiers. Breaking tradition, Shelter Island’s Athletic Director Todd Gulluscio went to work for our benefit and arranged for one of the charter buses to pick up the East End athletes, first in Riverhead, before going to Coram.

Eight teams go to the State championships and four of those teams were from the East End. It was a great year for this region since the Class D Shelter Island boys team, the Class B East Hampton girls team, the Class C Mattituck girls team and the Class D Pierson girls team would represent the county. Forty-six athletes took advantage of the “new bus stop.”

Plattsburgh had received over 10 inches of snow on Wednesday and Thursday and the temperatures were forecast to start out in single digits, warming up to the teens on race day. The hometown crew in Plattsburgh moved a literal mountain of snow shoveling and snow blowing the course Thursday into Friday afternoon.

They also had to re-route the course due to the effects of the weather and the original 5,000 meters that was planned became a 2.8 mile course.

The Shelter Island boys raced in the Class D championship race earning a sixth place team finish. Although cold, there was no wind under a sunny sky. Scoring for the Indians, Lewis took first place in 14:28.1 minutes; senior Jonas Kinsey ran 17:10.2; junior Domingo Gil ran 17:31.1; junior Tyler Gulluscio ran 17:51.4; and junior Nicholas Mamisashvili ran 17:59.4. The other Indians, sophomore Pacey Cronin and junior Jason Green, ran 18:49.6 and 18:57.0, respectively. All the Indians set new personal records (“PR”) on the course.

In the girls Class D race, senior Emma Gallagher finished her Shelter Island cross country career in her sixth and last State championship race in 21:50.2 (PR), outpacing all the Pierson girls but one. Sophomore Ariana Carter ran 23:40.2 (PR), another strong performance.

This brings the cross country season to a close, an exciting close worth celebrating. For seniors Emma Gallagher, Jonas Kinsey, Kal Lewis and Alberto Morales, we salute you on  a great high school experience.