Suffolk Spotlight: Week 3 At Sunken Meadow

This year, MileSplit NY is highlighting specific communities within New York State. Vince Brock, a contributor from Section 11, will be running a Suffolk recap each week

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Fall weather is here and some fast times came with the drop in temperature. A lot of Section XI schools chose to stay at home and run their invitational that is put on by their coaches association.  A few schools chose to go to Six Flags and to Bowdoin Park to find different competition.  

Max Haynia threw down a huge September time at Sunken Meadow and now should be considered to be one of the top runners in all of Class B state wide.  He stopped the clock at 16:22 to win the Boys Varsity A race by 65 seconds.  It is pretty rare for a Suffolk runner to break 16:30 before October.  Max has a chance to join the exclusive sub 16:00 club by the end of the season.  A very high percentage of runners who break 16 at Sunken Meadow, end up having a lot of success in qualifying for one of the cross country national meets.  Behind Max, Class C favorite Trevor Zappulla broke 17:30 when he finished in 17:27. Zapulla will have to beat a couple of Port Jefferson runners in order to win Class C but he looks well on his way to doing so.  Sachem North's Dylan Friel ended up third in 17:36 to help lead thirteen runners under the 18 minute barrier.

On the team side, Commack continued to run well and got the win with 71 points over Harborfields' 83 points.  Similar to what we mentioned last week, if Commack can close the gap from their four to five runners, their team results will markedly improve.  All five of their scorers were below 19 minutes and with more time, they could have all five close to 18 minutes or under.

Jake Gogarty wasn't quite as dominant as Max was in the A race but he was close.  Gogarty ran unchallenged and won the Varsity Boys B race by 43 seconds in a personal best of 16:51.  Gogarty is one of the top returners and should be at least in the top three Class A runners in Suffolk in November.  Look for him to drop a lot more time as the season continues.  Connetquot's Peter Baldinucci earned the silver medal by clocking a 17:34 and should be in the mix for one of the individual states spots with some more improvement.  Gogarty's teammate Peter Bagattine helped his team by finishing third in 17:45.  The B race had seven runners break 18 minutes.  

The team race was a close one as Bay Shore defeated an incomplete Northport team 56-62.  Northport had the edge on the fifth man but Bay Shore's top few runners were too much to overcome.  Port Jefferson improved from previous weeks performance and unless Mattituck gets more depth, they should repeat as Class C champs in November.      

Two of Section XI's top teams squared off in the girls Varsity A race.  They won't race each other for a trip to states, but they will see each other at Divisions and hopefully at the Federation meet.  Sayville and West Babylon didn't have their complete teams, but they gave us a glimpse of what is to come.  

Mullane Baumiller had a dominant win and is getting close to the 20:00 barrier.  She had an excellent spring track season and that has carried over into the summer and fall.  She will be one of the top finishers in a stacked Class B individual race like we mentioned last week.  She ended up covering the 5k course in 20:11 to keep the trend of blowout victories going.  She finished 43 seconds in front of West Babylon's new number 1, Jade Dockery who ran 20:54 to outkick breakout star Alicia DeFilppis from North Babylon who also broke 21 minutes in a huge PR of 20:57.  Not many Class A runners have broken 21 minutes yet this year but a few teams have yet to run at Sunken Meadow.  

Sayville and West Babylon both averaged the same time, 21:47, but West Babylon got the team win by 8 points, scoring 53 to Sayville's 61.  Both teams had members of their Varsity run very strong races in the Freshman race.  The team scores may have been different with both teams at full strength.  Both teams were well in front of Happague who earned third place.  Sayville will be a team to watch on the state level for Class B throughout the season.  Last year, Sayville beat Shoreham on the tiebreaker at the county meet, but failed to break 22:00 for their team average there.  The rest of Class B in Suffolk County will have a difficult time matching a full strength Sayville in November.  Look for them to average under 21 minutes at the County Meet, possibly significantly under.

The girls Varsity B race was won by John Glenn's senior star Emily LaMena.  LaMena, who ran Cow Harbor last weekend got her first invitational win of the season in 20:11 to have the fastest time of the day by less than a second over Baumiller.  LaMena won her race over Babylon's Kayla Hayes (who's name is incorrectly spelled in the live results).  Hayes couldn't quite replicate last week's performance where she broke 20:20 for the first time but she crossed the line today in 20:27.  Mount Sinai, as we mentioned last week, continued their streak of only racing two of their girls.  Paige Sheiffele and Cali Gabrielson were both third and fourth for the second week in a row.  

The team race in the B race was not quite as fast as the A race.  Smithtown, behind the leadership of the Stevens sisters who finished ninth and tenth.  Smithtown averaged 23:24 which likely would have been good enough for around 6th place in the A race.  

Ward Melville boys traveled upstate to Bowdoin Park.  They were led by their breakout junior Brian Leibowitz who just missed placing in the top five.  Leibowitz was sixth in 16:51 to coincidentally lead his team to a sixth place finish.  Ward Melville's Jon Seyfurt had a big improvement from previous weeks.  If Melville hopes to contend with Northport in November, they will have to get closer to Leibowitz who has planted himself right in the top group for an individual state qualifier spot.  

Class B individual favorite Sophia McInnes made the trip to Bowdoin as well and put up a second impressive performance in as many weeks where she took second to Corning's star Sarah Lawson.  McInnes has plenty of competition in Class B but as we mentioned in our preview, is taking to cross country very well and will be very hard to beat. 

Section XI's top girl, Zariel Macchia traveled to the Six Flags meet and got what seemed like an easy win in 18:22.  Similar to last year, this likely was not an all out effort for Macchia who will try and extend her season all the way to December again after a record setting freshman year.   

Next week, Sunken Meadow will host the Saint Anthony's invitational on Saturday. The first weekend of October should provide more big performances.  Friday, Firemans Field holds the Tom Knipfig invitational for teams who need a rest from the meadow.