SECTION XI CHAMPIONSHIPS
Before the official announcement, the word was conveyed to the Mattituck girls cross-country team that it had indeed won a second straight Suffolk County Class C championship on Saturday. The Tuckers immediately hugged each other with tears of joy streaming down their faces.
Three Tuckers finished among the top eight places and six were among the first 18 in the Section XI Championships at Sunken Meadow State Park. They gave Mattituck 39 points, 6 less than the runner-up, Center Moriches (in cross country, less points are better), and all of them will compete in the state meet that will be held Saturday at Queensbury High School.
Mattituck freshman Melanie Pfennig was the second Class C runner to complete Sunken Meadow State Park’s reconfigured 3.1-mile course in 21 minutes 2.99 seconds. Center Moriches junior Ryleigh Donegan won the race in 20:52.14.
Shortly after, the rest of the Mattituck runners, not a single senior among them, crossed the finish line: Mia Vasile-Cozzo (seventh in 22:54.39), Audrey Hoeg (eighth in 22:55.33), Kaylee Bergen (11th in 23:18.96), Tiana Baker (15th in 24:17.89) and Sascha Rosin (18th in 24:31.67).
Bishop McGann-Mercy sophomore Meg Tuthill qualified for the state meet for the second year in a row by virtue of her fifth-place finish in 22:38.30.
Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Katharine Lee, with only several 3.1-mile races under her belt, surprised even herself by coming in second in the Class B race. Lee’s time was 20:07.37, which was second only to the 19:37.41 put up by Miller Place senior Tiana Guevara.
Two other Shoreham-Wading River runners, Kaitlyn Ohrtmann (20:32.52) and Alexandra Hays (20:46.21), finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Ohrtmann qualified for the state meet; Hayes missed qualifying by one place.
The Wildcats (79 points) finished second in the team scoring to runaway champion Miller Place (34).
In the Class D race, Southold senior Katie Connolly took third place to earn a ticket upstate. She posted a time of 23:26.17.