11/08/14 11:40am
11/08/2014 11:40 AM
Shoreham-Wading River freshman Katherine Lee, pictured last week at the state qualifier, was the top finisher in the state at Saturday's Class B championship race in Canton, N.Y. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River freshman Katherine Lee, pictured last week at the state qualifier, was the top finisher in the state at Saturday’s Class B championship race in Canton, N.Y. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

After posting the top time in the county at the Section XI Division Championships Oct. 21, Shoreham-Wading River freshman Katherine Lee looked ahead to the team’s future goals.

“We want to try to get to states as a team,” Lee said at Sunken Meadow State Park that day.  (more…)

10/31/14 8:49pm
10/31/2014 8:49 PM
The Class B county champion Shoreham-Wading River girls cross country team. Pictured are (from left) coach Paul Koretzki, Francesca Lilly, Kaitlyn Ohrtman, Alexandra Hays, Katherine Lee, Amanda Dwyer, Payton Capes-Davis and Lexie Smith. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

The Class B county champion Shoreham-Wading River girls cross country team. Pictured are (from left) coach Paul Koretzki, Francesca Lilly, Kaitlyn Ohrtman, Alexandra Hays, Katherine Lee, Amanda Dwyer, Payton Capes-Davis and Lexie Smith. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

On a chilly day at Sunken Meadow State Park Friday, in temperatures ideal for cross country runners, the best of Suffolk County high schools vied for a chance to represent the section at the state competition next week.

The Shoreham-Wading River girls came into the meet with high expectations after winning the Section XI Division Championships Oct. 21.

The girls didn’t disappoint. (more…)

10/21/14 7:00pm
10/21/2014 7:00 PM
Shoreham-Wading River freshman Katherine Lee ran the fastest time at Tuesday's division championships at Sunken Meadow State Park. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River freshman Katherine Lee ran the fastest time at Tuesday’s division championships at Sunken Meadow State Park. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

All around her, the congratulations came pouring in for the Shoreham-Wading River freshman.

“I love you!” said one competitor from McGann-Mercy. “Even though you don’t know me…”

Katherine Lee, who first came up to varsity as a seventh grader during winter track at Shoreham, found herself in the spotlight Tuesday afternoon after running a personal best time in the Section XI Division Championships at Sunken Meadow State Park. (more…)

09/10/14 5:00pm
09/10/2014 5:00 PM
The Shoreham-Wading RIver girls cross country team, led by the trio of (from left) Kaitlyn Ohrtman, Alexandra Hays and Katherine Lee, will battle Miller Place and Bayport-Blue Point for the league and county titles. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

The Shoreham-Wading RIver girls cross country team, led by the trio of (from left) Kaitlyn Ohrtman, Alexandra Hays and Katherine Lee, will battle Miller Place and Bayport-Blue Point for the league and county titles. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

It’s been six seasons since the last time Shoreham-Wading River won a county championship in girls cross country. For most teams, such a drought would hardly seem abnormal. But for Shoreham, a program that has contended for titles year after year, six years can seem like a long time.

There are no guarantees that streak will snap this year. But with a team that returns nearly its entire roster from a year ago, the Wildcats appear poised to make a run at the Class B title.  (more…)

11/09/13 6:37pm
11/09/2013 6:37 PM

NEW YORK STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Shoreham-Wading River senior Ryan Udvadia ran a season-best 15 minutes, 19.3 seconds to finish second in the Class B New York State Championship race Saturday morning at Queensbury High School.

Udvadia helped lead the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish as a team. Udvadia, who was first among the team scorers, finished three seconds behind T.J. Hornberger of Lake Shore.

Shoreham’s top five all runners all posted sub-17 times. Junior Matt Gladysz finished second for Shoreham and 17th in team scoring in 16:21.4, followed by seniors Connor McAlary (16:30.7), Keith Steinbrecher (16:42.9) and Jack Kelly (16:45.8).

Shoreham eighth-grader Katherine Lee finished 13th overall in the girls Class B race in 18:32.7. Her teammate, sophomore Kaitlyn Ohrtman, was 29th overall in 18:53.7. They were the only girls for Shoreham to qualify for the state meet.

View the complete results here.

11/07/13 5:00pm
11/07/2013 5:00 PM

RIVERHEAD COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead boys cross country coach Patrick Burke was named the Section XI Coach of the Year after guiding the Blue Waves to their first league title since 1998.

After helping guide the Riverhead boys cross country team to its first league title in 15 years, coach Patrick Burke was honored as the Section XI cross country Coach of the Year. The Blue Waves won 15-47 in their final dual meet against Half Hollow Hills West Oct. 15 to finish 5-0 in League IV.

It was their first league title since 1998.

The Blue Waves went on to compete in the Section XI Division Championship and finished fifth in Division II. In the Section XI State Qualifier Nov. 1 at Sunken Meadow State Park, senior Joseph Gattusso ran the top time for Riverhead in 19 minutes, 38.71 seconds.

“I didn’t want to be overly confident, but I felt good and I felt if we were going to do it, this was the year, and everything was in place,” Burke said after the Blue Waves beat Hills West.

11/01/13 11:06am
11/01/2013 11:06 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Ryan Udvadia will lead the Wildcats in the state qualifier race tomorrow after it was postponed a day.

The cross country Section XI State Qualifier has been pushed back a day due to inclement weather in the area. The meet at Sunken Meadow State Park will start at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The race times are as follows:

Boys Class A: 2 p.m.
Girls Class A: 2:30 p.m.
Boys Class B: 3 p.m.
Girls Class B: 3:25 p.m.
Boys Class C/D: 3:55 p.m.
Girls Class C/D: 4:2o p.m.

The Shoreham-Wading River boys are the defending Class B champions. The League IV champion Riverhead boys will run in the Class A race. The Shoreham girls will run in the Class B race and the McGann-Mercy girls will run in the Class C/D race. Four Mercy boys will run in the C/D race as well.

Last year, Hurricane Sandy forced the state qualifier to race to be canceled entirely. The state qualifiers were determined based on the division championship race.

The state championship is Nov. 9 at Queensbury High School.

10/23/13 12:00pm
10/23/2013 12:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats were the Division III champions and second overall in the county at Tuesday’s division race. Coach Bob Szymanski joined players (from left) Ryan Udvadia, Jack Kelly, Connor McAlary, Matt Gladysz, Keith Steinbrecher, Ryan Groskopf and Michael Godfrey afterward.

SECTION XI DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS

Runners often refer to the final stretch of a race as “the kick.” In Suffolk County, few — if any — runners have a better “kick” than Shoreham-Wading River’s Ryan Udvadia.

Whether in a cross country race or track & field, Udvadia is known for his ability to close out races with perfect efficiency. As Tuesday afternoon’s Section XI Division Championship race unfolded at Sunken Meadow State Park in what was going to be the toughest race for Udvadia so far this season, he knew it would come down the “kick.”

The race, which featured the top runners from across the county, ultimately came down to Udvadia and Northport’s Mike Branigan.

Udvadia was aiming to keep his perfect record intact this season, but on this day, Branigan’s “kick” outdid Udvadia, who settled for second place in 16 minutes 16.65 seconds. Branigan finished four seconds ahead of him at 16:12.61.

“Today I had a kick, but it wasn’t as strong as it normally would be,” Udvadia said. “Branigan just had a stronger kick.”

It wasn’t all bad for Udvadia, who still finished first among Division III runners. And the Wildcats won the Division III team title, edging out East Hampton, 41-94.

The championship race features the top two teams from each league plus four at-large teams. From that race, an overall winner is determined, as well as winners for four divisions, which are based on school enrollments. The Wildcats finished second overall behind Northport to top their third place finish from a year ago.

Udvadia said he tried to take the lead from Branigan going up the infamous cardiac hill.

“I wasn’t getting as big of a lead, so I decided to just hold back and let it come down to a kick,” he said.

Udvadia’s time was his fastest at Sunken Meadow this year, but well off his previous bests. That’s due in large part to the different configuration of the 3.1-mile course, which some coaches believed was slightly longer, extending some times by as much as 40 seconds.

Last fall’s hurricane wreaked havoc on much of the course, which had to be altered this season until a new bridge could be completed in one spot. Coaches were hopeful that the old course could be ready for the state qualifier race Nov. 1.

It was the second straight year the division race came down to Udvadia and Branigan. Last year Branigan edged Udvadia by less than a second as both runners clocked in under 16 minutes.

“It is disappointing when you lose your first meet,” Udvadia said. “But I just got to look forward to next week.”

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Travis Wooten ran the top time for the Blue Waves.

Connor McAlray (17:26.67), Matt Gladysz (17:30.55) Keith Steinbrecher (17:46.54) and Jack Kelly (17:56.45) rounded out the top five for Shoreham, which clinched its 11th straight league title last week in a dual meet win.

“These guys never do bad,” Udvadia said. “They always have a good day.”

The Wildcats finished first as a team in the Varsity 1 race at the Brown Invitational Saturday in Rhode Island behind Udvadia’s first-place time of 15:34.6. That was his best time this year. Steinbrecher, Gladysz and McAlary finished ninth-11th.

The Riverhead boys, fresh off their first league title in 15 years, ran in the championship race Tuesday and finished fifth as a team in Division II.

“I think we kind of gave everything we had to get that title,” said Riverhead coach Patrick Burke.

Senior Travis Wooten, who posted Riverhead’s top time Tuesday in 18:37.44, said it was a challenge as a team to rise up to another level in this race after achieving the goal they so adamantly sought.

“It’s a mental thing,” he said. “We had a goal in mind to be league champions. We achieved that goal and now we also have to say we want to do more than that. It’s hard to do that when we told ourselves all season, ‘let’s win dual meets, let’s win the league.’ ”

The next finishers behind Wooten for Riverhead were: Nick Cunha (18:46.84), Joseph Gattusso (19:22.89) Luke Coulter (19:35.62) and Eric Cunha (19:42.41).

The Blue Waves began the race lined up all the way toward the left of the starting line, which added another challenge. The  Riverhead runners needed to run at an angle first to cut down toward the main course. The teams are lined up based on seedings.

“We knew we had to go out a little quick,” Wooten said. “The problem is if you got out fast for too long than you’re stuck with that lactic acid buildup for the rest of the race and it makes the race miserable.”

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River eighth grader Katherine Lee was seventh overall in the championship race Tuesday.

In the girls’ championship race, Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Katherine Lee finished seventh overall in 20:21.48. She helped lead the short-handed Wildcats to a fifth-place finish in Division III.

The Wildcats were without three regular runners due to sickness and injury. Shoreham coach Paul Koretzki said he didn’t want to push the kids in this race in hopes of having them fresh for the state qualifier.

Lee finished first at the Brown Invitational Saturday in the Varsity 1 race in 18:37.2.

“She’s very good,” Koretzki said.

Alexandra Hays finished second for Shoreham in 21:15.47.

The Riverhead girls ran in the team qualifier race Tuesday. Freshman Gabriella Marcucci posted the top time for the Blue Waves in 23:00.03.

“She’s come from like our fifth strongest runner to now probably our strongest runner for the future,” said Riverhead coach Justin Cobis.

Sophomores Meghan Van Bommel (23:44.54) and Megan Carrick (23:48.12) were next for the Blue Waves. Eighth-grader Grace Dillingham ran 24:18.55.

McGann-Mercy sophomore Meg Tuthill ran the fastest time for the Monarchs in the team qualifier race in 22:25.71. She was 17th overall in the race. For the boys, senior Matt Abazis ran 19:54.61 for the Monarchs’ top finish.

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