Boys Cross Country: Wildcats off to fast start after losing top two runners

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia has won both races for the Wildcats to start the season.

After losing John Lee and Tyler Keys, who were first and third in the Class B county championship last season, Shoreham-Wading River coach Bob Szymanski expected the beginning of this season to be a bit of a transition.

Instead, the Wildcats came out in mid-season form.

Shoreham opened the season with a dual meet victory over Bayport-Blue Point, which came down to a tie-breaker. The Wildcats and Phantoms are expected to be the top two teams in Class B.

Then last weekend the Wildcats ran at the Suffern Invitational at Bear Mountain State Park and finished first as a team, again a one-point victory.

“I think they trained really well over the summer,” Szymanski said. “They would run together as teammates.”

A big part of the Wildcats’ early success has been the performance of Ryan Udvadia, who’s grabbed the No. 1 spot. He ran the top time in the dual meet win over Bayport and also won the Suffern Invitational in 15:59.64.

Szymanski said Udvadia won by about 12 seconds while breaking 16 minutes against Bayport.

“That’s hard to do for three miles at Sunken Meadow,” he said.

Matt Gladysz was eighth overall at the Suffern Invitational in 16:40.11. Keith Steinbrecher, Jack Kelly, Evan Purdy, Joe Whalen and Dan Purschke all finished in the top 30.

After winning last season’s county title on a tiebreaker, it ended up being the third straight meet the Wildcats won by the slimmest of margins.

Shoreham tallied 65 points while Delbarton took second with 66.

“When I saw the score, [girls coach Paul] Koretzki said you won’t believe this, but that’s the third meet you won by a point,” Szymanski said. “You can’t really get any closer than that.”

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