Heading into the season this year, Riverhead girls cross country coach Justin Cobis didn’t know how his team might match up in a league that featured plenty of new teams compared to last year. Now as the dual meet season winds down, Cobis has gotten the answer.
The Blue Waves are right there with every team in the league.
Riverhead improved to 3-1 Tuesday afternoon with a 21-40 win over North Babylon at Indian Island in what was considered the Blue Waves’ only real home meet. Most dual meets are contested at Sunken Meadow State Park.
“All pleasant surprises,” Cobis said.
Two of the biggest surprises have been junior Courtney Troyan and seventh grader Megan Kielbasa. Troyan decided to run cross country for the first time this year and on Tuesday, she was the Blue Waves’ top finisher. She finished the course at Indian Island in 20 minutes 49 seconds, second to only one North Babylon runner.
Cobis said Troyan had inquired about joining the team and said how she enjoys running on her own time.
“She wants to get in shape for lacrosse,” Cobis said. “And she wanted to try something new. So I said absolutely, come on down.”
Troyan has quickly emerged as one of Riverhead’s top runners along with Kielbasa, who finished third overall in Tuesday’s race in 20:52.
She was followed by sophomore Gabriella Marcucci in 21:11 and junior Megan Carrick in 21:18.
The win over the Bulldogs guaranteed the Blue Waves a winning record in league going into the final dual meet against Bay Shore Oct. 14.
The Blue Waves will stay busy before that meet with a pair of invitationals coming up. They’ll run at Hampton Bays Thursday and then at the Manhattan High School Invitational Saturday at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, which features hundreds of teams.
“That’ll be a fun day for the girls, to enjoy the sport and see how big a deal this is for them,” Cobis said.