Nicholas Berglin was admittedly confident that he could emerge as the winner in Saturday morning’s Run for the Ridley 5K race in downtown Riverhead.
It was hardly all bravado. As a senior at Hampton Bays High School, Berglin is in the heart of cross country season. On Tuesday, he was the top runner in Division IV in the team qualifier race at the Section XI Division Championships, posting an impressive time of 17 minutes, 43.57 seconds.
The race that he faced Saturday on mostly flat road paled in comparison to the challenging hills of Sunken Meadow State Park.
“I thought there was a good chance I would win,” Berglin, 17, said. “I also thought there was a good chance I would get first and my brother would get second.”
That’s just what happened. Nicholas ran 17:09.14 to finish first in the 17th annual race to benefit the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. His twin brother, Christian, was second in 17:36.79.
The brothers ran the race with their Hamptons Bays cross country teammates at the request of their coach. The team is preparing for next week’s state qualifier meet, so the 5K served as a training run.
“It’s a nice race,” Nicholas said. “It’s a good course, very good atmosphere.”
It was the first time he ran the race since he his freshman year in high school, he said. Another Hampton Bays teammate, Tyler FayConsolo, 16, was third in 17:50.69.
The fourth-place finisher was the top woman, Tara Farrell of East Quogue. It was her second time running the 5K and she’s won it both times. She also won in 2012.
Farrell, who’s currently training for the Philadelphia Marathon, ran 18:46.34.
“Today was actually a really hard day,” Farrell said. “It’s so hard to run so many miles and then run a short race fast.”
Farrell, 35, had her two children at the finish line cheering her on. An accomplished runner at Westhampton Beach High School and then Stony Brook University, Farrell said she was excited to the finish Saturday’s race in under 19 minutes.
She most recently won the Long Island Marathon, posting a time of 3:05:51. She was 33rd overall in the race.
“I was really excited,” she said.
She’s hoping to do even better, and possibly get under three hours at the Philadelphia Marathon.
The full results of the race will be posted here.