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Top Sports Stories 2018: Katherine Lee owns the record books

The Katherine Lee era is over.

Lee graduated from Shoreham-Wading River High School as not only the greatest runner in school history, but also one of the greatest Suffolk County has ever seen.

Consider this: Starting her freshman year, Lee was named the Suffolk Runner of the Year every year in cross country, winter track and spring track. That’s a perfect 12-for-12.

Lee, who is now running for Georgetown University, began her senior year at SWR with a cross-country season in which she was crowned a state champion for a third time. She went on to finish second in the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals and fourth in the Foot Locker Nationals.

In winter track, she was the 1,000-meter champion in the Suffolk Small School Championships in 2 minutes, 52.65 seconds. She trimmed that time to 2:52.58 to triumph in the Section XI Championships. In the state meet, she took second in 2:46.91, setting a county record. With her third-place finish in the one-mile race in the New Balance Indoor Nationals, she earned All-American honors.

In the spring, Lee was the 3,000- and 1,500-meter champion in the Section XI Championships, but illness prevented her from competing in the state meet.

Lee graduated, holding the county record in cross country at Sunken Meadow State Park’s five-kilometer course. She also owns school records indoors for the 600, 1,000, 1,500 and 3,000 in addition to being a member of the school’s record-setting 4 x 800 relay team. In outdoor track, she set school records for the 800, 1,500, 3,000, 4 x 800 and 4 x mile. She holds county records in all those events except for the indoor 600 and the outdoor 800.

Records are hardly anything new to Lee, but she set a record of a different sort following her running career at SWR. She was presented with her fourth straight Athlete of the Year award by the Riverhead News-Review. No other SWR girl has won the award more than once. Lee became only the second four-time winner in the 34-year history of the awards, presented annually by Times Review Media Group.

SWR coach Paul Koretzki said, “She’s just the best runner Suffolk County ever had.”

Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River’s Katherine Lee. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)