After two consecutive seasons of national-caliber dominance by St. Anthony’s, the CHSAA cross country title chase may be a little more wide open this year. Here’s proof: St. John the Baptist scored a big victory in the Varsity A race at the Bob Pratt Invitational at Sunken Meadow State Park last weekend.

Patrick Kain won the 5-kilometer race in 17 minutes, 6.40 seconds. Aidan Healy was fourth in 17:33.54 and Kyle McCormack finished fifth in 17:40.35.

Chaminade ran to a top-10 finish in the championship race at last weekend’s Briarwood Invitational in Philadelphia. Connor Fitzpatrick was the highest Flyer finisher, running the 5K in 17:36.

St. Anthony’s, coming off two straight Federation championships, won the ‘B’ race at the Regis Invitational at Van Cortlandt Park last weekend. Skip Morrell finished second in the 4K race in 13:43.49. Matthew Payamps was fifth in 13:48.74 and Brendan Dearie was sixth in 13:49.09.

Public schools

In Suffolk County, Smithtown is off to a strong start. The Bulls won the Varsity B race at the Pratt invitational. Michael Grabowski won in 16:55.98, the fastest time of the day. Kevin Cawley was fifth in 17:22.50.

Sachem North’s Jonathan Lauer and Christopher Tibbetts dominated Suffolk last season, finishing in the top two spots in both the individual division championships and state qualifier. Miller Place’s Tom Schott is the top individual returner from Class B, running a 17:14.93 at the Suffolk state qualifier last season.

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Sachem East won the Class A title at the Suffolk state qualifier last year. The Flaming Arrows finished fifth last weekend in the Suffern Invitational “C” race as Brandon Guerrera took fifth in 16:29.40 in the three-mile run. Justin Allone finished 16th in 17:03.30.

Defending Class B champion East Hampton returns Geo Espinoza, who was the team’s No. 4 runner and can thrive in the third mile. Southampton, which won Class C, moves up to Class B.

Shelter Island, the defending Class D champion, returns Kal Lewis won in 18:04.87 at the Suffolk state qualifier last fall. Joshua Green was third in 18:37.62.

In Nassau, Manhasset ran an impressive second Varsity A race at the Bob Pratt as Aidan Caggiano finished third in 17:20.94. John Cyprus (17:56.79) was seventh and Ryan Watson (17:57.31) was eighth.

Massapequa’s Kevin VanVorst is the highest returning finisher from Class A at last season’s Nassau state qualifier, running a 16:42.46 at Bethpage State Park. VanVorst ran a 17:27.17 in a three-mile race at this year’s Warwick Valley Big Purple XC Wave Mania meet.

Syosset may return to prominence in Class A. The Braves finished third in the B race at the Regis Invitational last weekend. Peter Zimbalist was eighth in the 4K race in 13:56.50.

Garden City’s Dan Valenti and Trevor Marchhart finished second and third in the Class B state qualifier and both return. Valenti ran a 16:54.45 and Marchhart clocked a 16:57.78.

Carle Place’s Nate Armstrong is the top returner from Class C, running a 17:51.46 at last season’s state qualifier.