When Sachem North's Jonathan Lauer stepped off the bus Friday at Sunken Meadow State Park, he felt the breeze of an unseasonably warm November day brush against him. It was a little humid, not something that was expected at this time of year, but Lauer had a job to do and nothing was going to stop him.
Lauer won the 5-kilometer cross-country state qualifier in the Suffolk Class A race in 16 minutes, 24.20 seconds. The finish qualified him for the state public school championships, scheduled for Nov. 14 at Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley.
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Lauer ran a 16:17.52 in his Suffolk division championship last Tuesday at Sunken Meadow.
"The humidity got to everybody," Lauer said. "That's why I think the times weren't as fast as [in divisions]. The conditions weren't as good . . . There's no way to combat or adjust to it. You just have to go out and run your hardest. You have to hydrate really well before the race, check the weather and know that it's going to be hot out. My whole squad was hydrated throughout the day. We made sure all filled up and [were] ready to go throughout the day."
Lauer said that he began to feel the humidity following the race's first mile. "After we came down Snake Hill, I was sweating already," Lauer said. "I don't usually form that much of a sweat by then, but coming down Snake you could really feel it."
Sachem East won the Class A team title, scoring 74 points. Nick Pandolfo was their top finisher, placing seventh in 17:04.79.
East Hampton's Erik Engstrom won the Class B race in 16:54.87. Miller Place's Tom Schott was second in 17:14.93
"I went out hard," Engstrom said, "I came through with a faster mile and a half split than I did last week. But, I shut it down. I wasn't really worried about anybody coming at the end."
Engstrom said he went out at an accelerated pace because he didn't want to test Harborfields' Ryan Scanlon's kick. Scanlon finished third in 17:22.85.
"I didn't know what he was going to bring today," Engstrom said. "I had to try and get it out of him before then."
East Hampton won the Class B team title, scoring 52 points.
Gustavo Morastitla won the Class C race in 17:31.87 to lead Southampton to a team championship with 28 points. Shelter Island won the Class D title with 19 points. Shelter Island eighth-grader Kal Lewis won the individual title in 18:04.87.