Meet the players who earned Newsday's All-Long Island first-team honors for boys cross country in 2019.
Newsday Runner of the Year: Kal Lewis, Shelter Island, Sr.
Since he was in middle school, Lewis has built his high school running legacy. This year, he cemented it. The Iowa-bound senior almost let loose his stranglehold on Class D cross country at the state level, only to snatch it back in thrilling fashion.
Lewis braved snow, patches of ice, and frigid temperatures en route to his third straight Class D public school state championship. He came from behind to beat Beaver River's Colton Kempney in 14:28.1 on the 2.8-mile course at SUNY-Plattsburgh on Nov. 16. The course was shortened slightly because of the snow and ice on the ground.
Lewis, on top of being the Class D champion, ran the second fastest time of the afternoon, regardless of class. Only Sam Lawler of Pittsford Mendon was faster on that day. Not a bad way to say goodbye to high school cross country in one of the most competitive states in the nation.
Nassau Runner of the Year: Jason Linzer, Seaford, Sr.
He often was running against the clock in Nassau. Linzer fell just short of breaking 16 minutes in the Class B race at the Nassau State Qualifier, running a 16:02.46. A week later, on a slightly shorter course, Linzer ran 14:58.4 to place sixth in the Class B public school state championship at SUNY-Plattsburgh (shortened to 2.8-miles because of snow and ice).
Tom Cirrito, Miller Place, Sr.
He consistently was at or near the top of Suffolk all season. He won the Class B race at the state qualifier in 16:16.89 and fell just short of the top spot at the Division Championships, placing second in 16:27.30.
Michael Danzi, Smithtown, Sr.
He was dominant in the Suffolk postseason. Danzi won the Suffolk Division Championship in 16:22.21 and the Class A race at the state qualifier in 16:28.43. He placed 13th in Class A at the state public school championships in 15:02.5.
Gavin Ehlers, Westhampton, So.
He was the fastest Long Islander in Class B at the state public school championships, placing fifth in 14:55.2. Ehlers was second in Class B at the Suffolk State Qualifier, running a 16:28.09.
Thomas Fodor, Northport, Sr.
He anchored the best team in Suffolk. Fodor was fifth at the Suffolk Division Championships (16:56.32), third in Class A at the state qualifier (16:43.98), and 14th in Class A at the public school state championships (15:02.8).
Michael Silveri, Eastport-South Manor, Jr.
Silveri was the fastest Long Islander in Class A at the state public school championships, running a 14:52.5 and placing sixth. He also was one of three Long Islanders to place in the top 20 at the Federation championships, finishing 18th in 16:40.6.
Coach of the Year: Jason Strom, Northport
Strom has fashioned out a distance factory at Northport and this year was no different. The Tigers were third in a strong Class A at the public school state championships and were eighth in the all-class merge.