Jake Gogarty of Bay Shore finished 4th. with a time...

Jake Gogarty of Bay Shore finished 4th. with a time of 16:20.7 at the New York State Federation Cross Country Championship held at Bowdoin Park, Wappingers Falls on Sat. Nov. 18, 2023. Credit: Errol Anderson

WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. - Jake Gogarty corrected a mistake he made last week.

Gogarty, a Bay Shore senior, wasn’t satisfied with his 15th-place finish in the Class A public school state championship last weekend.

On Saturday, he finished fourth at the state Federation championship on Bowdoin Park’s 5-kilometer course in 16 minutes 20.7 seconds. Most runners clocked slower times than what they ran at the public school state championship.

Gogarty improved.

“I felt coming here was going to give me a better outlook and show everyone that I’m capable of running the time that I ran,” Gogarty said. “My plan was to take it out conservatively. At the state meet, I went out really fast and I died off a little bit.”

The patient start set Gogarty up for a powerful final surge. Gogarty said he made his move and passed a group of runners on the last sizable downhill leading to the finish line.

“The plan here was to go out really slow and build my way up. It felt better on me and my body, and I caught everyone on the downhill,” Gogarty said. “That’s what I was saving up for. I know everyone’s taking the hills hard, and me feeling very loose and easy, I think maybe they’re going to die on the uphill. I take my chance, the inside opens up, and I just go.”

Saturday’s race served as a final preparation for the Nike Cross Regional at Bowdoin Park next Saturday.

St. Anthony’s senior Collin McLaughlin and his Friars teammates will be among the many top cross country runners racing alongside Gogarty next weekend.

McLaughlin finished 17th, second among Long Island runners, in 16:38.5 at the state Federation championship.

“I did take a step from where I was last year, so I’m happy about that,” McLaughlin said. “But I think we’ll just use this race as a learning experience and then go after it next weekend.”

St. Anthony’s, which won the NSCHSAA title and the CHSAA intersectional championship this fall, finished sixth with 234 points on Saturday.

McLaughlin said the Friars started too fast, trying to prevent getting stuck behind other runners off the starting line.

“I think it’s better to make an aggressive mistake than to be too far back at the start,” McLaughlin said. “We paid for it in the second half of the race. We were great up until the top of the hill, but after that, it’s still a long way to go.”

McLaughlin noted that St. Anthony’s went for the win at last year’s state Federation championship and finished second. The Friars still ran well at Nike Cross Regionals the following week and qualified for Nike Cross Nationals.

“Hopefully, the same thing can happen this year. I think today was just an off day,” McLaughlin said. “We’re just going to learn from this and hopefully do better next weekend.”

Lindenhurst’s Jake Albert finished 25th in 16:47.6, and Oyster Bay’s Chris Tardugno finished 26th in 16:47.9. Harborfields’ Hartley Semmes finished 32nd in 16:51.6, and North Shore’s Robby Levy finished 37th in 16:54.8.

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