Chris Tardugno of Oyster Bay wins his race at the...

Chris Tardugno of Oyster Bay wins his race at the Nassau cross country conference championships and state qualifiers at Bethpage State Park on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Chris Tardugno had to start fast.

The Oyster Bay senior briefly chased North Shore’s Robby Levy at the start of the Class III boys race at the Nassau Class County cross country Championships on the 5-kilometer course at Bethpage State Park on Saturday.

The two runners separated from the pack before Tardugno finished ahead of the field in 16 minutes, 12.19 seconds and claimed his second-straight Nassau title.

“We went out hard, in like a 4:59 mile,” Tardugno said. “It definitely helped to keep me on my toes and keep going fast.”

Tardugno placed fifth at the Class C public school state championship last season and said Saturday’s race in 76-degree heat was another step toward his goals for the season. Next Saturday's Nassau state qualifier meet will run on the same course that Tardugno dominated this week.

“I feel like I’m on the right path,” Tardugno said. “The whole season is leading up to states. That’s my main goal, I definitely want to improve my placement at states.”

Levy finished second in 16:19.27. Oyster Bay won the Class III team title with 64 points.

Wheatley’s Shannon Flachner didn’t expect to win the Nassau Class III girls title.The sophomore finished third in the county last fall and knew it would be hard to win against some of the other talented runners in Class III this season.

“I wasn’t trying to think too much about beating them, but I wanted to do that,” Flachner said. “I was just thinking to go out and do what I can, and if it happens, it happens.”

It happened for Flachner, who clocked a 19:40.17 and beat second-place finisher Joanna Kenney of North Shore by 25 seconds.

Flachner shaved 57.33 seconds off her third-place finish at last year’s Nassau Class County Championships.

“I didn’t think I was going to be county champ this year. I knew I had a lot of goals, one of which was breaking 20 minutes here,” Flachner said. “I really trained a lot this summer, and it’s really starting to come together.”

Kenney finished second in 20:06.05 and paced North Shore to its 17th Nassau title in the last 18 years, according to coach Neal Levy.

Calhoun’s Logan Schaeffler won his second-straight Class II boys title in 16:15.9. Manhasset won the Class II team title with 42 points, led by Thomas Sheerin, who finished sixth in 17:06.75.

Friends Academy’s Aislinn Frazer, who won the Class III title last fall, won the Class II girls race in 19:19.95. South Side won the Class II girls team title led by Claire Bohan, who finished third in 19:59.39.

Oceanside’s Jason Kerber clocked the fastest time of the day in 16:00.08 and won the Class I boys race. Port Washington won the team title with 75 points, paced by Lukas Derasmo, who finished fifth in 17:06.43.

East Meadow sophomore Zaria Hall won the Class I girls race in 19:37.44. Syosset won the team title with 51 points, led by Julie Shaughnessy, who finished sixth in 20:27.73.

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