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SportsHigh SchoolCross Country

High school girls cross country preview

Shoreham-Wading River girls cross country runner Katherine Lee

Shoreham-Wading River girls cross country runner Katherine Lee takes first place in the Class B race during the state qualifier race held at Sunken Meadow State Park on Nov. 6, 2015. Photo Credit: Richard T. Slattery

There is little doubt where the balance of power lies in Suffolk girls cross country. Shoreham-Wading River, fresh off a top-10 finish in last season’s state Federation championship, returns two Newsday All-Long Island runners.

Katherine Lee, who already has a state public school championship to her name, and Alexandra Hays are back and ready to add more medals to their collections. Lee, Hays, and senior Paton Capes-Davis took the top three spots in the ‘C’ race at last weekend’s Suffern Invitational.

Lee won the three-mile race in 17 minutes, 39.10 seconds. Hays was second in 18:38.60 and Capes-Davis was third in 19:11.30.

Eastport-South Manor’s Taylor McClay, also an All-Long Island pick last year, finished fourth in 19:14.30. McClay is Suffolk’s fastest Class A returner from last year’s Suffolk state qualifier. She ran a 19:33.88, 5K at Sunken Meadow State Park.

Sachem East is strong once again in Class A, looking to win its fifth consecutive county running title (encompassing cross country, indoor and outdoor track). The Flaming Arros won the Villa Bears Invitational, a 2.5-mile race last weekend at Van Cortlandt Park.. Lindsey Dodenhoff was second in 15:23.70. Rachel Ruggiero placed fourth in 15:43.50.

Bay Shore won the ‘A‘ race at the Suffern Invitational last weekend. Bridget Kanaley placed fourth, running three miles in 18:44.90. Eighth-grader Sophia Trifoli was eighth in 20:08.50.

Mattituck is the defending Class C champion. Melanie Pfennig, who was fastest in Class C at last year’s Suffolk State Qualifier, is primed to have her best season yet, coach Julie Milliman said.

Shelter Island’s Lindsey Gallagher ran a 21:07.12 to rule Class D last season and will look to lead her team back to a team title.

In Nassau, Syosset is looking to successfully defend its Class A title. The Braves were second at the Villa Bears Invitational last weekend. Reilly Siebert, another returning Newsday All-Long Island honoree, won the 2.5-mile race in 15.12.80. Lauren White was fifth in 15:44.20 and Melissa Esswein was sixth in 15:45.10.

North Shore is the defending Class B Champion and returns Emma Rivera, who ran a 19:54.03 at last year’s Nassau state qualifier. Locust Valley’s Roisin O’Neill owns the fastest qualifying time among returnees, clocking a 19:20.44 last season.

Wheatley’s Brianna O’Brien is off to a good start in Class C. She ran an 18:47.77 at the Bob Pratt Invitational last weekend, the fifth-fastest time in Nassau County history, coach Dan Walsh said.

Oyster Bay, still young and looking to defend its Class C title, returns Maggie McNamara, Laura Angelone, Bella Pace, and Michela Rutigliano. Wheatley’s Chloe Lanese, who ran a 21:44.24 in the Class C race at the Nassau State qualifier also returns.

In the CHSAA, Kellenberg placed second in the Division I race at the Briarwood Invitational last weekend. Nora Bennett was second in the 5K in 21:02 and Julia Bryant was tenth in 21:36.

St. John the Baptist returns Hailey Marcello, who finished eighth in the CHSAA league championships last season. Meredith Haberfield, Emily Fiorillo, and Giulianna Vullo will also score for the Cougars.

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