That sound you hear is the Manhasset boys cross county team splashing into both prominence and dominance in Nassau County. The squad, which took a conservative approach to the regular season announced itself loudly with a decisive Nassau Class II county championship Saturday afternoon at Bethpage State Park.
Manhasset took the first six places, and seven of the top 10 at the opening meet of the Nassau postseason. It’s team score, 15 points, is equivalent to a shutout in any other sport and, now, Manhasset appears to be in the driver’s seat for a trip to the state meet.
State meet tickets won’t be awarded until the state qualifier next Saturday but, for now, the Indians have every reason to bask in the statement they made underneath a warm, racing-optimal sun.
“We always like to lay low early and then really take over later in the season,” Aidan Caggiano said. “This is where we hit our groove. Counties and state qualifiers, it all leads into states. This is exactly what we wanted to do this week.”
Caggiano won the 5-kilometer race in 16 minutes, 49.77 seconds. John Cyprus was second in 16:51.70. Ryan Watson finished third in 16:59.58, Aidan Sweeney was fourth in 17:00.41, Adam Stefan was fifth in 17:00.76 and Christopher Courts was sixth in 17:05.19. Nicholas Harris finished ninth in 17:33.88.
Caggiano said he stayed with his teammates for the first two miles and then began to push.
“My teammates stayed right with me through most of the way,” he said. “It was really a great showing for our team.
Elsewhere, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK’s Jake Meyers won the Class I title in 16:49.66.
“I stayed in a pack basically the whole race,” Meyers said. “Up until about a mile and a half [left], it came down to three guys. I just tried to stay with the pack. I knew I had more energy then the other two guys. I was just trying to stay with them and out-kick them in the end.”
Meyers estimated that the race went out in 4:50 pace, an incredibly fast split that was unlikely to hold in the later stages.
“It was insane,” Meyers said. “There was no way all those guys were going to be breaking 16 in the 5K. It didn’t make sense. I kept my pace and knew that after the first half mile, everyone was going to fall behind . . . After the first mile, it was about five guys. Then it got down to four, slowly decreasing people. Then it got down to the last mile.”
East Meadow won the Class I team championship with 45 points. John Meah was second in 16:59.05.