Even before his first race of the season, Shelter Island’s Kal Lewis knew that repeating as state public school Class D cross country champion would be an uphill climb. A summer case of bronchitis knocked most of his training to the side. In a sport where endurance is key, every summer mile acts as a building block for fall. Without them, it’s hard to win in November. But as Lewis proved, not impossible.
“It was very frustrating because I knew I had to put in so much more work, but I’m happy I did so,” the junior said. “I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am now.”
Where he is? A two- time state champion. Against those odds, Lewis was able to win again — taking Class D in 16 minutes, 23.3 seconds Nov.10 on Sunken Meadow State Park’s 5-kilometer course.
“I knew I had to put in the work just to get the win,” Lewis said. “It’s been a dream…It feels so much better a second time.”