Though the long and winding path toward a Nassau County title has just begun, Michael Grady certainly has East Meadow pointed in the right direction. The senior won in 13 minutes, 2 seconds on the 4-kilometer course at Bethpage State Park in a Conference I race at the Nassau Triangular Meet on Monday. The time was the fastest of the day among all Nassau boys, coach Mike Ringhauser said.
The time helped lead East Meadow to victory over Syosset (32 points) and Hempstead (115 points).
Grady's commitment to morning runs, lifting, and an extensive prerace training program has been a key to the quick start by the Jets (4-0), Ringhauser said.
"Everything for him is team oriented," Ringhauser said. "He'd rather the team win than have the individual accomplishments . . . He's listening to the training and doing all the little things it takes to be a great runner."
That's not to say that he'd prefer to have the best of both worlds -- individual and team success, something that doesn't always go hand in hand in cross country.
But Grady's East Meadow teammates have kept up with him. Tim Euler finished third Monday in 13:45 and Chris Delgado placed sixth in 14:07.
"It's the most packed that the team has ever been," Ringhauser said.
The goal, however, is to become even more packed at the top. Ringhauser said that the team is consistently running its second through sixth runner within 25 seconds of each other. They hope to get their seventh runner within that range in time for a matchup with Port Washington in three weeks.