Perhaps the only thing Oyster Bay's Alex Tosi had to fight on his way to victory in the Nassau Class III boys cross- country championship Saturday at Bethpage State Park was his own muscles. Thanks to the cold Halloween weather, Tosi said he felt tight throughout the entire race.
Even though the performance was, by Tosi's own admission, not quite up to his standards, it still was good enough to win by a sizable margin. Tosi finished the 5K race in 16 minutes, 24.48 seconds. Valley Stream North's Nick Cason finished second in 17:15.12.
"You want to get out of the cold as quick as you can, so you have to finish the race up," Tosi said. "The quicker you finish it, the quicker you can put your sweats back on. You certainly feel it in your lungs. [The weather] is a lot different from it was in early races when the season started. You have to just adapt to that. It's part of racing. It's part of the sport."
North Shore won the Class III team title, scoring 50 points. Nick Lacomba finished fourth in 17:22.37 to lead the Vikings.
Calhoun's Elias Platanias won the Class I championship in 16:08.26. Platanias said he knew he had the top seed time entering the race, placing a target on his back.
Not that he minded at all.
"I enjoyed the challenge of seeing if someone would come after me," Platanias said. "I handled the challenge well."
Massapequa's Aidan Smith was second in 16:30.65.
"I wanted to get out fast," Platanias said. "I did that. I got a lead and maintained it. That was my goal. I got there and ran from the front."
Platanias said he started to pull away before the course's first hill. "I drove the hill and worked it pretty well," he said. "They couldn't really catch me after that."
Syosset won the Class I team title, scoring 50 points. It's the Braves' fourth consecutive cross-country title and 11th consecutive crown across all three seasons (cross country, winter and spring track), coach Rich Cafiero said.
Luke Skorka was the Braves' highest finisher, placing fifth in 16:36.09. William Long was eighth in 16:56.81.
Manhasset's Tim Courts ran 16:33.87 in route to a Class II victory. He outpaced Mepham's Chris Perillo, who was second in 16:43.17
"The race went out pretty fast, but that was expected," Courts said. "Everything went according to plan."
A large part of that plan rested on a Manhasset team championship, which they accomplished with 43 points. Manhasset captured ninth through 13th place to sew up the victory. Justin Blanche was the next highest Manhasset finisher after Courts, placing ninth in 17:15.49.