Ten years ago, Sophie Rosencrans was 4 years old. Somewhere else, far away from the little girl, the North Shore girls cross country team lost a conference meet.
It seemed, on that day at least, like a fairly insignificant occurrence. Conference meets can take many forms, with some runners using them to work out and others running their hardest. Losing one certainly is not the end of the world. But, as with anything, it feels better to win.
Ten years later, that 2007 loss remains North Shore’s last defeat. A victory in a Nassau Conference IV meet Monday afternoon at Bethpage State Park gave the Vikings their 10th consecutive undefeated conference meet season.
Since losing to Valley Stream South on Oct. 16, 2007, North Shore is 128-0 in conference competition, coach Neal Levy said. Rosencrans led the way for the Vikings in Monday’s victory, finishing the 4-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 23.29 seconds. The freshman placed second in the race. Valley Stream South’s DeAnna Martin won in 16:07.32. North Shore’s Hannah Bradford was third in 16:26.29.
“When I was 4, I never thought I’d be running cross country and be able to be a part of this,” Rosencrans said. “I think it’s cool that the legacy continues and all of us support each other. We do this to keep the legacy going.”
And what a legacy it is. North Shore has won 10 consecutive class county titles and two state public school championships (2010, 2011) and is the only Long Island girls team to qualify for Nike Cross Nationals, the top meet in the country (2010, 2011), Levy said.
“I’m so proud to be part of this team with all these amazing people,” Nicole Schneider said. “It feels amazing to keep that legacy going. I just want to make my teammates proud, both now and in the past.”
Schneider used the meet as a workout, furthering her preparation for the Nassau Class County Championships on Oct. 28. She was charged with running 16:45 and ran 16:46.70, finishing fifth. “These meets feel more low-key and relaxed,” Schneider said. “I feel more comfortable. There’s more of a mental seriousness in invitationals . . . I like the conference meets. It’s a chance to compete, yet not give the mental fullness that you usually give.”
Isabella Strajanekova was in the same boat as Schneider. Instructed to run 17:40, she ran 16:46.99 and finished sixth. Strajanekova and her teammates wear watches that track their pacing, making it easier to slow down and speed up as necessary during workouts. Caroline Reiner was seventh in 16:49.33.
Low-key or not, Schneider said her team is prepared for the class county championships next weekend. “I feel pretty ready,” she said. “I think the team is ready and we’re all very excited. We’re ready to go.”