The body of work that Owen Klipstein has put together in cross country is impressive.
Not only has the Southold High School senior been on the team since he was an eighth-grader, but he has been an All-League runner since he was a freshman. The past three years he has been Southold’s No. 1 runner. Last year Klipstein competed in the state championships for the fourth straight year, a remarkable run.
“Owen is an excellent runner,” Southold coach Karl Himmelmann said. “He is someone who has consistently worked hard. I think he’s got a lot of natural talent. I think he’s also a committed runner.”
The results of that commitment are obvious. Klipstein was the runner-up in the Class D race at last year’s Section XI Championships, turning in a time of 18 minutes, 21.79 seconds on the five-kilometer course at Sunken Meadow State Park.
Klipstein went on to the state meet at Monroe-Woodbury High School, finishing 42nd in Class D in 18:12.9.
Southold (3-3 last year) has a strong corps of sophomores to run with Klipstein: Michael Chacon, Patrick Connolly, Anakin Mignone and Michael Daddona, who is in his first year on the team.
“The makeup of the team is really different, but it’s giving an opportunity for some new kids to shine,” Himmelmann said. “I think they have some good potential. I’m really excited about the sophomores who are really committed to the team and committed to improving.”
With over 25 runners on his team to work with, Mattituck coach Mike Jablonski has the numbers, but he has also seen the work ethic.
“They do what they’re required to do, and they train hard,” he said. “It’s been a hot summer and all these guys have been out here working hard and going for long runs.”
With the graduation of Jack Dufton, All-League senior Dan Harkin steps into the role as the new frontrunner for Mattituck (2-3). Also back are the team’s Nos. 3 (senior Thomas Hoeg), 4 (senior Josh Prager) and 5 (sophomore Christian Demchak) runners. Freshmen Sean Jester and Chris Dinizio are up-and-coming runners expected to do well.
“They’re a fun group of boys,” Jablonski said. “Our goal this year is to try to get a few of us upstate.”
Photo caption: Southold’s Owen Klipstein pictured last November. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)