The drive for five is complete.
The Mattituck High School girls cross-country team pulled off a rare fivepeat Friday, winning its fifth straight Suffolk County championship.
Melanie Pfennig, the only team member to have run for all five of those championship squads, did her part by winning the Class C race at the Section XI Championships for the second year in a row. The senior triumphed on the five-kilometer course at Sunken Meadow State Park in 20 minutes, 28.52 seconds.
Pfennig’s victory helped the Tuckers top runner-up Bishop McGann-Mercy in the team scoring, 26-32.
With the championship, Mattituck’s seven runners qualified as a team for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships that will be held Nov. 12 at Chenango Valley State Park.
Pfennig held off a challenge from Mercy senior Kaitlyn Butterfield, who came in second in 20:37.52. Mattituck freshman Payton Maddaloni was third in 20:54.52 and Mattituck eighth-grader Kylie Conroy was fourth in 21:11.35.
Seven Mattituck runners were among the top 16 finishers. Sascha Rosin (22:17.52) was seventh, Meg Dinizio (22:55.38) was 11th, Liv Shutte (23:12.32) was 13th and Maddie Schmidt (24:33.78) was 16th.
In Class D, Greenport senior Emelys Villareal, running as an independent athlete, finished 15th in 26:46.73. Southold senior Jheimy Ugana was 17th in 27:04.45.
Fifth state meet for Klipstein. Make it 5-for-5.
For the fifth time in five years, Southold senior Owen Klipstein is headed to the state meet. Klipstein will have company, too. Teammate Michael Daddona also qualified. Despite turning his left ankle during the Class C race, Klipstein took fifth in 19:03.30, four notches ahead of Daddona (19:46.20). Another Southolder, Michael Chacon, was 13th in 20:34.87.
Mattituck sophomore Christian Demchak qualified for the state meet for the first time, taking fifth place in Class C in 18:25.62. The next two Tuckers to finish were 12th-place Dan Harkin (19:24.66) and 20th-place Thomas Hoeg (20:50.31).
Photo caption: Melanie Pfennig’s victory in the Class C race helped Mattituck to its fifth consecutive Suffolk County championship on Friday at Sunken Meadow State Park. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)