Welcome to Sunken Meadow State Park, home to one of the most grueling cross-country courses in New York State. It’s a place known for breaking down runners and bringing up their times.
As described by DyeStat.com, the five-kilometer course starts with a flat 1,200 meters before the runners hit steep Snake Hill. Then they move on through a picnic area and take a half-mile climb to the base of notorious Cardiac Hill, which extends for some 200 meters of steep terrain.
“Snake kills your calves while Cardiac just kills you in general,” said Mattituck senior Christian Demchak. READ
Payton Maddaloni, a junior in her fourth year on the Mattituck High School girls cross-country team, didn’t know eighth-grader Ava Vaccarella before this season. It didn’t take Maddaloni long, however, to understand how much of an impact the newcomer would have on the Tuckers. READ
Ten years later, almost to the day, the New York State boys and girls cross-country championships will return to Sunken Meadow State Park. On Nov. 10, the eyes of New York’s cross-country community will be focused on the hilly 3.1-mile course in Kings Park.
Christian Demchak, Mattituck’s All-County senior, hopes to be among the Long Islanders running on their home turf, so to speak. READ
Christian Demchak spent his 16th birthday Friday in possibly the best way possible for a cross-country runner. He ran in a big race.
The Mattituck High School junior had to wait a little bit, though, afterward to see if he was going to receive the birthday gift he was hoping for — a return trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships. READ
The Southold High School boys cross-country team no longer has Owen Klipstein, but the First Settlers do have a “Core Four.”
When contemplating what he likes about running cross country and how it compares to track and field, Dan Harkin makes some interesting analogies.
“Track is like a math test,” the Mattituck High School senior said before a recent practice. “Track is just laps. It’s concrete numbers. Cross country is like a science test. You’re going off course and stuff, into the woods. It’s more abstract.”
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. READ
Katherine Lee fell short in her attempt to win a second straight state championship on Saturday, but the Shoreham-Wading River High School sophomore came close, finishing third in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls cross-country championships. READ
Southold junior Owen Klipstein and Shoreham-Wading River senior Mike Godfrey both qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys cross-country championships. READ
The Section XI Division Championships are about serious competition on a serious cross-country course.