By Charles Hamma
The Pierson-Bridgehampton team could do nothing but watch the Port Jefferson Royals run away with another cross-country victory Oct. 3 at Sunken Meadow State Park, winning 48-15 to bring the Royals’ record to a perfect 5-0 on the season.
Port Jefferson dominated this 2.8-mile run from start to finish, placing five Royals in the Top 5. As runners from both the Whalers and the Monarchs huffed and puffed, the Royals zoomed by, leaving kicked-up dust and the competition behind them. Senior captain and first-place finisher Sam Walker led the way, finishing with a time of 16 minutes, 12 seconds. Port Jefferson was eager to come out and set the same convincing tone that they’ve been setting throughout this cross-country season.
“Pierson and McGann gave it their all, but we just have a great thing going right now,” Walker said after the race. “Everyone’s staying positive and we’re all working together as a team. There isn’t one person who sticks out more than the other. We’re all doing great.”
While Walker finished first, it was a photo finish, with teammates stepping across the finish line right behind him. Cooper Schoch came in second in 16:13 and Grant Samara was right behind him, finishing in 16:14.
Port Jefferson head coach Rod Cawley was especially impressed with his team’s powerful performance.
“I can’t ask for anything more as a coach than a performance like the one I saw today,” he said grinning from ear to ear. “Hopefully this momentum will carry over into this weekend when we go to Disney World.”
The Royals are leaving to go to Disney World this weekend, but they are not going there to celebrate a recent Super Bowl victory with Mickey and Minnie. Instead, they will be traveling to compete in the Disney Cross Country Classic. Now in its 21st year, the competition brings together schools of all kinds, from middle schools up to colleges, to compete on the 5K and 8K courses at Disney’s 220-acre Wide World of Sports Complex. The races will take place Oct. 6 and 7. The top three schools and individuals will earn trophies, and those who place fourth through tenth will earn medals.
“I can’t ask for anything more as a coach than a performance like the one I saw today.”
— Rod Cawley
Port Jefferson will travel home for one final regular-season meet against the Shelter Island Indians Oct. 10. It’s a matchup to which Walker is looking forward.
“I think that this will be a great test for us to finish out the regular season,” he said. “They have a really good team, we have a really good team, so it should be interesting.”
After that, the road to the state qualifiers begins, with expectations sure to be high.
But for now, the Royals will celebrate this victory, possibly with a ride on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
This version updates the length of the course and the spelling of Parker Schoch’s name.