Boys cross country looks forward to State Qualifiers and States


Jack Lawrence

Max Friedman, Kevin Taylor, and Colin Funk finish the notorious Course-Mile-Course-Mile workout before their last league meet of the season.

Zach Seigel, Contributing Writer

With Schreiber’s fall sports season coming to a close, it is time to look back and reflect on the success of teams like boys cross country.  The squad worked hard this season and it is paying off.  The group was led by senior captains Nick Scardigno, Max Friedman, Ben Goldstein, and Chris DiLillo.

The team took first place in three races at the Nassau Coaches Cross Country Invitational at Bethpage State Park on Sept. 29: the Freshmen Race, Sophomore Race, and Varsity Finals. The freshmen were led by Kevin Taylor, Colin Funk and William Lane, while the sophomores were dominated by Noah Loewy, Matt Scardigno and Nathaniel Kimball. Varsity scorers included Scardigno, Friedman, Goldstein, junior Justin Hill, and senior Hugh Owens.

The regular season has gone well for the varsity team.  They are excited about the prospect of winning the Nassau County championships after the past two seasons which were not as successful as they had hoped.

Last year’s team was led by great performers like Goldstein and Loewy with impressive 17:33 and 17:34 second records respectively in the 5k.  There were just not enough high performances even with their dedication and strong work ethic. However, the talent seems to run deeper this year.

“A lot of new freshmen including Kevin Taylor and Colin Funk have added newfound depth to the lineup and add to the hopes of achieving this year,” said Goldstein.

Port Washington cross country has been improving this year, as expected, with solid first or second place finishes in the majority of meets.  Multiple runners on the team also have broken the infamous 18:00 mark in the 5K. 

The team has been coached by Mr. Jeremy Klaff for many years. His experience always shows through, as his techniques create runners that are mature and determined to thrive.

“I think we have been running well this season.  The captains and Klaff have been very supportive of everyone,” said senior Benji Aranoff.  “I have been running very well this season with a personal record of twenty one minutes and thirty seconds, thanks to Klaff training us well.  He really wants us to improve and we have a genuine chance of us winning the county because of his workouts.”  

The junior varsity team has been achieving as well. They, too, dominate Nassau County, finishing first in most races. They train with the varsity runners, which pushes them to do their best and compete for spots on varsity.

 “We have been running well and we have a great group of guys who get the job done every time.  Coach Klaff’s workouts might be tough and hard, but they help you improve and get results,” said senior Sam Cacioppo.   “As a JV captain, getting in the huddle and hyping the guys up before each race, I see the greatness from the freshman to the juniors.”

Making varsity, which is the top 10 runners, is tougher than ever because of the small margins between each runner’s time. 

“We have a very young team this year and we are looking to be dominant for the next few seasons,” said the leading runner on the team sophomore Oliver Melara.  

This year, there are more underclassman on varsity than usual. Taylor and Funk are currently freshman on varsity who show potential to bring greatness to the team for the next four years. Many people seem to be fans of these young runners.

“All the runners are extremely dedicated and the underclass show great promise,” said junior Taiki Hirooka.

The varsity team has two more meets, County Finals and State Qualifiers, if they advance. Individual runners can be sent to the State Championships at Sunken Meadows if they meet the qualifications at the latter meet. It takes hard work and immense dedication to place at these meets, but the boys hope to do so. 

“Winning Nassau County for the first time in two years is a possibility.  Not a given, but a possibility,” said Goldstein.  “Getting the most out of every practice is vitally important to the success of any team, and boys cross-country has recognized that.  Every runner is making an effort to put his best foot forward at the high-intensity practices.  After the difficulty of last season, we weren’t quite sure what to expect.  We’ve been very pleased by the powerful performances by the incoming freshmen and established veterans alike.”

Schreiber is rooting for the boys cross country team for the rest of the season.  Expectations are high and the students are hoping that all of their hard work, grit, and determination will pay off.