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Nov 5, 2019 9:32 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Boys Cross Country Wins Division III Title; Girls Run Strong Race

'Canes Gavin Ehlers and Ermel Bautista with the lead pack of the start of last week's race. MICHELLE MALONE
Nov 5, 2019 9:43 AM


The Westhampton Beach boys cross country team set the bar high for themselves this season. So high that even when the team won the Division III title at the Division Championships at Sunken Meadow Park in Kings Park on October 29, it didn’t necessarily impress the squad’s head coach.

While he will certainly take the title, first-year head coach Jack Ryan wasn’t thrilled with the way his team ran overall, and expects it to be much stronger this Friday when the Hurricanes return to Sunken Meadow for the Section XI Championships, also known as the state qualifier.

“I’m happy that we won the division. That’s always a nice accomplishment, and we have some good teams in our division. So it wasn’t just handed over to us,” he explained the day after the meet on October 30. “That being said, I’m definitely not happy with or satisfied with the way we ran as a team. We have 10 days to make the necessary adjustments that we need to make going into counties.”

Sophomore Gavin Ehlers took the top placement for Westhampton Beach, placing third overall in the team championship race, second in Division III, in 16:31.68, which, according to Ryan, is the second fastest time for a Westhampton Beach runner on the 5K course at Sunken Meadow.

Senior Ermel Bautista placed 15th overall, fifth in the division, in 17:23.39. Seniors Kieran Ryan (18:11.25) and Sean Jordan (18:37.62) and sophomore David Alvarado (18:41.98) finished 12th, 17th and 18th, and by finishing in the top 20 with Ehlers and Bautista, earned All-Division honors. Freshman James Buono finished in 21:07.64. Freshman Max Haynia, one of the team’s top runners, missed the race due to an illness.

The Westhampton Beach girls cross country team was in line to also win the Division III race but the squad’s second best runner, junior Ashley Steedman, took what head coach John Broich described as a terrible fall and twisted her ankle. The junior powered through the injury and finished the race, but much slower than what she was on pace for. Broich said she was in the trainer’s room on Monday still getting checked out for her injury and her status for this Friday’s state qualifier is up in the air.

Jackie Amato, a junior, continued her torrid stretch run this season, finishing eighth in the team championship race, second in the division, in 19:57.86. Senior Grace Hayes was the second Lady Hurricane to cross the finish line in 21:36.46, which placed her eighth in the division.

Hampton Bays



Both Hampton Bays boys and girls squads ran in the team qualifier races at divisions. The boys were led by junior Kelvin Granados, who finished in 19:08.87, while the girls were led by eighth-grader Emma Halsey, who finished in 26:00.50.

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