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Oct 16, 2019 2:01 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Southampton Boys Cross Country Wins Sixth Straight League Title

The Southampton boys cross country team won its sixth consecutive league title on Tuesday with its victory over Bayport/Blue Point. MICHELLE MALONE
Oct 22, 2019 2:57 PM

It’s one thing to set a goal coming into a season, it’s another to consistently accomplish it year after year.
The Southampton boys cross country team sets its sights on winning the League VII title every fall, and for the past six straight seasons, it has been able to do just that. At Sunken Meadow Park in Kings Park on October 15, the Mariners defeated Bayport/Blue Point, 21-34, to capture another league title. They haven’t lost a dual meet since 2014, winning 30-some odd dual meets within that time span.
“You never know what you’re going to get every year, but the most important thing is making sure that the kids are healthy and that their interest is at a high level. They all have to be all in from the beginning of the summer until now, and they’re all in,” Southampton head coach Eddie Arnold said. “I was able to give each one of them some time off for personal reasons, basically facilitate a nice plan so they can be all in but at same time do schoolwork and have a personal life, and we’ve been rewarded because it works. I agree to be the coach, they agree to be the athlete. It’s like a partnership, and they all have to accept the responsibilities, and we all have to be on the same page, from number one to number 24. And we’re all on the same page.”
Arnold said Bayport was a young and feisty team that gave his team a very competitive race, even though it swept the first three placements. Artemi Gavalas won the race in 15:34, followed by Billy Malone at 15:53 and Zac Mobius at 15:56. The Phantoms took the fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and 10th placements. Griffin Schwartz placed sixth in 16:12 and Harrison Gavalas was the fifth finisher and final point scorer for Southampton, finishing ninth in 16:34, which Arnold said was impressive to see by him.
Arnold said that everyone in the program — including the girls who he also coaches — are responsible for the boys’ success.
“Yes [the boys] race, but we all train together,” Arnold explained. “We run up Hulmes’s Hill in North Sea some mornings, we practice together at Red Creek Park, we do long runs and track workouts. Everyone, from boys and girls, train together, they push each other, go to team dinners at family’s houses.
“[The program] itself is one family, everyone is included,” he continued. “And you don’t just reward the competition, you reward the stuff you do before the competition and celebrate that because that’s the groundwork that prepares you for success.”
Both boys and girls competed at the Brown University Northeast Championships this past weekend. Results from that meet weren’t made available, but it was there that the boys will figure out their five, six and seven runners, with the top four all solidified, for the Division IV Championships, which are October 29 at Sunken Meadow.
The top seven finishers for the boys at Brown will run at Divisions, Arnold said, and then the top seven at that meet will run at the state qualifier. What he’s looking for is some consistency from the back end of the pack.
“My five, six, and seven runners are wide open. Anywhere from 15 athletes can break into those spots,” he said. “They’ve had good races and then they’ve had not-so-good races. So I’m looking to solidify that back end of the pack, and it’s exciting because it could be any one of my runners.”

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