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Nov 6, 2018 3:51 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Pierson's McErlean, Schaefer, Greene All Qualify For State Cross Country Meet

A number of Mariners head toward the finish line. MICHELLE MALONE
Nov 6, 2018 3:51 PM

The Pierson/Bridgehampton boys and girls cross country teams made the jump from a Class D school to the larger and more competitive Class C this season, but that didn’t slow them down, especially at the Section XI Championships, or state qualifier, at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park on Friday afternoon.Both teams will be represented at the New York State Championships, which are this Saturday back at Sunken Meadow, after a trio of runners qualified. Ben McErlean, a sophomore, finished sixth overall in 18:36 while junior Peter Schaefer placed ninth in 19:05. Both runners qualified for states by being the top five individual runners not on the winning team. Since Port Jefferson won the Class C county title, as expected, the next top five individuals not on that team qualify for states. McErlean was the third runner to qualify while Schaefer was the fifth. As a team, Pierson finished third out of four teams with 55 points behind Port Jeff (22) and Center Moriches (49).

“We made sacrifices this season staying on the island and doing all the Sunken Meadow meets and taking the long bus ride up to Kings Park to practice in preparations for the state qualifier,” Pierson head coach Joe Amato said.

Penelope Greene will be heading back to states after she finished the girl’s race third overall in 21:34, easily grabbing one of the top five individual placements. Senior Caroline Jungck, trying to reach states for the fifth-straight season, finished just outside of the top five individual spots. She finished 11th overall in 22:46.

Southampton

The Southampton boys cross country team was hoping to be in the mix as one of the top teams in the county at Friday’s race, but the competition proved to be a little too stiff for the young Mariners. They finished in ninth place in the Class C Championship race with 186 points, 145 ahead of first place Westhampton Beach.

Freshman Billy Malone led Southampton with a 19th-place finish in 18:28, well outside of the top five individual placements to qualify for the state meet. Freshman Zack Mobius finished 35th in 18:55, sophomore Griffin Schwartz finished 37th in 18:57, freshman Justin Marro finished 49th in 19:24, his older brother, sophomore Luke Marro, finished 59th in 20:05, freshman Saintino Arnold finished 66th in 21:05 and sophomore Patrick Gabriele finished 68th in 21:37.

Southampton should be one of the top teams returning in Class B next season since it’s not graduating any of its top runners.

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