Written by Manhasset Press Staff, Manhasset@Antonnews.com Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:00
The Indians have gotten off to a strong start this season with many athletes well prepared this fall after putting in the miles throughout the summer break period. The team remains undefeated (9-0) in conference competition heading into week four when it will face Great Neck North, Plainedge, and Sewhanaka before a week five showdown with local rival North Shore, which should decide the Conference Championship. Manhasset had its 5-year conference dual meet unbeaten streak snapped by North Shore last fall, so the squad will be looking for some redemption when they square off on October 15th at Bethpage State Park.
Senior captains Matthew Weilep and John Marcucci have looked strong in early season competition as they look to lead a relatively young Varsity group to compete for a County Championship. The team has been greatly strengthened by the addition of newcomer Willy McNamara as well as from the contributions of juniors Tommy Fruhauf, Carter Paterson, and John Reddington who have improved tremendously from one year ago. The rapid development of sophomore Riley Barnes has vastly improved the Indian’s chances as has the emergence of eighth grader Nicky Harris who will look to challenge for a spot in the Top 7. Due to the tremendous depth of this year’s team, many harriers remain poised to claim a top spot. Seniors Kyle Bentley and Brad Spilka both got off to a quick start before suffering some minor injuries, and will now be looking to reclaim their positions, while junior first-year cross-country runner Russell Silva is competing as though he has something to prove. The positive energy and enthusiasm displayed by these Varsity student-athletes has most definitely been evident by the performances from our Junior Varsity and freshman groups.
Through the first three weeks of competition, the Junior Varsity squad has presented as one of the top 3 programs in all of Nassau County. Nearly all of the returning runners have already bested their times from last year at both the 4k and 5k distances and many would easily earn varsity spots on a good number of teams within our conference and county. The team has been lead by sophomores Athan Anderson, George Yiachos, Harrison Barsky, Tyson Morgano, Anthony Varnas, and Andrew Polis with strong contributions coming from juniors Austin Plansker and Matthew Sears. As with any program, Manhasset’s cross-cross country team’s success has been fueled in part by the stellar performances of some of our less-heralded runners. Senior Pranay Lunavat and juniors Dan Ready and Rob Petruso returned in the best shape of their lives with a determined approach to their daily work which has set the bar for the others; each has already cut minutes from their previous bests, with Ready leading the way, cutting over nine minutes off his 3.1 mile time from last fall.
Manhasset has also been fortunate to attract what may prove to be the strongest and deepest freshman class in the school’s history. Michael Lee, Luke LaSpina, Dan Petruso, Guido Modano, Justin Blanche, and Thomas Butcher have emerged atop a group of nearly twenty first-year runners who have shown great passion and enthusiasm as they look to carry on the proud tradition of excellence established by their peers and predecessors. As they continue to train and race as a pack, we look forward to many good things to come in the months and years ahead from this talented group.
Juniors Claim 3rd Place at Jim Smith Invitational
Running in his first ever cross country race, Willy McNamara stormed the 200+-man field, finishing in 6th place, to help lead the Indians’ junior-class squad to a 3rd place finish out of 32 teams, while also securing himself a place on Manhasset’s All-Time best performance list for Sunken Meadow. Riley Barnes (19:43) led the way for the sophomores with a 25th place finish, as Nicky Harris (10:01) took 18th place in the 1.8 miles race to help the frosh group to a 6th place finish out of 32 teams.
Freshmen Boys Steal Spotlight at Suffolk Coach’s Invitational
The boys returned to Sunken Meadow State Park on Saturday, September 28th for the second consecutive weekend, looking to improve upon their performances from a week earlier and take home some swag after battling through the challenging hills of this infamous course.
The freshmen got Manhasset off to a hot start, blazing through the 1.47 mile course and placing their first five runners amongst the top finishers to claim the overall team championship. Nicky Harris led the way once again, taking 5th place overall with a time of 7:42. Only an eighth-grader, Nicky’s performance placed him ahead of all but ten of the 260 freshmen runners competing. Michael Lee (8:11), Luke LaSpina (8:18), Guido Modano (8:18), and Justin Blanche (8:27) were the others scorers for Manhasset, with Dan Petruso (8:29), and Thomas Butcher (8:29) finishing right behind. To have our #2-7 runners cross the finish line within 18 seconds of each other is an impressive feat that will serve the squad well if they continue to run as a pack as they move up to the 5k distance.
Our Varsity squad ran to a 7th place finish out of 21 teams, paced by Matthew Weilep (17:51) and Tommy Fruhauf (17:56) both of whom landed spots on Manhasset’s All-Time best of list for Sunken Meadow State Park. Weilep (14th) and Fruhauf (16th) claimed the 21st and 25th spots on the All-Time list, respectively. Carter Paterson (18:44), John Marcucci (19:11), and John Reddington (19:25) ran personal bests on the course to complete the scoring for Manhasset.
In the sophomore division, Anthony Varnas (19:54) ran an outstanding race, breaking the 20-min barrier and taking over #21 on the All-Time Manhasset best-of list for sophomores at Sunken Meadow.