Boys Cross Country Finishes Fourth, Reilly Heads to States


Leon Zhao, Staff Writer

The boys cross country season ultimately ended in a mix of surprise and disappointment. On Friday, November 6th, despite unusually high humidity and temperatures, the top seven toed the starting line of the County Championship race at Sunken Meadow state park. In an instant, the gun went off and 25 teams exploded off the line. Many runners went out faster than they ever had, fueled by adrenaline and dreams of fast times and victories.

Over the course of the 5k however, as the runners battled Snake Hill and Cardiac Hill, many dropped back from exhaustion, drained from their furious starting paces. Ward Melville, on the other hand, started slow at the instruction of Coach Cantwell. As the race progressed, they began to fly by these exhausted runners. However, at the moat crossing leading into the final straightaway, a county victory still seemed grim. Melville’s top runner, Mike Reilly finished 3rd with a personal best time of 16:48, but his efforts could barely make up for the rest of the top 5 runners. The next runner, Matthew Viscosi, came in 17th, followed by the rest of the team, who subsequently placed 29th, 34th, and 35th.

Melville ultimately took 4th place behind rivals Sachem East, Sachem North, and Northport. Though a few runners on the team broke through with their best races of their season, it just wasn’t enough against the powerhouses from Sachem and Northport, whose top 7 consisted of almost all seniors as opposed to 3 seniors on the Melville squad.
Unfortunately, the team’s season ended at counties, but one runner, Mike Reilly had run fast enough to qualify for states. Last Saturday, November 13th, he placed 25th at the State Championships at Monroe-Woodbury High School. This Saturday, Reilly ended his season with a 55th place finish at the Federation Meet.

Mikey, as his friends call him, hopes to carry his cross country success into winter and spring track, and then plans to continue his running career in college. His advice for young runners that “consistent hard work leads to success,” is a reflection of the hard work and dedication it took him to get where he is now: an inspiration for his teammates and athletes around the county.