By: Caroline D’Agostino

One could say the Lourdes’ Cross Country team had a good “run” this fall season, with one student even advancing to the state meet in Sunken Meadow, Long Island. Starting initially in mid August with about 35 participants on the team, each student improved by leaps and bounds during the hard training sessions. Coached by Mike Slinsky, a skilled marathon runner, every student trained diligently and worked hard to improve their 5k times. Whether training with intervals, long runs, or his famous “Slinsky Surprise,” the team was fortunate to be coached by such a competent, hard-working mentor.

This season, both the girls’ and boys’ teams were successful in their endeavors, having numerous students compete in the sectional meet at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls. Bowdoin Park is notorious for its switchback hills and mile and a half uphill battle. The girls who qualified to go to sectionals included Caroline D’Agostino (Class of 2019), Jen Cwick (Class of 2022), and Elizabeth Gilroy (Class of 2019). Emily Sadutto (Class of 2020), Mae Rao (Class of 2021), Riya Shiggon (Class of 2022), and Kayla Seegler (Class of 2021) all had successful seasons, improving their 5k times. For the boys, Nick Timm, a senior at OLL, had a very successful breakout season, running a personal best of 16:35 in the 5k. He qualified for the New York State Meet, coming in 40th place out of 120 boys, with an outstanding time of 17:32. A natural runner, Timm has been fortunate enough to qualify for such a competitive race, while only training for 3 months. The team tasted success when the boys came in second place in the Brewster County League Meet. Outstanding efforts were made by both the boys’ and girls’ teams. Aidan Reilly (Class of 2020), Joe Belardo (Class of 2020), Justin Larosa (Class of 2020), Gavin Krugar (Class of 2022), Noah Barrett (Class of 2022), Kyle Silverio (Class of 2021), and Matteas Callegari (Class of 2019), all had successful races at Sectionals, and saw outstanding time improvements throughout the season.

The cohesiveness and camaraderie shown by the team is why the OLL Cross Country Team is such a tight-knit group of athletes. Cross country and track are two of the most mentally and physically demanding sports known to man. Each member encourages one another, pushing each other to the limit. Many team members will continue to run throughout the winter track season, hoping to crush their previous personal records. The team looks forward to a very successful winter track season.