Almost 2,000 Cross Springs Finish Line

Eighth grader’s winning 5K time ‘spectacular’
Marathoners and half-marathoners set out from behind the school
Sleepy Springs was alive with the sound of rhythmic footfalls Saturday morning as the marathoners and half-marathoners set out from behind the school. Jack Graves

    One thousand seven hundred and thirty-six runners crossed the finish line behind the Springs School Saturday — 336 marathoners, 1,279 half-marathoners, and 121 contenders in the 5K.
    A 25-year-old California mathematician by way of Washington, D.C., Shaun Maguire, won the marathon in 2 hours, 44 minutes, and 46 seconds. Chris Koegel, the defending champion, who experienced Achilles problems about 10 miles into the 26.2-mile race, was the runner-up, in 2:52:19.
    Maguire waited at the line for Koegel to finish, a gesture that the race directors, Amanda Moszkowski and Diane Weinberger, remarked upon.
    Moszkowski and Weinberger, by the way, who have overseen this huge event, which benefits Project MOST, Southampton Hospital, and the East Hampton Day Care Learning Center, the past five years, have been named as the recipients of the Old Montauk Athletic Club’s 2011 community service award.
    The club’s athlete of the year, Sharon McCobb, was there that day too. She placed 36th in the half-marathon, in 1:38:09, and thus won the women’s 45-to-49-year-old group.
    “I did better last year,” McCobb said after crossing the finish line, a fact she attributed to the humidity.
    Perhaps because of the humidity, the ambulance was called out five times, though in each case, Moszkowski said later, “it was nothing serious.”
    The marathon’s women’s winner — and fourth over all — was Mary Beth Ryan, 28, of Holden, Mass., in 3:08:53.
    Steven Mitchell, 31, of New York City won the half, in 1:25:30, with Jason Hancock, 37, a Southampton resident who teaches kindergarten at the Amagansett School, second, in 1:26:16. Veronica Jackson, 24, of New York City was the women’s winner — and fourth over all — in 1:28:07.
    Barbara Gubbins, who is twice Jackson’s age, nevertheless finished third among the women, in 1:29:58.
    Like Koegel, Gubbins came into the race with a slight injury, a tight left calf muscle in her case. “I hurt it in the Run for Ron this August,” she said. “I didn’t run for two weeks after that. I did 18 miles last weekend and it tightened up. That’s why I’m wearing compression socks today.”
    She ran with Jackson and the eventual runner-up, Sarah Chase, a 31-year-old Manhattanite, for the first seven miles, after which she “watched them battle it out. . . . It’s exciting to see how this race has blossomed.” Gubbins is to run in the New York City Marathon in November.
    “Maybe they should call this the Springs School marathon,” Owen McCormack, who coaches the school’s junior high girls soccer team, said, alluding to the fact that a Springs eighth grader, Erik Engstrom, had won the 5K in a record time of 19:20.
    Tonio Vassilaros, a 17-year-old cross-country runner at Columbia Prep in New York City, whose father, John, has supplied the runners with free cups of Vassilaros coffee for the past five years, said he couldn’t keep up with the Springs 13-year-old.
    “ ‘That kid is something,’ ” John Vassilaros reported his son as having said.
    “That’s a spectacular time for an eighth grader,” said John Conner, a former national-class age group miler and 800 runner who lives next door to the start-finish line. “A six-minute pace would work out to an 18:36 . . . his pace was around 6:15. . . .”
    Not far behind Engstrom, in fourth place, was his classmate Jackson Rafferty, in 20:44. “That’s what makes you fast,” Conner said, when told Engstrom was a classmate of Rafferty’s. Vassilaros was fifth. Mollie Duggal, 34, of Southampton was the women’s 5K winner, in 23:51.
    McCormack had all of his players, about 30 of them, run in the 5K, saying afterward, with a smile, that “it was a good thing there was a medical tent nearby.” The 5K field also included five members of the I-Tri program, the aim of which is to promote self-confidence and camaraderie among young girls through athletics.
    Jim MacWhinnie, a 39-year-old Southamptoner who experienced a nigh-fatal accident several years ago when he was crushed by a fuel oil tank, but who later made a remarkable recovery, placed second in the half-marathon’s 35-to-39 group, in 1:35:12. He and Kevin Barry, East Hampton High’s boys cross-country coach, who placed third among the 45-49s, in 1:37:33, are to run in the Chicago Marathon next month.
    Before the race, the 49-year-old Barry, who lives on Shelter Island, said he was going to jog that day. Asked about his cross-country team, he said, brightening, “We’re undefeated . . . for three more days. From now on, we’ll either be going up against defending league or county champions.”
    The team’s two wins, though, over Pierson, in a nonleaguer, and Rocky Point, were, he said, “a huge step — a league championship for us is not too far away.”
    Had he thought East Hampton stood a chance of winning a banner this fall, he might have brought Engstrom up to join his team of seniors and sophomores, all of whom he’s found to be “very coachable.”
    Mike Hamilton, in 18:57, and Adam Cebulski, in 18:58, had been the top two in the Rocky Point meet. Seven of the top 10 had been Bonackers, a group that also included Thomas Brierley, Ryan Lewis, Deilyn Guzman, Mike Peralta, and Alex Osborne. Brierley, said Barry, had placed fifth over all in 19:46. It was, he added, the first time the sophomore had broken 20:00.
    Among the marathon’s place-winners were Caroline Walsh, 24, of Montauk, first among the 20-to-24-year-old women; Erin Tintle, 39, of East Hampton, who won among the 35-to-39-year-old women; Mike Bahel, 45, of East Hampton, who was second among the 45-to-49-year-old men, and Paul Maidment, 60, of East Hampton, who won among the 60-to-64-year-old men. Bahel was the seventh-place finisher over all in 3:17:05.
    Place-winners in the half included Charles Whalen, 49, of Montauk, second in the 45-49s; Ruben Pinillos, 50, of Sag Harbor, third in the men’s 50-54s; Jackie Minetree, 51, of Sag Harbor, third in the women’s 50-54s; Jeff Yennie, 62, of Sag Harbor, second, and Arthur Nealon, 64, of East Hampton, third in the men’s 60-64s; Richard Mohlere, 65, of Shelter Island Heights, first in the men’s 65-69s, and Carole Ostroff, 68, of Bridgehampton, first in the women’s 65-69s.
    While the Hamptons Marathon raises money for the aforementioned three local beneficiaries, many runners, including 250 associated with Team in Training, 80 with the American Cancer Society, 19 with Friends of Karen, 14 with Somaly Mam, and six with JackRabbit Sports (who had been picked from among 325 applicants to train throughout the summer with Jon Cane), raised funds for other charitable causes as well.