Once again, East Hampton High School runners ran away with Saturday’s Katy’s Courage 5K in Sag Harbor. Erik Engstrom repeated as the overall winner, in 16 minutes and 44 seconds, and Dana Cebulski won among the females, in 19:42.47.
The race, the first of the season here, again drew large numbers. One estimate put the turnout of runners and walkers, many of them young people, at around 1,200, an impressive number, rivaling, in only its fourth year, the Shelter Island 10K and Ellen’s Run.
Jim and Brigid Collins Stewart, whose daughter, Katy, died three years ago, at the age of 12, of a rare form of liver cancer, said the memorial foundation they’d established was continuing to grow. (From sponsorships alone, this year’s race raised $30,000.)
A $10,000 scholarship is awarded in Katy’s name each year to a Pierson High School senior, and a senior at East Hampton, where Jim Stewart teaches, receives a $2,000 one as well.
Moreover, this fall, the Stewarts said (she is the assistant principal at the Montauk School), a therapy center for youngsters who have experienced loss, one similar to that which their now-9-year-old son Robert attended in San Antonio, Tex., will be up and running at the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton.
Robert ran Saturday and his mother walked, as did Robert’s 89-year-old grandfather, Walt, a National Wrestling Hall of Fame member who, according to his son, Jim, “has been in training.”
Luis Morales, who coaches East Hampton’s boys track team, said it was “an honor to have our team [East Hampton’s girls team, coached by Yani Cuesta, was there too, as was East Hampton’s softball team] support the Stewart family. We would not have missed it for the world.”
Engstrom’s winning time in the 5K, which traversed historic Sag Harbor streets, was six seconds slower than last year, when he was pushed by his teammate Adam Cebulski, who was said to be visiting colleges in New Hampshire Saturday.
Besides Engstrom, Morales said others of his charges — Emilio Espinoza, Eric Perez, and Jackson Rafferty — finished fifth, sixth, and seventh, in 17:44, 17:49, and 18:02.
The top 20 also included the following Bonackers: George Contreras, 11th, in 18:52, Cody Hillerud,12th, in 18:53, Thomas Paradiso, 14th, in 19:10, Addison Cook, 17th, in 19:15, and Jack Link, 20th, in 19:42.
“It was a great day for us, and an even better day for Katy’s Courage,” Morales said.
Cuesta reported that day that her East Hampton girls team had ended a drought by tying Eastport-South Manor 73-73 last week.
Moreover, she said, it had been a meet in which a number of her charges had “p.r.’d.”
Among East Hampton’s winners were Amanda Calabrese, in the 100 high hurdles, in a personal best 17.8 seconds; Nina Piacentine in the 1,500-meter racewalk, in 8:33.33; Allura Leggard in the 200, in a personal best 28.2; Hannah Jungck in the 3,000, in a personal best 11:34.5; Cebulski in the triple jump, in 28-83/4, and Taliya Hayes in the shot-put, in 27-31/2, and also in the discus, with a throw of 72-13/4 feet.
The 4-by-100 (Calabrese, Gabbie McKay, Cecilia Blowe, and Leggard) and 4-by-800 (Liana Paradiso, Alyssa Bahel, Jungck, and Cebulski) relay teams won also.
Her girls, said Cuesta, had recorded 47 personal bests at Eastport-South Manor, including Cebulski’s runner-up time of 2:29.7 in the 800; McKay’s runner-up time of 28.3 in the 200; Sadie Ward’s runner-up time of 74.5 in the 400 hurdles; Bahel’s runner-up time of 11:36.96 in the 3,000; Blowe’s runner-up leap of 14-10 in the long jump; Annie Schuppe’s runner-up heave of 26-101/2 in the shot-put, and Christine Malecki’s runner-up throw of 66-71/4 in the discus.
The boys also contended last week with their Eastport-South Manor peers, though, while they finished with some impressive wins, fell to the Sharks 96-47.
The gap was owing, said Morales, to the fact that “you get 5 points for a win, 3 for second, and 1 for third. Our seconds and thirds, then, weren’t enough to overcome them.”
Jack Ryan, at 9-6, and Henry Whitney, at 8-0, placed first and second in the pole vault, said the coach, adding that Cebulski won the 1,600, in 4:53, that Engstrom and Cebulski had finished one-two in the 3,200, and that all three relay teams had won — Engstrom, Perez, Paul King III, and Cebulski in the 4-by-800; Paradiso, Contreras, Alex Osborn, and Link in the 4-by-400, and Daniel Soto, Cook, Chjuvanghn Cameron, and Ian Barrett in the 4-by-100.
“We have,” said Morales, “one of the strongest groups of athletes that East Hampton track has had in quite some time. As long as we continue to work hard, as we have done this season, I truly believe that it’s a matter of time until we become one of the strongest teams in our league.”