Field Hockey Wins 3 Straight, Cross-Country Squad League Champs

“It was a very exciting meet given that both teams ran their best times over the 2.8-mile course”
Goal! Ana (12) and Emily (18) Hugo accounted for East Hampton’s scoring in a 2-1 win over Sayville here Friday. Craig Macnaughton

The East Hampton High School boys cross-country team, which has been something of a pleasant surprise for its coach, Kevin Barry, has finished the regular season as the league champion, at 6-0, defeating previously unbeaten Shoreham-Wading River at Sunken Meadow on Oct. 3.

“It was a very exciting meet given that both teams ran their best times over the 2.8-mile course,” said Barry in an emailed report. Ryan Fowkes, East Hampton’s number-one runner, won, in 14 minutes and 52 seconds, followed close behind by Shoreham’s Joey Krause, in 14:58. Geo Espinoza, Bonac’s number-two, placed fourth, in 15:19, followed by a Shoreham runner, after which came Omar Leon, Ethan McCormac, and Frank Bellucci, all Bonackers. 

Moreover, Robert Weiss, Avery Martinsen, and Nicolas Villante, who placed 12th, 13th, and 14th over all, “ran personal best times,” said Barry. The team is to compete in the Brown University invitational this Saturday, and will run in the county’s divisional meet at Sunken Meadow on Oct. 24. The state qualifier is to be contested on Nov. 3.

“Four of us will probably be contending to go upstate,” said Barry, “us, Shoreham-Wading River, Southampton, and Westhampton Beach.”

Leon, who had come over from boys soccer, Weiss, who had come over from football, and Martinsen, who had come over from boys volleyball, helped to strengthen Barry’s squad this fall.

East Hampton’s girls cross-country team, coached by Diane O’Donnell, did well too, finishing the regular season at 3-2 thanks to “a dramatic double win over Westhampton Beach and Islip” on Oct. 4. The Bonackers swept the top three spots, with Isabella Tarbet, a ninth grader, in 18:07, Liana Paradiso, a senior, in 18:12, and Ava Engstrom, a ninth grader, in 18:15. “The next nearest finisher was a Westhampton runner, at 18:34,” O’Donnell said in an emailed report. Danielle Lackner and Sydney Salamy were East Hampton’s fourth and fifth scorers.

Recently, in the Suffolk coaches’ freshman race at Sunken Meadow, Engstrom placed third, in 9:21, and Tarbet eighth, in 9:29. Paradiso was eighth in the varsity race, a 5K, in 23:18. On Sept. 26, the Bonac girls, racing against Harborfields and Rocky Point, lost to the former, 25-36, and defeated the latter, 22-33. Paradiso was the overall winner on the 2.8-mile course, in 18:23, Tarbet was fourth, in 19:15, and Engstrom was sixth, in 19:22. Lackner, at 21:48, and Aveen Hallissey, at 23:31, were East Hampton’s other scorers.

In related news, Erik Engstrom, Ava’s older brother, who runs for the University of Massachusetts, was named the Atlantic 10 Conference’s performer of the week of Sept. 18-24. The sophomore was the Minutemen’s top finisher for the second time in his career, with the 25:32 (a 5:08-per-mile pace) he ran over an 8K course in the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Boston, a meet contested by 18 teams. UMass placed 13th.

In other fall sports news, the girls swimming team continued to lead its league at 3-0 as of Monday, and the girls volleyball team, coached by Kathy McGeehan, defeated Harborfields 3-1 in a match played Friday, boosting its record to 6-4. One more win, McGeehan said Monday, and the team will be in the playoffs. Mikela Junemann had 20 kills versus Harborfields, Elle Johnson had 30 assists (and four service aces), and Molly Mamay had 27 digs. The match marked the return to the lineup of Zoe Rae Leach, a defensive standout, who finished with 10 digs. Madyson Neff had four blocks.

In other recent matches, East Hampton lost 3-1 to Sayville, and 3-0 to Westhampton Beach, the league’s top teams. The Bonackers dropped the third set with Westhampton 26-24 after having taken a 24-23 lead on a kill through a double block by Neff.

The visitors sided out when an outside hitter rather than swing through the ball dinked it over the net, and took the lead with a well-timed block. A hard kill that zipped by Neff at midcourt finished East Hampton off.

Leach, because of a nagging back problem, did not play that day — nor did she play much in the Sayville match. “Their ball control was better than ours,” McGeehan said by way of explanation afterward. Her team had led 23-20 in the fourth set at Sayville, she added, “but couldn’t finish — it’s a sign of immaturity.”

Friday marked the first time in her 37-year coaching career, McGeehan said, that she’d been red-carded, for having protested “very late double-hit calls” on her setter, Johnson.

Several other East Hampton teams, namely boys soccer, field hockey, and golf, sported winning records as of Monday. Boys soccer defeated Sayville 1-0 on Oct. 4, its goal having been scored by Jean Paul Palacios. It was the boys’ fifth win in the six games played since the team lost 3-2 here to undefeated Amityville.

The field hockey team, coached by Robyn Mott, as of Monday had won three in a row, over Greenport-Southold, Hampton Bays, and Sayville, after losing 1-0 to Bayport-Blue Point on Sept. 27. And golf was 4-2 as of Monday, behind Pierson (6-0) and Westhampton Beach (5-2). Westhampton is to play here today, at the South Fork Country Club in Amagansett.

As for the rest, boys volleyball, coached by Josh Brussell, was 3-4 as of Monday, girls tennis, coached by Katie Helfand, was 2-8, and girls soccer, coached by Cara Nelson, was 0-11.

Jean Paul Palacios (8) assisted on both of Wilmur Guzman’s goals in Friday’s 2-0 boys soccer win here over Westhampton Beach. Craig Macnaughton