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Story and Photos by Gregory A. Shemitz

More than 1,000 student-athletes from Catholic elementary schools and high schools throughout Long Island participated in the diocese’s cross-country championships at Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park, Oct. 3. The meet, contested on an unseasonably warm day, was preceded by morning Mass in an open field, with Marianist Father Albert Bertoni presiding and high school runners serving as lectors and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Following the liturgy —which was attended by competitors and their families, coaches and officials — Christopher Loumeau of Chaminade H.S., Mineola, and Giulianna Vullo of St. John the Baptist Diocesan H.S., West Islip, were recognized as the Nassau-Suffolk Catholic High School Athletic Association’s top student-athletes for cross country. Plaques were presented to the honorees by Barbara O’Brien, widow of Tom O’Brien, former NSCHSAA cross-country commissioner, and Mr. O’Brien’s sister, Patty Ayers.

First-place runners and schools at the meet:
Catholic Middle School Athletic Association (1,400 meters)
Boys: James Conigliaro, Our Lady of the Hamptons Regional, Southampton, 4:47.93.
Team: Holy Family Regional, Commack
Girls: Erin Nicastro, Sts. Philip & James, St. James,5:07.46.
Team: Long Beach Regional, Long Beach.

Nassau-Suffolk Catholic High School Athletic Association
Varsity (5K): Patrick Kain, St. John the Baptist Diocesan, West Islip, 17:04.85.
Team: St. John the Baptist Diocesan.
Junior Varsity (5K): John Phelan, Chaminade, Mineola, 18:08.83.
Team: Chaminade.
Frosh A (1.5 miles): Patrick Fiorillo, St. John the Baptist Diocesan, 7:47.42.
Team: Chaminade.
Frosh B: Christopher O’Conner, Chaminade, 8:35.97.
Team: Chaminade.

Varsity (5K): Maggie Maier, Sacred Heart Academy, Hempstead, 20:30.25.
Team: Kellenberg Memorial, Uniondale.
Junior Varsity (5K): Bridget Francis Lapham, Kellenberg Memorial, 24:02.54.
Team: Kellenberg Memorial.

Frosh (1.5 miles): Kerri McCormack, St. John the Baptist Diocesan, 8:46.33.Team: St. John the Baptist.