The J. Taylor Finley Middle School boys’ cross country team enjoyed a near perfect season. The Falcons went 6-1 and featured a cast of talented runners who are sure to be heard from in the future.
Coached by Robert Nill, Finley claimed victories over Hauppauge, Elwood, East Northport, Northport, Oldfield and Stimson. The Falcons lone lost came at the hands of Commack by three points.
Captained by Daniel Orefici, Aidan Heller, Ethan Mcguinness and Maison Maerz, Finley’s 26 runner strong roster was one of the school’s best ever.
Finley’s top runners included eighth graders Andrew McKenzie, Isaiah James and Heller. McKenzie went undefeated in seven dual meets while James and Heller consistently came across the line as Finley’s second and third place finishers.
The fall included plenty of highlights. “The boys were 5-0 when they competed at Commack,” Nill said. “We lost by only three points to a Commack team that has gone undefeated for a number of years. In the final meet of the season against Stimson, we probably had our best race. We beat Stimson for the first time in many seasons.”
Next fall’s Finley team also looks to be a strong squad. “Our top returning boys are Harris Levison, Luke Palios and Christian Palios, Jonathan Larice and Richie Zboray,” Nill said. “All the returnees should keep improving next year.”