The J. Taylor Finley Middle School cross country program showcased some of the district’s future running stars and also introduced the sport to many others this past fall.
Coached by Mark Jackson, the co-ed team included seventh graders Natalie Garcia Alfaro, Abigail Hopson, Ariella Katigbak, Declan Kehoe, Jessica Kuom, Riley LaCosta, Justin Lardizzone, Jack Ruthkowski and Hannah Song and eighth graders Talia Addeo, Matthew Armstrong, Sophie Bradford, Dylan Brinn, Ryan Curran, Natalie Dunn, Matthew Gerardi, Samuel James, Allison Malone, James Rosselli, Nicholas Seitz, Charles Siepel and Logan Toth.
The squad learned about training techniques, race strategy and the ins and outs of cross country running. Separate races for boys and girls on the team were held with Stimson, Candlewood, Oldfield, Northport, Kings Park, West Hollow, Hauppauge and Commack. The Finley boys’ contingent fared especially well.
Bradford was the top runner among all the girls on the team while James and Armstrong clocked the fastest times for the boys in the mile and half-mile, respectively.
Bradford and Malone served as Finley’s girls’ squad captains while James and Rosselli led the boys.
The nine returning current seventh graders will form the nucleus of next fall’s team. Jackson welcomes all newcomers, including those who are interested in trying the sport to see if it is for them.