Matteo Armstrong (left) is striving to reach the state championships this fall.

Huntington Runners Solid at Bob Pratt Invitational

Matteo Armstrong (left) is striving to reach the state championships this fall.

September 20, 2022

The Huntington boys’ and girls’ cross country teams turned in solid performances at the Bob Pratt 5K Invitational at Sunken Meadow State Park on Saturday.

The Blue Devil boys set personal records and notched overall time improvements from the Jim Smith Invitational one week earlier on the same race course.

Senior Matthew Armstrong set a personal best record with a 17:17 time, which placed fourth in a field of 106. “He improved his time by an entire minute (18:18) from last week’s 5K invitational,” Huntington head coach John Romano said.

Ian Rotunno also improved on his time from last week, running 19:44 last Saturday, a major improvement from the 20:14 he ran one week earlier. Ethan Goleski crossed the line in 20:50, a 50 second week-to-week improvement. In his first invitational of the season, Justin Perez ran a personal best time of 22:46.

John Joyce improved his personal record time to 25:53 from 27:03 one week earlier. Michael Mendikyan also set a personal record (25:54), improving his time by almost two minutes from the Jim Smith Invitational.

“We knew going into this weekend’s 5k that we would be able to improve on our times from last weekend,” Romano said. “To see the times drastically improve and for the boys to set their personal best is a testament to the hard work these boys are putting in on a daily basis. These boys push and motivate each other each day to get better at practice and as a coach that’s all you can ask for.” 

Huntington’s girls’ cross country team was led by Kiley Barch and Jessica Kuom. Running in the novice division’s 3850m race, Barch placed 11th in a field of 88 in a time of 18:30. It marked only the second time the promising freshman has run in an invitational.

In the 5000m varsity race, Kuom placed 40th among 114 runners in a time of 24:19.

“The girls are working hard and they look like they are only getting better,” head coach Mark Jackson said.

Both Blue Devil teams will race against North Babylon today (Tuesday) at Sunken Meadow State Park.