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Sep 9, 2019 4:15 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Southampton Boys Cross Country Has Major Goals For This Season; Evie Purcell To Lead The Girls

The Southampton boys cross country team will be going for its sixth straight league title this season. MICHELLE MALONE
Sep 11, 2019 1:25 PM

The family is back.

That’s what head coach Eddie Arnold says when speaks of his Southampton boys and girls cross country teams. With the boys, each one of his runners from a season ago is returning, and they’ll be competing to win a league title for the sixth year in a row and keep a lengthy dual-meet winning streak — which stretches as far back as 2014 — intact, to go along with a few other goals.“They’re looking really good, stronger than last year,” Arnold said. “We’ve had a nice freshmen crew that’s come in and every year we’ve been building.”

The team’s top seven from a year ago included, in no particular order, Griffin Schwartz, Patrick Gabriele, Saintino Arnold, Luke and Justin Marro, Zac Mobius and Billy Malone. All are returning this season, but Arnold stressed that he has 23 strong runners and that this year’s top seven could be totally different.

“It’s still very early in the season and at any point the lineup can change, it’s not set in stone,” he explained. “At any time, any one of my boys could be showcased at the top level. We know who the top guys are and the way we look at it, the cream will rise to the top.”

The Mariners first order of business will be to keep the aforementioned streaks alive, then Arnold would like to see a strong performance from his group at the Brown Invitational on October 19. It’s one of the final tuneups before the cross country postseason.

Arnold thinks his team has what it takes to win the Division IV Championships, which would include teams such as Port Jefferson, Shelter Island, Bayport/Blue Point, Center Moriches, Pierson, Hampton Bays, Mattituck, Southold, Babylon and Elwood/John Glenn. He’d also like to see his team vie for a county title against what will be a loaded field, going up against state-ranked teams such as Westhampton Beach, Miller Place and Sayville. And if it can’t qualify for states as a team, Arnold would like to see at least some of his runners make the trip upstate as individuals.

“If the pack does its job it could change things. Anything is possible,” he said.

The Mariners opened the season on Tuesday afternoon against Hampton Bays and will be back at Red Creek Park for the Peconic Invitational this Thursday, September 12, before heading to Sunken Meadow Park in Kings Park for the Jim Smith Invitational this Saturday.

Girls

Senior Evie Purcell — entering her fifth year on varsity — headlines Southampton’s girls cross country team this year as its captain. She’s joined by fellow senior Rebekah Moritz, juniors Dreanne Joseph and Amanda Mannino, sophomores Laine Yastrzemski, Arianna Pike and Morgan Watrous, a Bridgehampton student-athlete, and freshman Allison Rishel.

“Our goal is to be competitive in our league,” Arnold, who is also coach of the girls team, said. “We’ll have good matches against Babylon and Hampton Bays.”

The Lady Mariners opened the season against Center Moriches on Tuesday and will be at the Peconic and Jim Smith Invitationals with the boys this Thursday and Saturday.

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