With the legendary Coach Hedgecock retired, Coach Frazer took over the boys’ and girls’ cross country program here the Wantagh High School. The Cross Country team had to adjust. But both the boys’ and girls’ have adapted and are improving. Going from Hedgecock to Frazer was going to be interesting, but the team did it and welcomed Frazer to the cross country family.
Once you get to know Coach Frazer you realize she is big in the running world too. She used to coach in Mineola and she brought that team from obscurity to real runners. Her husband also works at Runners Edge in Farmingdale and coaches the Mepham team and both she and her husband are runners. She made her point that she was not trying to be Hedgecock, she is being true to herself, but she talks to Hedgecock often to see what went on last year and some of the workouts he used.
The team has been doing great. The first invitational was the Jim Smith Invitational at Sunken Meadow one of the toughest courses in the nation. The sophomore, junior and senior boys and girls had to run the 5k course up Snake and Cardiac Hill and the freshman boys and girls had to run the 1.5 mile course up snake hill. The second invitational was at Six Flags Great Adventure. The team had a great time even thought the course was very muddy. After the race, the whole team went into Six Flags and rode whatever rides they wanted to for a few hours. You know a team is a team when they all attend a car wash to raise money for a trip even if they all cannot attend. The third invitational was the St. Anthony’s Invitational at Sunken Meadow. This time Coach Frazer had everyone, from senior to freshman, run the 3.1 mile course up Snake and Cardiac Hill. Everyone did well at a fun meet that lasted all day. The last invitational was at Bethpage State Park. It was a great time for everyone. Not everyone ran because some people wanted to have a little extra rest for our hardest league meet two days later. Everyone always enjoyed the invitationals.
The first league meet Wantagh raced against Mepham; Wantagh won the meet on both the boys and girls sides. Individuals placed first in every race. Many people placed first, including Liz Stirling in the girl’s varsity race, Shea Weber in the girl’s junior varsity race, Danny Rielly in the boy’s varsity race, Westley Craig in the boys junior varsity race, and other teammates not far behind. The second league meet went just as well. Racing against Calhoun once again both the boys and girls teams won. The girls won by over 20 points and the boys won by just five points. The third league meet was once again a success. Racing against JFK and Herrick’s both the boys and girls placed first. It was a tough race for many only having one recovery day in between the St. Anthony’s invitational and the third league meet. The fourth league meet was great. Running against West Berry, both the boys and girls team placed first. In the last league meet Wantagh raced against Garden City. The runners already knew this would be the hardest team to beat. Unfortunatley the team lost, but they held thier heads up high ending the season 12 and 1. The Freshman and Sophmore had one more meet before Conference’s. At the Frosh/Soph meet teams don’t place first or second, but the runners get to scout out their competition for the next year and have another chance to PR before conferences. Many people reached or broke their PR and everyone had a fun day. The Conference meet went great with the boys placing 3rd and the girls placing 2nd. This means both the boys and girls varsity teams will be moving on to county’s on November 5th. The varsity team is ready for county’s. Conferences was the last meet for the boys and girls junior varsity team, but they are ready to cheer the rest of the team on at county’s. The junior varsity team had a great season with many personal records. On Saturday November 5th the varsity team had the county meet. Unfortunately the team did not make it to states. The girls team placed 4th behind Northshore, Garden City, and Valley Stream North. Liz Sterling was Wantagh’s first girl and she placed 16th unfortunately one place away from going to states. The boys came in 3rd behind Garden City and Manhasset. Michael Darnell was Wantagh’s first boy placing 16th as well only one spot away from going to states. The team had a great time with the junior varsity team cheering them on.
The Cross Country team is more of a family than a team. Runners rely on each other and help each other when teammates are hurting. This just the beginning for Wantagh High Schools runners, even our college bound runners all enjoy the sport and have the strength and will to continue it.