Blue Devils Few in Number but Swift
What they lack in numbers the Huntington boys' cross country team is hoping to make for with quality. The Blue Devils have a number of talented runners and head coach Eli Acosta is relentlessly working with the team to shave seconds off their individual performances each week.
"We have a small team this year due to some of our current seniors, juniors and sophomores deciding to take off a season to concentrate on the books or just not do three seasons of running (cross country in the fall, winter track and spring track)," explained Acosta about the small turnout.
Huntington does have a promising new member on the team in freshman Connor Dyckes, who joined his sophomore brother, Ryan on the Blue Devil squad. However, Acosta said he is missing several top runners who would have potentially held down the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 slots. The coach said their absence "really puts us in a hole" in League V dual meets.
While a lack of numbers and overall depth is certainly a challenge, Huntington boasts freshman Tyler Wolfe. He returned this fall in "great shape after leading our team last year as an eighth grader," Acosta said. "Tyler hopes to improve mightily over his performance of 18:30.90 for 5,000 meters, which he ran at the Suffolk Division Championships last October. Stay tuned!"
At the Blue Devils' first competition of the season, the Jim Smith Invitational, Wolfe won the freshman race in a new meet record time of 7:29.70, breaking the 12-year old mark of 7:32.7 set by Port Jefferson's Brendan Sullivan. It was an especially impressive effort by Wolfe considering all entrants competed in grade level races.
Against League V foe Kings Park in the first dual meet of the fall, Wolfe finished first again, completing the challenging course at Sunken Meadow State Park in a swift time of 17:26. Acosta said Wolfe "ran an easy, relaxed" race.
In addition to Wolfe and the Dyckes brothers, the Blue Devil roster includes Thomas Boisclair, Michael Garing, Matthew Sherman, Alden Wolfe, Harrison Young, Danny Benitz and Anthony and Louis Puca.