Friday, 04 December 2009 00:00
Brian Dillmann and Nick Gismondi wanted to make the last race of their High School Cross Country careers count. Dillmann, who learned that he had won a New York State sportsmanship award just before the race, wanted the team to place higher than ever before. Gismondi, whose best 5k time of the season was 18:13, wanted to break 18 minutes on a wet, cold course.
Both goals seemed unlikely. After all, the Baymen had graduated their best two runners (Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin) last year, and sophomore standout Steven Tortora was recovering from injuries. With teammate Joe LaCorte leading the team logging an outstanding time of 17:15, and Chris Kulis shattering his personal best time, and running 18:57, Oyster Bay ran as a fairly tight pack placing 7th overall in Class C; higher than any previous team.
As for Gismondi, he saved his best for last. Running in what could be his backyard at SUNY Plattsburg Nick ran the 5k in 17:32. He was followed by Dillmann (17:34 his personal best) and Steven Tortora (17:50). Eric Horowitz and Jack Leguelaff placed 6th and 7th on the team respectively.
“Having four runners under 18 minutes was a tremendous accomplishment for this team,” said Gismondi after the race, “and the fifth runner being under 19 minutes for the first time was the icing on the cake. This was a great way for Brian and me to go out.”