Big Turnout at Great Bonac 5K and 10K Labor Day Races

The Great Bonac 10K in Springs on Labor Day drew 43 entrants, some of whom, including Beth Feit, Caroline Cashin, and Craig Brierley (at right), can be seen above; the 5K attracted 139. Jack Graves

Isabella Tarbet broke a toe on “something” in the surf the day before an ocean lifeguard test that she wanted to take this summer, but it’s all right now, as she proved in the Great Bonac 5K in Springs Monday, finishing fifth among the females in Great Bonac’s 5K.

“We’ll be competitive,” Diane O’Donnell, who coaches East Hampton High’s girls cross-country team, for which Tarbet runs, said before the Labor Day races in Springs began. “But we’re in a powerhouse league, with Shoreham-Wading River, Miller Place, Mount Sinai, and Westhampton — with county and state champions. Still, I think this is the most talented team I’ve had in a while.”

While O’Donnell will have nine on her varsity, led by Ava Engstrom, Monday’s third 5K female finisher, Kevin Barry, the boys coach, will have two score or more, and he too thinks he’s got a very good group, most of whom were in Monday’s 5K, using it as a practice run. 

“For some of them,” said Barry, “it’s their first 5K.” He added that he had nine to 10 freshmen, up from the East Hampton Middle School team that Nick Finazzo and Bill Herzog, East Hampton’s former varsity boys coach, have overseen.

The teams’ only meet at Cedar Point Park is to be Sept. 18, a Tuesday. Otherwise, they’ll be at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, and in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. 

“We’ll be going up against half of our league’s teams here,” said Barry, who plans to take his seven top runners to the Disney Classic outside Orlando, Fla., this fall. O’Donnell hopes to take all nine of her runners, though, according to Tarbet, whose goal is to go to the state meet, “we’ve got to raise more money to do so.”

The Springs Fire Department’s scholarship fund and the Old Montauk Athletic Club’s grants program for young athletes benefited from the Great Bonac 10 and 5Ks, which drew almost 200 participants — 43 in the 10K and 139 in the 5K.

The 5K’s top three were Carter Weaver, 16, of East Hampton, in 17:37.1, Omar Leon, 19, of East Hampton, in 17:53.6, and Ethan McCormac, 17, of East Hampton, in 18:50.7. McCormac is on East Hampton’s boys team, and Leon, who’s awaiting a decision by Section XI, may be. 

Other members of Barry’s team, both freshmen, Aidan Kalman, 14, of East Hampton, and Evan Masi, also 14, of Amagansett, placed fifth and sixth, in 19:37.4 and 19:47.6. Ryan Fowkes, Barry’s top runner, was absent inasmuch as he was on lifeguard duty that day.

Barbara Gubbins, the 10K’s top female, said she had trouble breathing in the first mile owing to the high humidity. “I saw the U.S. Open last night, and they were saying that some players did well in high humidity and that others did not. I’m one of those who does not,” she said. Her time, 44:30.2, was about two minutes slower than last year, she added.

Michael Anderson won the 10K, in 39:11. Steve Cuomo, whose father, Steve Sr., of Shirley, oversees the Rolling Thunder Running Club made up of competitors who are challenged in various ways, was second, a little more than a minute behind.

Seventeen Rolling Thunder members came out for the race, continuing a tradition that began with an invitation from the Great Bonac 10K’s former race director, Howard Lebwith, years ago.

Tyler Gulluscio was the third-place finisher in the 10K, in 40:40. He was followed by the executive director of the East Hampton Library, Dennis Fabiszak, in 41:44.8.

Gubbins, who owns the Gubbins Running Ahead stores in East Hampton and Southampton, was sixth over all. Craig Brierley, who coaches East Hampton High’s girls and boys swimming teams, was seventh, in 46:23.5, Beth Feit was ninth, in 47:10.8, and Caroline Cashin, who runs Truth Training with her husband, Ed, was 11th, in 48:04.4.

It should not go without saying that Harriet Oster, 76, of Amagansett, was 68th in the 5K, in 29:33.6.

Rose Hayes, 14, was the first female in the 5K, in 20:37. Unfortunately for East Hampton, she lives in East Moriches, and tennis, not cross-country, is her fall sport. Although a freshman, she is playing number-one on Westhampton Beach’s team. Her mother, Maria, said her daughter was all-state in tennis in her seventh and eighth-grade years at Mercy High School in Riverhead.

Patricia Salamy, 51, of Springs, was the second female finisher in the 5K, in 20:54.3. Ava Engstrom, 15, Tarbet’s teammate and younger sister of Erik Engstrom, a county champion when he was at East Hampton who is running at the University of Massachusetts now, was third, in 21:37.9.

Craig Brierley said before departing for lifeguard duty in Montauk that his girls swimming team would be competitive this fall, though how competitive he couldn’t say at the moment. The team was to have practiced Tuesday, yesterday, and today at the Maidstone Club, and is to have its first meet, at Connetquot, tomorrow. Oona Foulser and Emma Wiltshire are the only seniors.

Ava Engstrom, who is expected to lead East Hampton High’s girls cross-country team this fall, was the third female finisher in the Great Bonac 5K. Jack Graves