By Janee Law
Harborfields senior Matt Katz is set to compete in the New York State qualifiers on Monday.
Katz landed a spot in the qualifiers following his performance in the small school Suffolk track championships on Saturday at Suffolk County Community College. Katz, 18, won the 2-mile run event with a time of 9:54.
Katz, was ranked as the second overall seed in the event coming into the race. He defeated top-seeded Jack Ryan, of Westhampton Beach.
“Matt is just a hard worker, he’s a bright intelligent young man who definitely takes instruction very well,” Harborfields boys track coach George Kouroutis said. “It’s just the acknowledgement of the potential that he has and just the time and effort that he’s put into the season that really has paid off for him.”
Since Katz joined the varsity squad as a freshmen, Kouroutis said, he has grown through his level of commitment.
With the state qualifiers set for Monday, 5 p.m. at Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus, Kouroutis said, Katz must win the race in order to qualify for the state championship.
“We just have to prepare mentally, get him relaxed, focused and in the right state of mind,” Kouroutis said. “At this point of the season, the work is already done, he just needs to maintain and just put together a decent race.”
From Centerport, Katz is considered a distance runner and competes in the two-mile, the mile and the 4-by-8 relay.