With the long list of possible contenders for the individual title at Sunday's RI State Meet, there was no mention of Jeff Pederson.
The East Greenwich senior, who was a junior varsity runner during the 2016 season, won the Class C title last week. But the thoughts of Pederson pulling off an improbable victory on the state's biggest stage didn't seem possible against the level of competition that graced the starting line on Ponaganset's covered-bridge trail.
Someone forgot to tell that to the Avenger runner.
In a meet that had several surprises, Pederson may have pulled off the biggest one of them all, winning the top prize with a time of 16 minutes, 0.93 seconds. His effort was a 21-second PR for the 5K distance!
With three of its runners among the top six placements, Bishop Hendricken put an end to La Salle Academy's three-year reign with a 31-44 decision over the runner-up Rams. Jack McMahon (16:05.86) and Aidan Tierney (16:08.57) finished 2-3 for the Hawks. The clincher may have been the sixth-place effort of junior Nick Braz, who was competing in his first varsity race. Braz was given the nod to compete this weekend after his impressive victory at the JV State Meet last Saturday.
South Kingstown's Ellie Lawler claimed her third straight girls' crown with a strong time of 17:44.26. Finishing second was Portsmouth's Nikki Merrill at 18:00.10. La Salle's Emily Kane (third, 18:06.14) and Grace Connolly (fourth, 18:12.47) followed Merrill across the line.
The battle for the team title turned into a nail-biter with Portsmouth capturing the school's first-ever championship with a slim 93-94 win over four-time defending titlist La Salle. Elizabeth Sullivan (sixth, 18:32.0) and Olive Allen (ninth, 19:03.71) placed among the top 10 for the Patriots to help secure the win.
MileSplit RI will have more on the State Meet coming soon.
- 5,000 Meter Run - Eleanor Lawler (South Kingstown High School) 17:44.26; Nikki Merrill (Portsmouth High School) 18:00.10; Emily Kane (La Salle Academy) 18:06.14; Grace Connolly (La Salle Academy) 18:12.47; Randi Burr (Westerly High School) 18:14.72; Elizabeth Sullivan (Portsmouth High School) 18:32.00; Una Treanor (Smithfield Senior High School) 18:53.69; Caroline Livingston (Barrington High School) 18:58.70; Olive Allen (Portsmouth High School) 19:03.71; Ashlyn Maio (Smithfield Senior High School) 19:05.31; Lily Nunnery (North Kingstown High School) 19:06.29; Grace Henson (Cumberland) 19:13.56; Leah Chace (East Greenwich High School) 19:15.01; Kate Zitzmann (Barrington High School) 19:19.80; Ana Caliri (East Greenwich High School) 19:21.91; Kaylie Armitage (Exeter-West Greenwich Regional High School) 19:30.74; Bryn Shunney (East Greenwich High School) 19:31.61; Kali Vanderlaan (South Kingstown High School) 19:39.98; Kyle Fish (South Kingstown High School) 19:40.38; Mckenzie Doyle (La Salle Academy) 19:42.33; Caitlin Randall(Coventry High School) 19:42.99;
- 5,000 Meter Run - Jeffery Pedersen (East Greenwich High School) 16:00.93; Jack Mcmahon (Bishop Hendricken High School) 16:05.86; Aidan Tierney (Bishop Hendricken High School) 16:08.57; Jack Wilbur (La Salle Academy) 16:09.35; Nikolas Reygadas (Toll Gate High School) 16:11.26; Nick Braz (Bishop Hendricken High School) 16:12.80; Max Dimuccio(La Salle Academy) 16:13.33; Sean Meehan (Bishop Hendricken High School) 16:13.74; Jack Hilton (La Salle Academy) 16:14.17; Matthew Caranzza (La Salle Academy) 16:14.69; Ravi Somvanshi (East Greenwich High School) 16:18.04; Jonathan Iamarone (Bishop Hendricken High School) 16:20.87; Conor Murphy (Classical High School) 16:23.12; Joseph Dos Reis (La Salle Academy) 16:23.54; Evan O'Neil (Chariho Regional High School) 16:23.99; Domenic Campagna (La Salle Academy) 16:24.33; Eliot Laidlaw (Barrington High School) 16:29.49;