CUMBERLAND – Records are rarely broken at the start of the season.
For most coaches, the initial few meets of any season are primarily used as a way to gage the type of a talent that they have on their respective teams and for their veteran members it’s an opportunity to get in some quality competitive work before the bigger meets down the road.
That’s all that mattered Wednesday afternoon where, under frigid and windy conditions, host Cumberland High swept both the boys’ and girls’ meets in a Northern Division opener with Lincoln and Central Falls at Tucker Field.
Cumberland coach Tom Kenwood limited the amount of events for his athletes, but still saw his Clippers easily defeat the Lions, 107-47, and the Warriors, 144-10. First-year CHS girls’ mentor Vanessa Malloy watched her squad down Lincoln, 108-46, and C.F., 111-24.
“Our goals this year are to do well in the dual meets and in the divisionals and then after that try and qualify as many kids into the state meet as we can,” stated Kenwood, whose teams have won 15 straight league titles since 1998, posting an impressive 134-2 record during that span.
Sophomore Matt Feng was a multi-winner for the Clippers, earning gold in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.9 seconds and the 200 with a 24.2 clocking. Feng also ran a leg on the first-place 4x100 relay of Zach Mobrice, Tyler Mobrice and Kyle Courtney that posted a time of 47.5.
The 4x100 relays and the boys’ javelin were the only events that were completed on the meet’s original day of Monday where threatening skies and steady rainfall forced Kenwood to postpone the meet until Wednesday.
In the javelin, Cumberland senior Trent Vasey heaved the metal spear a distance of 152-1. Vasey registered a personal best despite a strong headwind.
“I think he can go at least 170 feet,” Kenwood said.
The Clippers’ Trevor Crawley, the defending outdoor champion in the 3,000 and the recent indoor 3K titlist, looked relaxed in coasting to a win in the 1,500. Crawley never relinquished the lead from the start and broke the tape in 4:29.6. Lincoln senior Jacob Palladini was second at 4:33.5.
Ignoring a stiff head wind on the backstretch, Kyle Courtney won the 400 for the Clippers with a time of 55.3. The junior and first-year runner also anchored his team’s victorious 4x400 relay squad that combined for a time of 4:13.8.
Kenwood feels the potential is unlimited for Courtney, who plays soccer during the fall season.
“I’ll probably put him in the 400, but I’d like to see him run the 800, too,” he said. “I think he can run close to two minutes there. He ran a 1:30 for 600 during indoor.”
Erik Mateo of Central Falls, the indoor high jump champion, demonstrated good form to cop his specialty with a leap of six-feet even. He was also the first across the line in the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.5.
In the vertical leap, Mateo made all his attempts on his first try.
“We are looking for him to win the outdoor states. That’s the primary goal,” said C.F. co-coach Brendan Lamboy. “What we did today, after he cleared six feet, we went right to 6-3 so that he could try and qualify for nationals. That’s the other thing we are going for. That would be a personal best for him. His best is 6-2 and 6-3 would qualify him for (Emerging Elite) at the nationals.”
According to his coaches, Mateo’s dedication has been a big reason for his success.
“Erik was dedicated the moment he realized he found that he could do well at the high jump,” said C.F. co-coach Ernest Fennell. “He has perfect attendance. He is here every day and he works hard. He’s motivated. He’s a leader on the team. He’s eager to make sure that he is successful and the team is successful.”
Cumberland won 14 events in the girls’ meet en route to its duo victories. Senior Kendra Plant, junior Aimee Malboeuf and senior Breigh Souliere were double-winners for the Clippers.
Plant, a state runner-up in the shot put at the indoor championships, took that event with a throw of 34-9.5. She also heaved the discus a winning distance of 91-0. Malboeuf earned a pair of firsts in the 100 (13.0) and the 400 (65.5). Souliere was a victor in the 100 hurdles (15.4) and the long jump (14-10). She also placed second in the 300 hurdles and the triple jump.
The Clippers swept the top spots in the distance events with senior Emily Feng winning the 3,000 (11:43), freshman Amy Laverty taking the 1,500 (5:21) and sophomore Nichole Barger breezing to victory in the 800 (2:31.2).
Barger never trailed in taking her event with ease. Laverty captured her first track race since bursting on the scene during the cross-country season with an outstanding seventh-place finish at the state meet. She won a back-and-forth race with Lincoln’s Laurel Scott. Scott finished second at 5:24.0.
“I was a little bit nervous in the beginning because I never ran a mile around a track before,” Laverty said. “I felt tired in the middle of the race but I kept pushing through. The wind really affected me a lot, but I managed to keep my pace and I felt good at the end and I sprinted.”
Laverty, who played competitive soccer during the winter months, admitted it was a little difficult not running indoor track.
“It was but I decided that it was my last year to play soccer and then I am going to fully commit to run,” she said. “It feels great (to be back). I love it.”
Lincoln had three individual winners in the meet. Taylor Flaxington took the pole vault with a height of 9-6, Marissa D’Amelio won the 300 hurdles at 53.2 and freshman Christin Redding sizzled to a time of 27.5 in the 200.
“It’s obviously the first meet of the season and you don’t want them to do too many events so we limited the events that the kids did,” Lincoln coach John Menna said. ”They did exceptionally well.” The girls have an outstanding sprint team. We are looking for some good things from them.”
Missy Fernandez (triple jump) and Tiffany Jenkins (high jump) won for Central Falls. Jenkins cleared a solid, early-season height of 5-0.
In other meets around the state:
- Toll Gate 82, Cranston East 46; Toll Gate 74, Cranston West 65; Cranston West 105, Cranston East 42 (Tuesday): Tyler Inkley captured two events, winning the shot put and the javelin. Tom Jean-Francois placed first in the 400 with a time of 53.5.
- Barrington 122, Middletown 31; Barrington 132, St. Raphael 13; Middletown 90, St. Raphael 45 (Tuesday): Charlie Ionata, an All-American for the 25-pound weight this past winter, won three field events. He attained gold in the shot put (44-6.5), the discus (140-3) and the javelin (138-6). Teammate Bobby Colantino took the hammer with a toss of 175-10. Tom Barry won the 1,500 for the Eagles with a 4:20.3 clocking and Middletown’s Connor Smith soared to a height of six feet to take the high jump.
- Woonsocket 77, Smithfield 72; Smithfield 107, Burrillville 37; Woonsocket 105, Burrillville 30; Woonsocket 102, Scituate 34; Burrillville 65, Scituate 35 (Tuesday): Connor Fugere and Jalen Evans led the way for Woonsocket. Fugere won all four field events, highlighted by a 179-3 effort in the hammer. Evans was a triple victor, taking the 100, 200 and the 400. Smithfield won the 4x100 (48.6) and the 4x400 (4:06.6) relays.
- Ponaganset 97, Mount St. Charles 33; Ponaganset 72, North Providence 64; Ponaganset 93, Johnston 50; North Providence 76, Mount St. Charles 38; Johnston 57, Mount St. Charles 38 (Wednesday): North Providence’s Bevin Ingram blazed to a time of 11.0 in the 100. Jan Michael Richter of Ponaganset was victorious in the 3,000 with a 9:31.9 clocking.
- North Kingstown 72, East Greenwich 52; North Kingstown 113, Prout 40; North Kingstown 126, Narragansett 27; East Greenwich 80, Prout 55; East Greenwich 103, Narragansett 33; Prout 87, Narragansett 51 (Tuesday): Narragansett’s Leia Mistowski, an All American for the 20-pound weight, won the hammer at 146-1. Maria Bolibruch, a multiple all-stater from North Kingstown, placed first in the 100 hurdles at 15.8 and was the fastest in the 200 with a time of 26.9. The Skippers’ Aisha McAdams took the 3,000, running 11:28.6.
- Ponaganset 134, Mount St. Charles 12; Ponaganset 132, North Providence 13; Ponaganset 138, Johnston 9; Mount St. Charles 44, North Providence 11; Mount St. Charles 35, Johnston 72 (Wednesday): Aishwarya Nanbar cleared 5-0 in the high jump.