Several R.I. athletes heading to nationals

By the looks of it, Rhode Island will be sending a large contingent to this weekend’s New Balance Outdoor National Championships (June 14-16) in North Carolina with nearly 30 athletes competing individually and seven relay teams.

The Ocean State’s best chance to earn gold is in the girls’ hammer throw where Classical senior Marthaline Copper has the No. 1 distance in the country with her winning toss of 178 feet, 7 inches at the R.I. state meet. Copper has been peaking nicely with throws of more than 170 feet in three of her last four meets. She won the Mount Pleasant Invitational on May 25 at 173-3 and was recently 15th overall at the Chicagoland Throwers Series in Illinois with a 175-0 best. Copper also captured the New England Hammer Throw Championship on June 5 with heave of 168-5.

The Classical star’s top competition appears to be North Pacono (Pa.) senior Jennifer Slagus and Narcross (Ga.) senior Casidy Callahan. Slagus ranks No. 2 nationally with her best of 172-10.5 and Callahan is third on the list at 169-4.75. The hammer will have the most from the state at the meet with nine girls expected to make the trip.

The boys’ hammer could also produce a victory, albeit a longshot. In that event, Barrington senior Charlie Ionata ranks No. 2 among the competition. Ionata, the state and New England titlist, tossed his career-best of 240-5 at the R.I. championship. He has been consistent all season long and, like Copper, has saved his best for last. In his past five meets, he has broken 230 feet with wins at the Classical Classic, Class B Championship, Hendricken Invitational, State Meet and the New England Hammer Throw Championship.

In order to win, Ionata may have to throw about 10-15 feet further than his PB. Leading the field is Averill Park (N.Y.) senior Rudy Winkler, who recently won the Chicagoland Throwers Series with a heave of 254-9.75. Winkler is a three-time national champion in the 25-pound weight.

Barrington and La Salle, who were 1-2 finishers at the New England Championship, will be looking to achieve All-American status in the girls' 4x800-meter relay. Both are capable of breaking nine minutes as evident by their record-breaking performances at the NE meet where the Eagles ran 9:05.49 and the Rams ran 9:06.22. Barrington currently ranks No. 9 in the country and La Salle is at No. 12.

The girls’ 800 will feature one of the most talented R.I. trios in history. Classical junior Maddy Berkson, Barrington junior Abby Livingston and Bay View Academy senior Erica Johnson are all capable of breaking into the top 10. Berkson won the unseeded heat and finished fourth overall at the New England meet with a season-best 2:09.9. At the NBNI meet, she ran her all-time best of 2:06.67 to take third overall. Johnson ran her best of 2:10 this past weekend and Livingston ran an astonishing 2:08 as the anchor for Barrington’s winning 4x800 squad.

The field is loaded, featuring the NBNI champion Sabrina Southerland of Benjamin Cardozo (N.Y.), who ranks No. 3 nationwide with a 2:06.09 season best. Recent New England titlist Hannah Parker of Coe-Brown Academy (N.H.) will also be on the line. She set a meet record this past weekend by running 2:06.42 (US#5).

Hope sophomore Quashira McIntosh is entered in the 200 where she owns a best of 24.44. She is also in the Emerging Elite 100. The multiple state champion and record-holder broke 12 seconds for the first time at the New England meet with a R.I. record of 11.97.

For the second straight year, Cumberland senior Trevor Crawley will be competing in the 5,000. Crawley captured the last three state titles (outdoor, indoor) in the 3,000.  He ran his PB of 15:28.37 for the 5K at last year’s nationals. The current R.I. mark is by former Westerly great Andrew Springer, who ran 14:56.46 at the nationals in 2007.


New Balance National Outdoor Championships

R.I. entries


800-meter run - Championship

Maddy Berkson, jr., Classical

Erica Johnson, sr., Bay View Academy

Abby Livingston, jr., Barrington

5,000-meter run – Championship

Jackie Burr, jr., Westerly

4x1 mile relay – Championship

Barrington (Mary Kate Coogan, Emma McMillan, Julianna Portelli, Megan Verner-Crist, Anny Livingston)

4x800-meter relay – Championship

Barrington (Livingston, McMillian, Poretlli, Verner-Crist, Coogan)

La Salle (Eliza Rego, Alicia Decastro, Caroline Falvey, Sheridan Wilbur)

Distance Medley Relay – Championship

La Salle (Rego, Decastro, Caroline Falvey, Wilbur)

Discus – Championship

Alva Hicks, so., Classical

Hammer Throw – Championship

Lauren Carroll, sr., Classical

Marthaline Cooper, sr. Classical

Victoria Cooper, jr., Woonsocket

Abby Cousens, so., Portsmouth

Bianca Donadio, jr,, Classical

Alva Hicks, so., Classical

Cheyanna Nalle, jr., Woonsocket

Lauren Swanson, so., East Greenwich

Javelin – Championship

Hannah Lee, sr., Bay View

100-meter dash – Emerging Elite

Quashira McIntosh, so., Hope

200-meter dash – Championship

Quashira McIntosh, so., Hope

Two-mile run – Emerging Elite

Jackie Burr, jr., Westerly

4x400 relay – Emerging Elite

Mount Hope

High jump – Emerging Elite

Mikaela Lee, fr., Bay View


5,000-meter run - Championship

Trevor Crawley, sr., Cumberland

Tyler Henseler, sr., Bishop Hendricken

4x1 mile relay - Championship

Bishop Hendricken (senior Connor Doyle, junior Colin Tierney, senior Tyler Henseler, senior Alex Doherty, senior Greg Beaudette)

Hammer Throw – Championship

Connor Fugere, sr., Woonsocket

Robert Colantonio, fr., Barrington

Clarence Gallop, sr., Central

Charlie Ionata, sr. Barrington

Adam Kelly, so., Barrington

Carlos Mangum, sr., Central

Javelin – Championship

Zachary Hurd, sr., Exeter/West Greenwich

Ethan Wright, jr. Narragansett

800-meter run – Emerging Elite

Zachery Emrich, jr., North Kingstown

Mile – Emerging Elite

Tom Barry, sr., Barrington

4x800 relay – Emerging Elite

East Greenwich (Graham Chapski, Tommy Sommer, Nate Waddell, Garrett Scanlon)

North Kingstown (Ben Stewart, Joe Craven, Dallin Smith, Zachery Emrich, Ian Connors)

High jump – Emerging Elite

Erik Mateo, jr., Central Falls


For complete list of entries, click here.