Runners to watch at New England meet (LIVE results!)

We'll have LIVE RESULTS of the New England Championships!!!

Rhode Island will be sending its share of talented athletes to the Reggie Lewis Center on Saturday for the New England Championships. Here’s the select few that MileSplit RI believes have the best chance to come home with a victory.

Zachery Emrich – The North Kingstown senior, the defending champion in the 600-meter run, is considered among the favorites to repeat the magic this weekend. Last year he set a state mark of 1:20.58 to earn the NE title. Emrich’s best this season is 1:21.1, which he did to win the Rhody Track & Field Classic in January. The Skipper standout has rarely been tested in his specialty this winter, although he was pushed the final 50 meters of his win at the states this year by Moses Brown senior Amos Cariati. In that race, Emrich did not have fresh legs, having won the 300 with a solid time of 36.24 about a half hour earlier. He still ran a respectable time of 1:22.79. Emrich will be going into Saturday’s race fresh and ready. He will also face his stiffest challenge this season with St. John Prep (MA) junior Joe Luongo, who won the MIAA All State Meet with a time of 1:20.79 and has broken 1:21 two other times this season. The meet record is 1:18.72. That mark may be tough to attain, but a sub-1:20 effort is certainly within reach in a race that could come down to the final few meters.

Lee Moses – The Bishop Hendricken junior turned some heads a few weeks ago when he soared to a distance of 23-0.5 in the long jump at the Class A meet and a week earlier nearly hit the 23-foot barrier by winning the Suburban Division Championship at 22-11.50. Moses, who won his second straight state title on Feb. 15, has proven he can perform on the big stage. If he wants to earn a New England crown, he’ll probably need a major PR to do it. The top seed belongs to Hingham (MA) senior Andrew Bolze, who captured the state title last week with a distance of 23-8.

Maddy Berkson – The Classical senior is entered in the mile and the 1,000. Whether she runs one event or both, you can’t count her out. She has proven countless times that she can adjust her race plan to ensure maximum effort in multiple races as evident by her triple-winning (1,000, 1,500, 3,000) performance at the last two indoor state meets. Berkson will be tested in both races. The mile features three other runners that have run faster than the course record of 4:54.7, set by former La Salle Academy standout Molly Keating in 2012. The trio all hails from Connecticut – Wilbur Cross sophomore Danae River, Staples’ sophomore Hannah DeBalsi and Westhill (CT) senior and future Stanford teammate Claire Howett. This past Saturday at the Eastern States Championship, Berkson broke a 10-year-old state record in the mile by winning the race convincingly in 4:50.11, the best time in the field by more than two seconds. The Classical runner is also entered in the 1,000 where she is the two-time defending champion. If Berkson opts to run just one event, this is the one she will more than likely compete in. She holds the meet record with her PB of 2:49.32 in last year’s race. She’ll face her stiffest challenge from another Stanford-bound runner, Karina Shepard of Dracut. Shepard ran the nation’s third fastest time this season by winning her state meet with a time of 2:48.70. If the two match up and both are fresh, expect a possible winning effort in the 2:45-2:46 range. Both are certainly capable.

Quashira McIntosh – The Hope junior has dominated the competition in R.I. the last few years and has excelled against national-level competition, too. McIntosh, who successfully defended her state crowns in the 55 dash and the 300, certainly has the capability to take those two events at the New England meet, but it won’t be easy. She’s the No. 6 seed in the shorter race with her best this season of 7.19. Hopkinton (MA) senior Jessica Scott (7.04) and Lake Region (ME) junior Kate Hall (7.05) are the fastest two sprinters in the field. McIntosh, a second-place finisher in the 300 last year at the NE meet, ran a season best in that event of 40.45 to take the state title this year. In order to prosper on Saturday, she will need to come close to her PB of 39.38 from the 2013 state meet. Hingham (MA) junior Sierra Irvin is the top seed with her best of 39.04, set this past weekend with her victory at the state meet.  

Jack Salisbury – The La Salle Academy sophomore is entered in a mile race that is without some of the best runners in the region. That’s not to diminish the talent that will be there. It just increases his chances for a possible win. Salisbury is among three runners that have run 4:18 this year. The others are Medfield (MA) senior Sean Robertson and Gray New Gloucester (ME) senior Will Shafer. With the competition so close, look for Salisbury to utilize his typical strategy by pushing the pace from the gun to make the race honest. If he is still among the leaders with 300 meters or less remaining, the odds are favorable for Salisbury, who has a very strong kick.

Abby Livingston – The Barrington senior has enjoyed a great season in the 600, winning the state title and also running an all-time best of 1:33.96. Livingston will be looking to become the second Barrington runner to win the NE title. In 2013, former Eagle star Erica Johnson claimed the crown. The field is strong in this event with Bishop Guertin (NH) senior Molly McCabe and Urusline Academy (MA) junior Amy Piccolo both with season best under 1:34 this winter. Piccolo, a second-place finisher in 2013, gets the edge with the “hometown” advantage, but look for a possible, down-to-the-wire affair with Livingston certainly capable of being one of those runners that breaks the tape at the end.

New England Championships Meet Central