For North Kingstown's 4x800-meter relay to place among the top three at the New Balance Nationals this weekend, it had to show up with its 'A' game.
It was more like an 'A' plus!
The Skippers' quartet of Ian Connors, Dallin Smith, Joe Craven and Zach Emrich crushed the state mark by more than eight seconds on Saturday with a time of 7 minutes, 37.62 seconds at North Carolina's AT & T University. That time enabled N.K. to place third overall, just .36 behind team champion St. Xavier (Ohio).
"These guys have trained so well for this event. We specilaized for the 800 because we felt it was going to be the race that would decide the state championship and it did turn out that way," said North Kingstown coach Charlie Breagy, whose squad defeated Classical at last week's state meet. "These guys have a lot of upside and so much more to do with their running careers. My entire coaching staff and I are so happy for them."
The Skippers dipped under the old R.I. mark of 7:46.62, set by Chariho Regional at the Penn Relays in 2012. Emrich anchored the winning quartet with a 1:49.22 leg. Connors was clocked at 1:57.51, Smith ran 1:55.64 and Craven had a 1:55.21 split.
The Ocean State also fared well in the hammer throw. Barrington junior Adam Kelly was third at 219-03. He was followed by sophomore teammate and last week's state titlist Bobby Colantonio in fourth at 214-03. Moses Brown junior Owen Russell was fifth with a distance of 209-09.