Rhode Island State Meet: Three-Peat For Rebels' Lawler, Avengers' Pederson Takes Boys' Title

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.

Meet Results

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights