Merrill, Karweh Grab Gold At New England's

Nikki Merrill came less than a second from a state record in the 600-meter run on Saturday. Next weekend, it could be different for the Portsmouth High junior.

Merrill dominated at the New England Championships, winning her second straight 600m crown with a nation No. 2 of 1 minutes, 31.79 seconds.The Patriot standout built a substantial cushion by the time she reach 400m, passed in 59 seconds, and won by nearly four seconds. Merrill came mere strides from the 12-year-old R.I. record of 1:30.87 by former Westerly great Samantha Gawrych.

Afterwards, Merrill talked about her plan entering the regional competition and her hopes of possibly dipping under the current state 800m record at next weekend's New Balance Nationals. Former Classical star and current Stanford senior Maddy Berkson holds that mark with her 2:06.67 at the 2013 nationals. 

Central senior Gus Karweh also earned gold by taking the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 7 inches. Karweh won a tight battle with Medfield (MA) sophomore John  McNeil, who also cleared 6-7.

Karweh is focused on earning All-American status at the NBN with the possibility of matching (or exceeding) his PR of 6-10. 


East Greenwich's Cebastian Gentil finished second overall in a competitive 600m. Gentil did the pace-setting for most of the race until relinquishing the lead on the final straightaway to eventual champion, Malcolm Going of Danbury (CT). Danbury broke the tape in 1:20.38 with Gentil finishing at 1:20.67.

Westerly's Randi Burr had a nearly eight-second PR in the 1,000m. Competing in a stacked race where the top six finishers were under 2:57, the Bulldog senior secured fourth with a time of 2:53.95.

La Salle's Grace Connolly placed fourth in the two mile where she was timed in 10:53.36. The Rams' Joseph dos Reis was third in the mile (4:18.23), while fellow teammate Max DiMuccio ran to a PR of 9:17.68 to grab fourth in the two mile.

Elite Performances

Girls (22)
300mF 3 13th41.87Laura MurphyEast Greenwich High School
300mF 1 21st43.16Trinity HayesMount Pleasant High School
600mF 4 1st1:31.79Nikki MerrillPortsmouth High School
600mF 3 11th1:38.95Aliya BarrowsSt Mary Academy-Bay View High School
600mF 3 13th1:39.49Tess GaglianoBarrington High School
600mF 2 17th1:41.37Hannah O'connorSt Mary Academy-Bay View High School
1000mF 3 4th2:53.95Randi BurrWesterly High School
1000mF 2 8th2:59.27Caroline LivingstonBarrington High School
MileF 2 7th5:09.93Kate ZitzmannBarrington High School
2MileF 2 4th10:53.36Grace ConnollyLa Salle Academy
2MileF 2 7th11:06.54Eleanor LawlerSouth Kingstown High School
2MileF 1 21st11:42.38Leah ChaceEast Greenwich High School
2MileF 1 23rd11:43.93Adah AndersonCumberland
2MileF 2 24th11:45.32Lily NunneryNorth Kingstown High School
4x200mF 6 8th1:47.48La Salle Academy
4x200mF 6 9th1:47.64East Greenwich High School
4x200mF 6 11th1:48.24Westerly High School
4x200mF 5 12th1:49.09Central High School
4x400mF 3 6th4:03.52Westerly High School
4x400mF 2 14th4:09.63Barrington High School
4x800mF 2 11th9:44.74Westerly High School
4x800mF 1 12th9:55.84Barrington High School
Boys (21)
300mF 4 14th36.16Jehlani GallawayClassical High School
600mF 5 2nd1:20.67Cebastian GentilEast Greenwich High School
600mF 3 11th1:24.44Adilson Gomes-sequeiraCentral Falls Senior High School
600mF 4 15th1:24.67Max GorrorianLa Salle Academy
600mF 3 17th1:25.29Ethan SheaPortsmouth High School
600mF 3 18th1:25.31Hezekah AdeyeyeWoonsocket High School
600mF 4 21st1:26.08Darius KipyegoSt. Raphael Academy
1000mF 2 11th2:36.49Nikolas ReygadasToll Gate High School
MileF 2 3rd4:18.23Joseph Dos ReisLa Salle Academy
MileF 1 14th4:30.76Tim ChamplinChariho Regional High School
MileF 2 15th4:30.84David DelbonisBishop Hendricken High School
2MileF 2 4th9:17.68Max DimuccioLa Salle Academy
2MileF 1 11th9:34.45Jack McmahonBishop Hendricken High School
2MileF 1 16th9:45.00Reilly JohnstonSt. Raphael Academy
2MileF 1 17th9:46.07Nasavell MedeirosSt. Raphael Academy
4x200mF 5 11th1:34.05Bishop Hendricken High School
4x800mF 2 6th8:07.43Hope High School
4x800mF 2 12th8:13.08Bishop Hendricken High School
4x800mF 2 13th8:13.29Westerly High School
HJF 1 1st6-7Augustus KarwehCentral High School
SF 1 5th53-4.75Garrett DoyleLincoln High School