Big Day For Rhode Island At New Balance Nationals

The final day of the New Balance Nationals proved to be the best for Rhode Island athletes.

The Ocean State had five podium placements on Sunday, including a trio of runner-up finishers inside the New Balance Armory.

Portsmouth's Nikki Merrill nearly stole the show in the 800-meter run, finishing second overall with a personal best of 2 minutes, 7.27 seconds (US #2). Merrill was leading the field going into the final lap before being passed by eventual champion Athing Mu of Trenton (NJ), who was timed in a winning 2:06.59.

The remaining top-six performances came in the weight throw. For the second straight year, Ponaganset's Gianna Rao finished second in the girls' competition with a heave of 57 feet, 6.25 inches. Classical's Cheyenne Figueroa finished fifth (53-8.5) and Barrington's Annika Kelly was sixth (53-6.5) to also earn All-American status.

Lincoln's Garrett Doyle unleashed a best by more than two feet in the boys' weight with a distance of 74-5. Jacob Furland of Classical was seventh overall with a toss of 68-3.25.

Elite Performances (For All 3 Days!)

Girls (19)
800mF 3 2nd2:07.27Nikki MerrillPortsmouth High School
5000mF 2 15th18:04.89Eleanor LawlerSouth Kingstown High School
SMRF 5 1st4:05.49Westerly High School
DMRF 1 15th12:24.15Westerly High School
WTF 1 1st50-1.25Jackie AndrewsLincoln High School
WTF 1 2nd57-6.25Gianna RaoPonaganset High School
WTF 1 4th53-8.5Cheyenne FigueroaClassical High School
WTF 1 5th53-5.5Annika KellyBarrington High School
WTF 1 6th47-10Avrie BurnsHope High School
WTF 1 7th52-1.25Joangely MataMount Pleasant High School
WTF 1 14th45-1.5Erynn FieldNorth Kingstown High School
WTF 1 15th44-8.75Faith PolandoBarrington High School
WTF 1 17th46-8Nicole ValdezHope High School
WTF 1 19th46-0.75Sydney PolandoBarrington High School
WTF 1 21st45-4.5Marissa HenleyWoonsocket High School
WTF 1 21st43-0.5Katrina KurowskiWoonsocket High School
WTF 1 22nd42-11.5Anna OrticerioSmithfield Senior High School
WTF 1 24th42-2.25Jianna PenoRogers
WTF 1 25th42-0Megan SiebenPortsmouth High School
Boys (14)
800mF 1 2nd1:55.31Cebastian GentilEast Greenwich High School
2MileF 1 16th9:15.91Max DimuccioLa Salle Academy
WTF 1 2nd74-5Garrett DoyleLincoln High School
WTF 1 5th62-4.5Kyle MoisonLincoln High School
WTF 1 7th68-3.25Jacob FurlandClassical High School
WTF 1 8th68-3.25Kegan SchroeterNarragansett High School
WTF 1 11th65-5Ryan MorelBishop Hendricken High School
WTF 1 12th58-10.25Matthew ThibaudeauLincoln High School
WTF 1 12th64-10.75Cole HooperCumberland
WTF 1 14th64-6.5Cameron CroceLa Salle Academy
WTF 1 15th63-7.5Brian NealRogers
WTF 1 18th62-5Evan GriversLincoln High School
WTF 1 24th60-5Jide AkinjisolaBishop Hendricken High School
WTF 1 32nd58-0.5Michael BalestraLincoln High School