Boys Rhode Island Outdoor State Championships Recap

Photo @RhodeAndTrack

Results

Photos by @RhodeAndTrack

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Yesterday the state of Rhode Island gathered at Conley Stadium for the 2023 Rhode Island Interscholastic League Outdoor Track and Field state meet. With 21 events to be contested on each side, the boy's battle would once again come down to La Salle Academy and Bishop Hendricken. The Hawks were the favorite heading into the meet, however, if you mentioned this to Coach Jim Doyle of Hendricken before the meet, he would respond with "Anything can happen at states." And I can confidently say that Coach Doyle was right. As the rain came and went throughout the day, the cold and wind remained. This forced athletes to adapt and adjust as they sought PRs, points, and to become the next Rhode Island state champion in their respective events.  

The day kicked off with the 4x800 meter relay, an event most recently dominated by Saint of Saint Raphael's Academy. Coach Chris Magill put in his top guys to help secure the first win of the meet with his ace Devan Kipyego anchoring the easiest 1:59 you will ever see to take the win. This is one of three events that Kipyego contested which is a stark contrast from last year's quadruple crown hopes. After racing a few invitational miles trying to take a crack at sub 4 in the mile, Kipyego is taking a more strategic and team-oriented meet by running the 4x800 and 4x400. Moses Brown took runner-up while title hopefuls Bishop Hendricken and La Salle Academy finished 3rd and 4th respectively. Next, the 4x100 meter relay saw a major upset as Central High School took the win in the event running a 1.5 second season's best 42.89. La Salle took second and secured eight points while Hendricken settled for third place. I asked Coach Manning what he told his athletes after not coming away with the win and he said "They talked about a job they had to do as a group, we felt that we did not achieve our goal in the 4x100. We knew we had opportunities to make up for it later on." Coach Manning was right, they did make it up for it later.  

Meanwhile, the 1500 saw Nick Martin of East Greenwich take his first victory of the day in the 1500 with a 3:58.47. He dragged out the field with a 45.13 opening 300 and only expanded his lead as everyone strung out. Jesse Principe of West Warwick came home for second while Cole McCue of Cumberland took bronze.  

In one of the more contentious battles of the meet, Ethan Knight of Barrington faced off against Aidan Bienvenue of North Smithfield. Knight led wire to wire to take the wind in 15.02 over Bienvenue. Bienvenue grabbed his leg as he finished, and I would later find out after the 300-meter hurdles he had tweaked it in practice the Wednesday leading up to the meet. His meet prep saw him take Thursday off and practice lightly Friday to not strain it, but as he stated, "In the heats I felt it flare up." Brady Fisher of La Salle finished 5th to pick up more points for the Rams. In the 100-meter dash, Jared Gibbons of La Salle took home another sprint title in 11.21. The Hawks occupied 5th and 8th as La Salle's lead continued to grow.  

Next, the 400 meters kicked off, and was one of my favorite races of the day, although it was the only final I was not at the finish line for. Youton Doe of Tolman led the whole race with Jacob Coates of Bishop Hendricken in hot pursuit. The two were neck and neck past the second bend and onto the home straight. However, a fast-approaching Elias Sposato of Chariho came up and shifted to another gear as he flew by his competitors. He threw his hands in the air in jubilation as he secured the state title in 50.09. Doe, the state leader, came second while Coates took home six points for the Hawks. The Rams saw two of their athletes tie for 8th, and the tie-breaker was awarded to sophomore Joshua Aceto.