Rhode Island Teams Compete at 2012 Injury Fund in Burriville RI
This past weekend saw most of Rhode Island's cross country teams have their first racing action of the season. The boys competed Thursday (9/6/2012) and the girls race was postponed to Saturday (9/8/2012). Both teams competed at the Burriville Middle School course. The Rhode Island injury-fund typically serves as an exhibition with four divisions loosely based on last year's team scores from the state meet. The meet also serves as the first opportunity for teams to get a look at each other. Each team has the opportunity to showcase their freshmen athletes in the all freshmen races. While the varsity races have their quirks with athletes being held back or not competing, the freshmen race serves as a preview for the freshmen state championships 8 weeks from now. New athletes may still be deciding to join, but each team had the chance to take stock of their opponents as well as identify their own strengths and weaknesses.
One of the highlights from this year's meet was the number of elite performances from this week's meet. The fastest times of the day were posted by jackie burr of Westerly High School (19:26.91) and trevor crawley of Cumberland High School (15:46.85)
Hird Division - Michael Potter of Bishop Hendricken High School won the first race of the day running 16:10.93. The Hawks showcased their depth by sweeping the competition with a perfect team score of 15. Potter was supported by teammates Colin Tierney, Tyler Henseler, Alex Doherty, Connor Doyle, and Greg Beaudette who all seemed to be very relaxed in running between 16:32 and 16:38. You would have to think this team did not "go to the well" in this effort and certainly would seem have the numbers to be a complete squad this upcoming year. Notable performances were also seen by sophomore Grant Gauthier (16:57) and Juniors Pat Gower and Colin Manning (17:04 and 17:20 respectively). Coventry was able to manage a 2nd place finish with 82 points.
Kane Division - The second race of the day was won with the fastest time of the day. Trevor Crawley of Cumberland ran a Milesplit National Elite time of 15:46.85 earning the top spot in the race. His effort spearheaded a Cumberland High School two point victory over Barrington High School. The Kange division also sported the closest race of the day was somewhat controversial as Barrington had originally been scheduled to be in the first race with Bishop Hendricken. Due to bussing issues Barrington was moved to the second race. Some other great individual performances include Victor Ricci of Prout (16:35) and Nathan Stromberg of EWG (16:39)
Warnock Division -Senior Chariho Charger Bryce Kelley, not to be outdone by Trevor Crawley in the previous race, ran a blazing 15:58 to win the Warnock division. In our individual preview we noted that this is Bryce's second season of cross country and it was his first time on the Burriville course. However, this race was all about Lasalle Academy who went on to take spots 2-7 in the race. Their performance showed the strength of their team and places them in contention for the state title. The Rams were led by Sophomore Jake Grundy who ran 16:56 in what appeared to be an easy effort. Lasalle finished with 20 points. Chariho finished 2nd with a team score of 71.
Foley Division - This race saw its top 16 spots occupied by two teams. East Greenwich and North Kingston squared off with East Greenwich edging out the Skippers by 7 points. East Greenwich was led by senior Scott Kulm (16:34) who finished second in the race. North Kingston's Dalin Smith (16:24) captured the top spot. Both teams possess experience with their best performances coming from upper classmen. Although East Greenwich's score of 22 was able to edge out NK's 33, it would seem these two teams will be in close competition at the state meet.
Freshmen Race - The Freshmen race was a rematch of the two powerhouses Lasalle Academy and Bishop Hendricken High School. Last year at the injury fund Lasalle handily defeated the Hawks. Lasalle went on to win the Freshmen state championshup that year. This season's edition of the competition saw the Hawks looking for revenge against the Lasalle Academy Rams. Led by the 3rd place finish of Avery Ingegneri, the Hawks were able to win the meet by 5 points, scoring a total of 48. Lasalle finished with 53 despite having the 1st, 2nd, and 5th place finish. The Rams were led by Freshmen phenom Matthew Bouthillette who ran the 4100m course in 13:34.
Hindley Division - The first race of the day saw defending state champions Barrington High School easily win their race scoring a total of 32 points. Barrington was led by Junior Julianna Portelli who ran 19:44. Barrington held out many of their top runners including Fionna Paine and Abby Livingston. Barrington was still able to show that they are the class of the field this year as they were able to defeat a very driven Bay View team. Bay View came in second scoring 62 points. Bay View was led by Senior Erica Johnson. The real story of this race was junior Jackie Burr who seems to have made a huge leap forward from her sophomore year. She ran the fastest time of the day completing the course in 19:26 and establishing herself as a legitimate contender for this year's state meet.
Caswell Division- Coventry high school is seeing all the hard work they put into last year's freshmen class pay big dividends as the Oakers were able to capture the top two spots with the Bellows sisters who ran 20:10 and 20:11. However, it was South Kingston's 3-7 finished which clinched a 5 point margin of victory over Coventry. South Kingston was led by senior Kendall Feaster (20:21) and junior Kelly Reiss (20:45). Smithfield was third with their large sophomore group leading them to a score of 84. South Kingston will be a team to watch over these next few weeks as they certainly have the ability to finish high at the state meet.
Sullivan Division-State runner up Lasalle Academy was able to establish themselves by winning the 3rd girls race of the day scoring a low 22 points. Cranston West finished with 44. The Rams were led by sophomore Sheridan Wilbur (19:57.66) and Senior Caitlin Marino (20:14). It would seem that Lasalle is the logical pick to give Barrington a challenge in their title defense. They will need big races from Senior Tiana Kibbe (20:42) and Evie Jansen. Jansen was held out of the injury fund race, but she will certainly be a factor if Lasalle has a chance to re-capture the state title.
Roy Division - The Last race of the day lacked some of the drama from the earlier races with the winner Elizabeth Hansen winning by over two minutes in a time of 20:11. The team title was captured by a very strong North Kingston team who scored 33 to second place Tollgate's 56. North Kingston did not race their athletes hard with senior all-state athlete Aisha McAdams running 22:23. North Kingston had 5 athletes at or below 23 minutes on a very relaxed effort; they should be a factor this season.
Freshmen Race - The girls' freshmen race was won by the Lasalle Academy Rams who showed their strength as an overall program by squeezing 4 runners into the top 9 positions in the race. North Kingston, which is also a historically great program, was able to make it interesting by scoring spots 10-15. Lasalle was able to hold on to the victory by having their fifth runner come in 19th. The race was won by Emma McMillan of Barrington who ran 16:20 on the 4100m course. Look for North Kingston to close the gap by state meet with such a strong pack running together this early in the season.