2018 NCAA Division I Conference Championships- RI Athletes

2018 New Balance National T & F
By Stephen Turgeon

Merrill 9th in country in 800

Portsmouth’s Nikki Merrill just missed the state record in the 800 meters and the Westerly girls posted two victories in the Emerging Elite relays at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Merrill, the state and New England champion at 800 meters, finished ninth with a time of 2:08.9, just off the state record of 2:08.4 set by Classical’s Maddy Berkson in 2013. Merrill later added a second-place finish in the Emerging Elite mile. The Portsmouth junior ran a 4:56.56, just .27 seconds behind winner Isabella Goldstein of Ambler, Penn.

Westerly won both the Emerging Elite Spring Medley and Distance Medley relays. Jamie Murray, Sydney Federico, Helen Hall-Thomsen and Randi Burr captured the Sprint Medley in 4:04.97. Burr finished with a 2:13.55 800, pulling away from second-place Forge, Virginia.

Elizabeth Letizio then joined Federico, Hall-Thomsen and Burr for the victory in the Distance Medley in 12:06.47. Burr again ran the closing leg, posting a 4:59.38 1600 and overtaking runner-up West Lafayette, Indiana.

Barrington’s 4x1 mile team finished eighth in the championship race. Caroline Livingston, Lily Sefranek, Stephanie Chun and Kate Zitzmann combined for a 21:20.18.

Barrington’s Annika Kelly led a strong Rhode Island contingent in the hammer throw. The junior finished third with a toss of 175-5. Rhode Islanders captured seven of the top 10 places and 14 of the top 20 spots.

The Rhode Island throwers were: 4, Keyarsa Harris, Central, 172-07; 5, Cheyenne Figueroa, Classical, 164-06; 6, Faith Polando, Barrington, 162-06; 7, Voski Armenakyan, Toll Gate, 154-08 8, Sydney Polando, Barrington, 154-08; 10, Katrina Kurowski, Woonsocket, 148-05; 14, Marissa Henley, Woonsocket, 144-09; 15 Erynn Field, North Kingstown, 142-04; 19, Jacquelyn Andrews, Lincoln, 135-02; 20, Anna Orticerio, Smithfield, 129-00.

Several Rhode Islanders also competed in the Emerging Elite hammer throw. The results were: 2, Georgerinna Farle, Classical, 143-04; 3, Gabriela Ribeiro, Woonsocket, 138-11; 5, Ambar Gomez, Providence, 137-09; 10, Sarah Ortes, Providence, 128-04; 16, Sarah Bouthillier, Exeter, 117-04; 35, Bridget Damon, Woonsocket, 39-06.

Central Falls’ Dulcinea Burgo was 18th in the Championship Javelin (110-11) and Bay View’s Noelya Delacruz was 29th in the Emerging Elite Javelin (98-03).


2018 Girls Outdoor New Englands
By Stephen Turgeon

Merrill shines in 800 at New Englands

Nikki Merrill continued to show she is one of the best middle-distance runners in the Northeast, taking the 800 meters at the New England Championships held at the University of New Hampshire.

The Portsmouth junior edge Greenwich Connecticut’s Emily Philippides by .25 seconds, crossing the line in 2:11.52. It was the second New England title for Merrill this year. She won the 600 at the indoor New England Championships.

Pilgrim’s Ciannie Foster had a great day in Durham. She finished third in the long jump and made it to the finals in the 100 dash. Foster uncorked a leap of 18-03.25 on her second attempt of the day. That jump secured third place and was a foot further than any of her other five jumps. Foster made it to the finals in the 100 with a qualifying time of 12.92. She improved on that time in the finals, finishing eighth in 12.69.

North Kingstown’s Kaitlyn Brayman tied for the runner-up spot in the pole vault. She matched Tyra Finkeldey of Old Saybrook, Conn., with a vault of 11-03. Southington Connecticut’s Megan Biscoglio won the event with a jump of 12-03. South Kingstown’s Mary Lyons was tenth, clearing 10-3.

Westerly finished second in the 4x800 relay. The team of Elizabeth Letizio, Jaime Murray, Randi Burr and Abiageal Keegan posted a 9:20.49, just three second back of Greenwich, Connecticut. Burr, the state champion at 3,000 meters, added an eighth-place finish in the 3200, crossing in 11:10.76. Teammate Megan Albamonti was seventh in the javelin (119-11) and Sydney Federico was tenth in the 200 (26.06).

Barrington placed two athletes in the top ten in the 1600. Caroline Livingston was fifth (5:06.01) and Kate Zitzmann was ninth (5:12.88).

Classical was fourth in the 4x100. Chelsea Garcia Baez, Babygirl Tarley, Margaret Walker and Jayla Wilson combined for a 49.42. North Kingstown’s Tereza Bolibruch finished fifth in the 100 hurdles (15.46) and East Providence’s Hasna Badji added a sixth in the 300 hurdles at 45.82.

In the throws, Sarah Mitchell of Prout was fifth overall with a toss of 39-09.5. Smithfield’s Kendra Ezeama (123-04) and Classical’s Cheyenne Figueroa (122-2) were sixth and seventh respectively in the discus.


Girls Class Meet Results 5.21.18
By Stephen Turgeon

Kelly, Zitzmann lead Barrington to Class A title

Annika Kelly and Kate Zitzmann both won two events, leading Barrington to a 50-point victory in Class A.

The Eagles collected 142 points, with North Kingstown in second at 92 points and La Salle in third with 86 points.

Zitzmann won the 1500 meters with a class-meet best time of 4:48.79. Teammate Caroline Livingston was a close second at 4:50.23. Zitzmann added a win in the 800 (2:22.3) with Livingston in third (2:23.13).

Kelly won the hammer and the discus. The junior took the discus with a throw of 117-10. She won the Hammer (175-5) ahead of runner-up and teammate Faith Polando (162-06).

Barrington also got wins from its 4x400 team, Julia Howarth in the 400 (59.78) and Olivia Middleton in the triple jump (34-00.5).

Classical’s Margaret Walker won two events. She took the 100 in 12.71 and added a win in the 200 with a time of 26.31.

Many of the best class meet performances came out of Class A. La Salle’s Mackenzie Doyle won the 3000 with a time of 10:33.87, North Kingstown’s Tereza Bolibruch won the hurdles in 15.05 and Hansa Badji of East Providence took the 300 hurdles in 46.06, all class-best. In the field events, Classical’s Cheyenne Figueroa added a win in the shot put with a class-leading toss of 39-0. And East Providence’s Haley Teodoro was one of only two high jumpers in the class meets to break five feet, clearing 5-1 for the victory.

Kaitlyn Brayman of North Kingstown continued her record-setting season in the pole vault. She cleared 11-6, easily surpassing the meet record of 10-0 set in 2008.


Federico powers Westerly to Class B victory

Sydney Federico won two events and ran a leg of two winning relays, leading Westerly to victory in the Class B Championship.

Westerly scored 115 point with East Greenwich in second at 78 points and West Warwick only .33 points back in third.

Federico won the 400, the 200 and ran on the victorious 4x100 and 4x400 teams. Federico posted a 58.61 in the 400, beating out teammate Helena Hall-Thomsen (59.58). She then won the 200 in 26.44, edging Hall-Thomsen again by .22 seconds.

Earlier, the two teamed with Jaime Murray and Caelan Holdredge to take the 4x100 in 50.76. Murray, Federico, Hall-Thomesn and Elizabeth Letizio then combined for the victory in the 4x400 (4:12.61). Letizio also added a win in the 1500, crossing the line in 4:59.95 and Holdredge had a win the 300 hurdles (47.41). These five athletes accounted for 86 of Westerly’s points

Portsmouth Nikki Merrill posted the best run of the day, breaking the meet record in the 800. Merrill covered the two laps in 2:13.53, breaking the record of 2:14.3 set by Samantha Gawyrch in 2003.

South Kingstown’s Eva McCool-Guglielmo won the 100 hurdles 15.35 and Mt. Hope freshman Hope Tyska won the 3000 with a time of 11:00.18. Tyska’s teammate Meghan Oliver won the long jump with a class-meet best 17-01, just a half inch ahead of West Warwick’s Virsavia Goretoy.

West Warwick’s Deana Maynard also post a class-leading performance in the triple jump, taking the event with a leap of 35-08.75. Ponaganset’s Abby Remick tied for the best high jump in the class meets, clearing 5-1 for the victory. Portsmouth Brianna Shablom also added a class-best performance in the discus, winning with a toss of 118-0. Gianna Rao came up just six inches short of the meet record in the hammer. The No. 3 rank hammer thrower in the country easily won the event with a toss of 187-03.


Bay View wins Class C Championship

Aliya Barrows posted a state-best time in the 400 and anchored the winning 4x400 team to lead Bay View to a win in the Class C Championship.

Bay View had 109 points with Mt. St. Charles in second (71 points) and Moses Brown in third (63 points).

Barrows ran the 400 in 57.74 and then teamed with Hanna O’Connor, Olivia Granatiero and Caitlyn Murphy to win the 4x400 in 4:19.7. Granatiero added a win in the 100 hurdles (16.74).

Barrows also had a runner-up finish in the 200, coming in second behind Moses Brown’s Marybeth Fitzsimmons.

Fitzsimmons has established herself at the top sprinter in the state this year. She won the 100 in a class-meet best 12.44 and then add a win in the 200 is a class-best 25.24. She also ran a leg of Moses Brown’s winning 4x100 team. Fitzsimmons nearly added a fourth victory in the long jump but was edged out by Mt. St. Charles’ Paige Fitzpatrick (16-08.75) by only an inch.

Prout’s Sarah Mitchell won two throwing events. She took the shot with a toss of 38-06 and added a win in the discus with a throw of 108-02. Central Fall’s Dulcinea Burgo won the javelin. Her throw of 113-08 was the best among all the class meet performances.

Burrillville’s Sabrina Charron won the 1500 (5:05.6), teammate Karlee Cournoyer won the triple jump (34-02.25) and Narragansett’s Christina Mcphillips captured the 300 hurdles (48.54).


Brayman sets meet record at postponed Cumberland Invite 5.13.18
By Stephen Turgeon

The postponement of the Cumberland Invitational to Sunday because of weather reduced many of the ­fields but it didn’t stop some athletes from posting impressive performances.

Twelve athletes hit the state meet automatic qualifying standard, with seven of those performances coming in the jumps.

North Kingstown’s Kaitlyn Brayman led the way with a meet record of 11-03 in the pole vault. She easily surpassed the automatic qualifying standard of 9-0 and broke the meet record of 11-0 set by South Kingstown’s Amanda Graham in 2010.

The top three triple jumpers and the top three long jumpers all posted automatic state meet performances. Smithfield’s Graesyn Fontaine won the triple jump with a leap of 34-11. She topped fellow state-meet qualifiers Paige Fitzpatrick in second (34-08) and Olivia Middleton of Barrington in third (34-01.75).

Mt. Hope’s Meghan Oliver came away with a win in the tightly contested long jump. Only two inches separated the top three jumpers. Oliver finished at 16-02.5, North Kingstown’s Sydney Brickle was second at 16-02 and Fontaine finished third at 16-00.25.

Scituate freshman Rachel Oster broke 60 seconds in the 400 for the second meet in a row, finishing with a winning time of 59.62. The winner of both hurdle events cracked the automatic qualifying standard. La Salle’s Abigail Creamer beat the mark in the 100 hurdles, posting a 15.81. East Providence junior Jasna Badji won the 300 hurdles by over two seconds, clocking in at 46.35.

In the hammer throw, Ponoganset’s Gianna Rao continued to show she is one of the best throwers in the country, taking the event with a toss of 176-01. Runner-up Nicole Valdez of Hope also hit the auto qualifying standard with a throw of 147-04.

Portsmouth’s Olive Allen won over a strong field in the 1500 meters. Allen crossed in 4:57.08, just ahead of Barrington’s Lily Sefranek (5:00.17). The top six athletes all hit the provision standard of 5:08.00. in the 800, La Salle’s Emily Kane edged Barrington’s Caroline Livingston at the line by three one hundredths  of a second. Kane finished in 2:21.31 over one of the strongest fields of the day. Eleven runners hit the 2:30 provisional state meet standard.

The season continues this Saturday, May 19, with the Class Championship meets.

Girls Division Meet Results 5.9.18
By Stephen Turgeon

Classical takes Central Division Crown

Classical’s Bolu Taiwo won two events and Cheyenne Figueroa added a first and two seconds as the Purple cruised to a 92.5-point win in the Central Division Championship.

Classical had 181.5 points, more than double that of runner-up Pilgrim (89). Central was third at 66.5 points.

Taiwo won the high jump with a leap of 5-0 and added a win in the hurdles (16.33). Figueroa won the shot put (36-0) and finished second in the discus and hammer. In the hammer, Figueroa was runner up to Central’s Keyarsa Harris-Dixon who won the event with a toss of 166-01. Katie Sleboda of Cranston West won the discus, edging Figueroa 106-9 to 105-04.

Classical also got wins from Mary Breen in the Javelin (100-02), Carolyn Kuy in the pole vault (6-06) and Madison Gomes in the 300 hurdles (50.64). The Classical team of Babygirl Tarley, Teyana Santos, Bridget Mckierman and Ana Galaurraga closed out the running events with a win in the 4x400 (4:23.14).

Moses Brown’s Marybeth Fitzsimmons posted the best time of all the division meets in the 100 meters. She ran a 12.37 in the preliminaries and then bested that with a 12.35 in the finals. Fitzsimmons came back later in the meet to win the 200 in a division-best 25.47. She also finished second in the long jump, two inches behind winner Ciannie Foster of Pilgrim (16-07).

Barrington Take Eastern Division Title

Kate Zitzmann won two events and anchored the winning 4x400 relay team, leading Barrington to victory in the Eastern Division Championships.

The Eagles amassed 168 points, outpacing second-place La Salle (120) and third-place Portsmouth (80).

Zitzmann won the 1500 meters in 4:46.90 and then came back to win the 800 in 2:20.88. She later teamed with Audrey Gravelle, Julia Howarth and Tea Bishop to take the 4x400 in 4:17.74.

Annika Kelly added two wins for the Eagles in the throws. She won the hammer throw with a toss of 163-10 and then added a win in the discus at 105-02. Olivia Middleton added a win the triple jump, posting a 34-02.75.

Bay View’s Aliya Barrows and Noelya Delacruz each had two victories. Barrows cruised to a win in the 400, posting a 58.76 and then added a win in the 200 (26.65). Delacruz won the shot put with a toss of 36-10.5 and added a victory in the Javelin (113-09).

Two meet records were set at the track. East Providence’s Hasna Badji broke an 11-year-old record in the 300 hurdles. The Townie junior crossed the line in 46.62, breaking the record of 46.9 set by Jackie Corseti.

Portsmouth’s 4x800 team of Olive Allen, Maura Driscoll, Bella Hook and Nikki Merrill took the opening relay in 9:50.61, breaking the old record of 10:06.2 set in 2009. Later in the meet, Merrill added a win in the 3000, crossing in 10:34.89.


Westerly Earns Southern Division Crown

Westerly won seven events on the track and one in the field, scoring 139 points and holding off North Kingstown for the Southern Division title.

NK was a close second at 127.5 points, followed by South Kingstown in third at 99 points.

Randi Burr led the charge for Westerly, winning two individual races and running a leg of two winning relays. Burr won the 1500 in 4:44.52 and then the 800 in 2:23.43. Burr opened the meet with an anchor leg of the winning 4x800 team and then closed the meet running a leg of the winning 4x400.

Burr, Abiageal Keegan, Sadie Benn and Jenna Burke won the 4x800 in 10:19.52. Burr, Keegan, Sydney Federico, Elizabeth Letizio then added a closing victory in the 4x400 at 4:14.72. Federico added two individual wins for the Bulldogs. She took the 400 in 60.41 and added a win in the 200 at 26.86.

Caelan Holdredge added a win for Westerly in the 300 hurdles (47.52) and Megan Albamonti added a victory in the javelin, uncorking a throw of 124-09.

The performance of the day came from North Kingstown pole vaulter Kaitlyn Brayman. The senior cleared 11 feet, one inch, shattering the meet record of 10-0 set by Morgan Hart in 2014.

Prout’s Sarah Mitchell had two wins in the throws. She took the shot put with a toss of 39-09, just missing the meet record of 40-02 set by Victoria Ebert. Mitchell also won the discus with a throw of 101-11. South Kingstown freshman Chloe Greene was the only other double winner. She took the high jump with a leap of 4-11 and the long jump in 16-05.5.

North Kingstown also got victories from Erynn Field in the hammer (151-01) and Lilly Nunnery in the 3000 (10:44.38).


Smithfield cruises to Northern Division Championship

Kendra Ezeama was the only double winner at the Northern Division Championships, helping Smithfield cruise to victory in the team competition.

Smithfield scored 160 points, while runner up Cumberland finished with 96.5 and third-place Mt. St. Charles collected 72.5.

Ezeama won the shot put with a toss of 37-05.75 and added a victory in the discus at 116-01. Smithfield also got wins from Graesyn Fontaine in the 100 (13.56), Una Treanor in the 3000 (10:56.19), Grace Beaudry in the 300 hurdles (48.94) and Theresa DiNobile in the pole vault (8-0).

Scituate’s Rachel Oster broke a minute in the 400, winning in 59.65. Woonsocket’s Alissiana Folco posted a victory in the 100 hurdles, crossing in an impressive 15.83. Cumberland freshman sensation Olivia Belt won the 1500 (5:02.04) and Burrillville’s Karlee Cournoyer won the triple jump in 34-03.

Katrina Kurowski led a Woonsocket sweep of the top three spots in the hammer, winning the event with a throw of 153-08. Johnston’s Olaitan Olagundoye added a win in the high jump, clearing 5-1, one of the best jumps of the season.