PROVIDENCE – On paper, it looks like the Southern Division Boys Indoor Track Championships was a slaughter delivered by North Kingstown.
Sometimes looks can be deceiving though, as Chariho put up a mighty fight and more than earned their second place rank. The Chargers may not have clinched first at the Providence Career and Technical Academy on Saturday morning, but they put impressive distance between themselves and the rest of the field.
Chariho tailed North’s 163-point win with 99 points of their own, while Rogers finsihed in a distant third place with 42 points.
“North obviously won and that’s something that was expected,” Chariho coach Keith Croteau said by phone Monday morning. “They have a very, very strong team, so our goal was to make North work for it a little bit.”
In that case it was mission accomplished for the Chargers, as North couldn’t take home a first in every event.
Senior Stephen Gencarelli took home the win in the 3,000 with his time of 9:34.70, added a second in the 1,500 in 4:19.90 and took sixth in the 1,000 in 2:57.3.
The 4x400 relay team took first with a one-second lead on North, as seniors Alden Andrea and Zachary Gardell, along with juniors Kahekee Northup and Mitchell Carrier won in 3:38 flat.
Carrier added a second place result in the 1,500 with a new personal best time of 4:20.10, only two-tenths of a second behind NK’s Dallin Smith.
In the hurdles, Chariho’s Max Leatham nearly kept pace with Skipper superstar Ben Stewart as the senior Charger took second with a time of 8.11 seconds, a new personal record for the season.
Northup could certainly empathize with his teammate, as Stewart won the 300 as well with Northup two spots behind in third with a time of 37.78 seconds.
Chariho’s Jung Kim also notched a third-place performance, finishing the 1,000 in 2:51.40 behind Skippers Zach Emrich and Ian Connors,but won second in the 3,000 in 9:45.60.
Also pressing Emrich was Andrea, who placed third behind him in the 600 with a time of 1:30.3. The high jump was also a bright spot for Chariho, as senior Kyle Kirby took second place with a matched PR of six feet, two inches, two inches to finish ahead of NK’s Ben Lee.
It was the 4x800 relay team that Croteau thinks needs some adjusting. Carrier and Andrea raced with senior Andrew Sardelli and junior Andrew Ferrigno, finishing in 8:56.30, coming up short to North by nearly six seconds and in second place.
“The 4x8 did well,” Croteau said, “but we had some guys who ran multiple events, so we are probably going to have some fresh guys running the relays to try to improve [the times].”
Overall though, Croteau was pleased with the way his Chargers performed Saturday.
“I was pretty happy with the day,” Croteau said. “A lot of people would [see the results] and just say that Chariho was  points behind, but considering the team we were going against and the depth they have, it was one and two, and the rest of the field was way behind.”
“...After seven events, we were only 10 points behind. The throws hurt us. [North] has a strong throwing core and we don’t, so there’s a bunch of points they got that we didn’t.”
For Chariho, it will be a divide and conquer approach heading into the class meet and states.
“Going into class, we’re going against Henricken and North Kingstown,” Croteau said. “We are really going to focus on guys doing one event and moving up in the state as far as state rankings in that event.”
With the hopes of having five or more individual athletes qualify for states, Croteau also plans to focus on the relays as a means of upping his numbers in the state meet.
“If you get a relay into the state meet,” he said, “that’s four more guys that get to participate.”
Chariho will race in the Class A Championships Saturday at 9 a.m. at the PCTA.