PROVIDENCE – The East Greenwich boys indoor track team held its own at the Suburban Division Championships Saturday at the Providence Career and Technical Academy.
Coming in second place with 75.5 points, 20 points ahead of West Warwick, the Avengers scored where they would have expected given their daunting Hendricken competitors. The Hawks won by a landslide with 223.5 points.
“That’s where we should be,” EG coach Peter Dion said. “Hendricken is loaded, they have a lot of guys so second place is good. The fact that we’re getting PR’s is a good sign [the boys] are turning it on. We have a few weeks until states and they’re getting into championship mode, which is nice to see.”
The Avengers had some first places to go with those personal records; one in particular was a nice surprise for Dion. Junior Tommy Sommer took first in the 3,000-meter run, finishing in 9:05.80, seven seconds ahead of Hendricken’s Michael Potter.
“We weren’t even sure if we were going to run him in the 3K,” said Dion, “but now we’re thinking of leaving him in there for the rest of the year.”
Another personal best came from Garrett Scanlon in the 1,500. The senior finished in second place with his 4:05.5 final time, a personal best by eight seconds. Dion expects this kind of improvement to continue as his athletes get a taste of that which they are capable.
“[The key] is to stay healthy, stay injury free,” Dion said, “and the kids start to realize that they can actually compete at a high level and that gives them confidence, so that’s good.”
Another Avenger who realized his potential at the division meet was senior Graham Chapski, who won the 1,000 in 2:37.7 with a three second lead.
“What was nice is he just ran it from the gun and went all out from the get-go to see what would happen,” Dion said. “It’s a good sign. He’s not afraid.”
Dion also mentioned Saturday that he is tweaking his relay teams, looking to find the best combination heading into class and states.
“We’re just kind of playing with stuff,” he said. “We got a good idea of where we’re at and what might happen individually [at the class and state meets], we just know as a relay team we don’t have a shot so we just split them up and run them as individuals.”
Chapski, Scanlon and Sommer had been on a 4x800 relay team, which did not compete at the division championships.
“We’re trying to spread out those three,” Dion said. “We’ll break them into individuals and let some other kids run the 4x8.”
The 4x800 team that ran in Saturday’s meet managed to place third. Seniors Doug Fisher and Angelo Acker, sophomore Alec Gannon and freshman Willy Por finished in 8:59.20 behind Hendricken and West Warwick.
Junior Christian Liu, seniors Anthony Benard-Sasges and Bobby Lepre, and sophomore Will Soltero placed second in the 4x200 with a final time of 1:39.40 behind only Hendricken, while the 4x400 team of Scanlon, Acker, Bernard-Sasges and senior Tyler Ferra also took second with a time of 3:46.30.
Acker also had a strong day individually, winning the 600 in 1:29.9 with Fisher following shortly after in third with a 1:31.90 run time.
The Avengers also had two placers in the 55 dash as Soltero placed sixth with his time of 7.11 seconds, just ahead of Liu who ran 7.18.
With his team turning out best times and continuing to improve, Dion feels free to formulate a strategy that will hopefully bring them success at states. The team has a good sense of its strengths and weaknesses and plans to apply that knowledge as they go forward.
“Distance is by far our strongest,” he said. “A lot of these guys have been running since June. They’re disciplined and well managed; they know what’s going on. They’re die hards.”
While the East Greenwich boys team competed Saturday, the Avenger girls had to wait until Monday for the Division I-Headly Championship meet at the PCTA.
As expected, La Salle and Classical finsihed well in front of the field with 144 and 115 points, respectively.
Smithfield followed in third with 45 points, while the Avengers and Portsmouth tied for fourth place with 28 points.
The 55 dash was a major bright spot for EG as Hannah Trinque (7.89) and Racquel Rodriguez (7.92) finished in third and fourth, respectively, while Summer Murray (32-4 1/2) was third in the shot put.
Lauren Swanson (42-6 1/4) took fifth in the weight throw, while Phoebe Osterhout matched her with a fifth place result in the 600 with a time of 1:48.44. The Avengers also notched a fourth in the 4x400 and fifth in the 4x200.
Both East Greenwich sqauds will return to the PCTA Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. for the Class Championships.