Steve Cirella was at his best in the toughest test in men’s track and field at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship May 1-2 in Fairfax, Va.
The University of Rhode Island senior finished first in the 10-event decathlon with a personal record score of 6535.
Cirella, from Jamestown and a North Kingstown High graduate, finished first in the long jump (20 feet, 7 ¾ inches), the shot put (50 feet, 8 ¾ inches) and the discus throw (149 feet, 4 inches). He was second in the high jump (6 feet, 1 ¼ inches) and the pole vault (13 feet, 3 ¾ inches) and third in the 110 hurdles (16.33) and the javelin throw (164 feet, 2 inches). The running events ballooned his record total. He was fourth in the 1,500-meter run (5:18.47), fifth in the 100-meter dash (11:84) and fifth in the 400-meter dash (56.05).
“Preparation for the meet had gone very well for Steve,” Rams’ multi-coach Trent Baltzell said. “As a decathlete, training is more hourly intensive than with any other events in track and field. He took it all in perfect stride and this was truly the epitome of a ‘hard work pays off’ situation“.
Batlzell said that in theory, a decathlon may not be the most desirable event for a perfectionist like Cirella.
“The ten separate disciplines demand some amount of error,” the coach said. “Steve’s performance was no exception although he did keep those errors to a bare minimum and that is the exact formula for building a big decathlon score.”
Cirella’s performance ranked sixth in the URI all-time list.
“Steve has a chance to move up even more with a closer-to-perfect performance at the New England Championship this weekend,” Baltzell said.
Liam McGill (Wakefield)
The grad student continues to lead the way for the Bryant baseball team, the Bulldogs 22-11-1 overall and leading the Northeast Conference with an 18-3 record after topping Merrimack in three league games last weekend. The South Kingstown High graduate leads the team in batting with a .467 average. He has 50 hits in 109 at-bats. He also leads in home runs (eight) and runs batted in (40). The team’s catcher, McGill has made six errors on 203 chances (.972).
Rylee Leonard (Coventry)
The 5-foot-6 midfielder was named to the America East Conference second team for her play with the New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team. The Williston Northampton graduate finished with 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points and had 18 draw controls, 12 ground balls and three caused turnovers. The Wildcats finished 4-7 overall and 3-6 in league play after a 15-10 league victory over Hartford on May 1. Leonard had two goals and an assist in that game and scored at least one point in all 11 contests.
Sara Barker (North Kingstown)
The 5-foot-9 senior sits on the No. 5 seat on the Varsity 8 No.2 boat for the Marist women’s rowing team, which opened the season on May 2 in a meet against Lehigh, Connecticut and Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y. The Red Foxes second boat finished second with a time of 6:54.800 over the 2,000-meter course. Marist, which saw its first five meet canceled, figures to be the team to beat at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Sunday on the Cooper River in Cherry Park, N.J.
Voski Armenakyan (West Warwick)
The sophomore finished sixth out of 19 competitors in the hammer throw at the Atlantic 10 Conference Outdoor Track Championships May 1-2 in Fairfax, Va. The Toll Gate graduate had a toss of 164 feet, 4 inches. Her personal record in the event is 168 feet, 9 inches which was recorded when she finished second in a home tri-meet on April 18 in Amherst. Prior to that, Armenakyan posted a second and third in her first two meets of the season.
Matt Silvia (East Greenwich)
The Salve Regina senior defensive back was honored by the Providence Gridiron Club on May 6 with their Pride of Rhode Island and Home State Hero Awards. Michigan senior Kwity Pave of Providence, a draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts, was the other player honored. The Seahawks didn’t play this season, but Silvia had 48 tackles with two interceptions for 23 yards in 2019. In 2018, he had 35 tackles and eight interceptions for 57 yards. The latter is a school one-season record.
Derek Shea (West Kingston)
The outfielder was one of six players honored on Senior Day with the Wells baseball team on May 5 in Aurora, N.Y. The Chariho Regional graduate was named the team’s Offensive Player of the Year on May 4. He celebrated by getting two hits in a 13-6 victory over SUNY Poly. Shea led the team with a .418 average (33-for-79) with eight doubles, two triples, two home runs, 16 runs scored and 21 runs batted in. The Express finished 12-16 overall and 5-13 in the North Eastern Athletic Conference.
Tara Chatowsky (North Kingstown)
The grad student got to play a final season with her twin sister, Taylor, and they helped the Roger Williams softball team post a 17-15 record with a 9-7 mark in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Tara hit .361 (26-for-72) with three triples, a home run, 23 runs scored and 11 runs batted in. Taylor batted .250 (19-for-76) with five doubles, two triples and 15 RBI. Both are North Kingstown High graduates. Another North Kingstown grad, sophomore Liz Peters hit .242 in 17 games and 13 starts.
Grace Zangari (Saunderstown)
The senior and the 9-0 Rhode Island College women’s tennis team will face Farmingdale State (N.Y.) in the first round of the Division III NCAA Tournament today in Norcross, Ga. Zangari, a North Kingstown High graduate, is 6-0 in doubles and 3-1 in singles for the Anchorwomen who captured the Little East Conference title with a 5-0 victory over Plymouth State last Sunday. During the season, Zangari set a team record for doubles victories. She will take a 56-3 career record into the NCAAs.