Barrington’s Ionata, Bay View’s Johnson finish among state track champs

PROVIDENCE — Temperatures hovering around 90 degrees greeted the participants in the 2013 Rhode Island State High School Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday, June 1, at Brown Stadium.

The less-than ideal weather didn’t preclude a couple of local standouts from performing at their best when it mattered.

The track coaches at Wake Forest University have to be smiling at the multi-event prowess displayed on Saturday by their newest recruit: Barrington High’s Charlie Ionata. All the big senior did was tally 30 individual points over four throwing events.

Ranked No. 3 nationally in the 12-pound hammer going into the meet, Ionata out-threw by 15 feet his next finisher with a distance of 240 feet, 5 inches (73.27 meters). Ionata placed second in both the javelin and discus. He threw the jav 185-11 (57.65) in an event won by the Scarlet Knights’ Zach Hurd, who defended his state title with a throw of 189-2 (57.65). In the shot, Ionata’s discus mark was 159-8 (48.66) for the silver medal; an event won by Westerly High senior Joe Colao (160-4/48.86).

Ionata put the shot 50-1 (15.26) for third spot. Aaron Comery, the Coventry High senior who ahs dominated the event all season was gold in 54-5.15 (16.59), In second was Central High senior Carlos Mangum (51-8.75/15.76).

Bay View senior Erica Johnson finished off her outstanding high school career with another outstanding performance at states. The Columbia University-bound Johnson aced the 400 and 800 with times of 56.67 and 2:13.14, respectively.

“I was on pace,’’ Johnson said of her 800-meter run. “I was, like, 56.5 at the 400. I wanted to see how the pace was going out. I took off at the last 200 [meters].’’

Johnson battled a crackerjack field in the 800, which included Barrington’s Abby Livingston and Classical’s Maddy Berkson. Livingston came in second, 20 1/100th of a second behind. Berkson was third in 2:14.76.

The Barrington High girls’ 4×800 meter relay team of Meagan Verner-Crist, Abby Livingston, Emma McMillan and Julianna Portelli won with a time of 9:15.85.

The overall team winners were East Providence in the boys’ meet and Classical in the girls. The Townies won their first championship in 17 years in dramatic fashion while the Purple were 40 points better than runner-up LaSalle.
Click here for complete boys‘ and girls‘ state meet results.
— With reports from RITFF correspondent Bob Leddy
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