McMillan defends, Barrington High girls place second as team at state harrier meet

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NORTH SCITUATE — In one of the most exciting cross country state championship events in recent memory, Barrington High sophomore Emma McMillan Sunday led an incredibly fast front pack to claim her second straight state individual title Sunday, Nov. 3, at Ponaganset High School’s Covered Bridge Trail.

For the boys, it was Hendricken senior Colin Tierney taking the crown for his team. This, the  10th year of holding the state competition at the 3.1-mile at Ponaganset, turned out to give a large contingent of fans plenty to like. What’s more, weather conditions were appropriately cool – perfect for the student/athletes.

On Sunday’s team ledgers, the Hawks won their sixth consecutive championship, out pointing La Salle, 37-42. Altogether, Hendricken has won 22 cross country titles. The girls’ team prize this year went to La Salle, which reclaimed its crown, after two previous seasons of Barrington’s reign. The Rams nipped the Eagles on Sunday, 36-39. La Salle’s teams have won the state championship a total of five times.

The girls’ 3.1-miler was marred by the collapse, in the final 1,000 meters, of La Salle sophomore Eliza Rego; she had been in the front pack. “She got back up,’’ said Ram head coach Kelly Martin, “but didn’t finish.’’ A week earlier, Rego broke the course record by winning the Class A title in 17:42.

Girls’ notes
The very start of the girls’ race was indicative of the level of competition that would play out along the course – and ultimate finish. The lead pack included McMillan, LaSalle’s Karina Tavares, the Mt. Hope High transfer, and Shedidan Wilbur, Barrington senior Abigail Livingston and East Greenwich’s Margaret Mc Caffrey. Also in the thick of things was Classical High Maddy Berkson.

McMillan powered herself to a new course-record time of 17:42.8 for the victory. La Salle sophomore Karina Tavares, who as a Mt. Hope freshman last year placed fifth, Sunday clocked 18:01 for second place. First-year harrier Berkson rounded out her 2013 in-state cross country season by finished a strong third in a time of 18:04. It was Livingston crossing the line fourth (18:31), followed by Wilbur’s 18:49 for the fifth spot. Rounding out the first All-State team was Avenger junior Mc Caffrey (6th in 19:03) and Mary Cate Coogan, a Barrington senior (7th, 19:03).

“It definitely was an intensive pace,’’ said McMillan, the strong, grind-it-out sophomore. “I was trying to stay positive, win for the team.’’

“She just runs flat-out,’’ said Annmarie Marino, the Eagle coach. “She runs for her team. She’s a strong kid.’’

“I went out fast,’’ said Berkson, who went through the first mile in an unofficial 5:37. “I knew that Eliza [Rego] and Emma [McMillan] would go out fast,’’ Berkson said, adding that her strategy was to “stick with Emma.

“It was a great experience,’’ the Classical track star said. “I became mentally tougher [as the season progressed].’’

“This team: we’re proud of them,’’ La Salle’s Martin said. “The team didn’t let obstacles get in the way.’’

Boys’ notes
In his customary workmanlike manner, the rangy Tierney ran a smoothly-crafted run all the way to the winner’s circle. He led throughout to post a time of 15:49.1. He clocked 4:55 at the one-mile split. Last year, Tierney came in fifth (16:11). A week earlier, Tierney clocked 15:32 to captured the Class A title.

“I just go out there and get a first for the team,’’ Tierney said. “The level of competition? It was great. The guys had great times today. It’s a tough course, the hills are hard. But we’ve been training hard. It feels good to have all that hard work finally pay off.’’

La Salle sophomore Jack Salisbury, the East Providence resident who finished behind Tierney at the Class A meet last week, finished second on Sunday in 15:54.2. Hawk junior Mike Potter, a consistent distance performer, went 15:54.5 for the No. 3 spot. Ram freshman DJ Principe posted a fourth-place time of 15:56. Finishing fifth was East Greenwich senior Garrett Scanlon (16:05). Tom Grizzetti, a Hawk junior, and Avenger junior Tom Sommer were sixth and seventh, respectively.

The Rams picked up points from juniors Jake Grundy (11th), Dan Paiva (12) and Chris Notarianni, who placed 13th.

Class B champion and Barrington High freshman Mars Bishop led the rest of the locals, running 21st over. East Providence’s Mike Monagle paced the Townies in 36th (17:21.8). Sean Blythe was the first Portsmouth runner to finish (51st, 17:35.1).

2013 State Cross Country Championships
Girls’ team scores
1, La Salle 36; 2, Barrington 39; 3, N. Kingstown 117; 4, Cumberland 133; 5, Smithfield 181; 6, Coventry 216; 7, E. Greenwich 240; 8, S. Kingstown 243; 9, Chariho 255; 10, Burrillville 335; 11, Toll Gate 337; 12, Prout 344; 13, Westerly 348; 14, Lincoln 376; 15, Bay View 382; 16, Ponaganset 384; 17, Portsmouth 408; 18, Scituate 411.
Top 35 finishers
1,  Emma McMillan, Barr. 17:42.8 (CR. OR: 17:48.1, Eliza Rego, La Salle 2013); 2, Karina Tavares, LS 18:01; 3, Maddy Berkson, Class. 18:04; 4, Abby Livingston, Barr. 18:31; 5, Sheridan Wilbur, LS 18:49; 6, Margaret Mc Caffrey, EG 19:03; 7, Mary Cate Coogan, Barr. 19:03; 8, Amy Laverty, Cumb. 19:05; 9, Megan Verner-Crist, Barr. 19:11; 10, Rachael Renzi, LS 19:18; 11, Audrey O’Neill, LS 19:20; 12, Elise Papazian, LS 19:21; 13, Allison Bellows, Cov. 19:24; 14, Beth Nunnery, NK 19:33; 15, Stephanie Mattson, Smith. 19:35; 16, Meaghan Scullin, Cumb. 19:36; 17, Isabel Baker, Char. 19:37.2; 18, Caroline Falvey, LS 19:37.8; 19, Thedita Pedersen, EG 19:42; 20, Fiona Beltram, Pon. 19:43; 21, Kate Millar, EWG 19:47; 22, Jess Elliott, Prout 19:48; 23, Kelsey Maxwell, Barr. 19:50; 24, Marissa Mc Phillips, Narr. 20:02; 25, Julia Zitzmann, Barr. 20:05; 26, Nichole Barger, Cumb. 20:06; 27, Jaxine Wolfe, NK 20:14; 28, Alanah Gaudreau, NK 20:15; 29, Betsy Dumais, Burr. 20:16; 30, Hannah Niebel, NK 20:16; 31, Jamie Hazel, NK 20:18; 32, Erkia Pena, TG 20:21; 33, Kelsie Lopez, Cov. 20:24; 34, Sabrina Oliveria, Linc. 20:26; 35, Allie Reilly, NK 20:21. Dist. – 3.1.
Boys’ team scores
1, Hendricken 37; 2, La Salle 42; 3, E. Greenwich 74; 4, Cumberland 148; 5, N. Kingstown 155; 6, Barrington 158; 7, Scituate 169; 8, Chariho 232; 9, Prout 266; 10, Mt. St. Charles 295; 11, Smithfield 332; 12, Toll Gate 370; 13, Lincoln 393; 14, Portsmouth 398; 15, E. Providence 408; 16, Ponaganset 442; 17, Warwick Vets 455; 18, S. Kingstown 473.
Top 35 finishers
1, Colin Tierney, BH 15:49.1; 2, Jack Salisbury, LS 15:54.2; 3, Mike Potter, BH 15:54.5; 4, Dave Principe, LS 15:56; 5, Garrett Scanlon, EG 16:05; 6, Tom Grizzetti, BH 16:15; 7, Tom Sommer, EG 16:20; 8, Dallin Smith, NK 16:21; 9, Collin Manning, BH 16:24; 10, Noah Barreto, EG 16:25; 11, Jake Grundy, LS 16:29; 12, Dan Paiva, LS 16:31; 13, Chris Notarianni, LS 16:32; 14, Ian Gould, Scit. 16:41; 15, Steve Gencarelli, Char. 16:42; 16, Sean Laverty, Cumb. 16:43; 17, Elijah Tousignant, MSC 16:44; 18, Dom Parlato, BH 16:45; 19, Jung Kim, Char. 16:46; 20, Bob Rocchio, NK 16:47; 21, Mars Bishop, Barr. 16:49; 22, Mike Dampier, EWG 16:51; 23, Alex Southiere, Cumb. 16:54; 24, Avery Ingegneri, BH 16:55; 25, Luke Emby, Prout 16:57; 26, Angelo Acker, EG 16:59; 27, Kevin Seaver, Cumb. 17:10; 28, Dylan DePriest, EG 17:11.1; 29, Jon Carney, NK 17:11.8; 30, Graham Chapski, EG 17:12.2; 31, Josue Astacio, Cent. 17:12.6; 32, Sam Somera, Barr. 17:13; 33, Dan Heston, Scit. 17:20; 34, Brad Haggerty, NP 17:21.1; 35, Marc Stefranek, Barr. 17:21.5. Dist. – 3.1.

Course Notes
Sunday’s event marked the 68th boys cross country championship,and 43rd anniversary for the girls . . . The 79th New England Cross Country Championships will be held next Saturday (9 Nov.) on the Derryfield Park course in Machester, N.H. At the ‘12 New Englands in Maine, Rhode Island’s boys’ and girls’ team champs Hendricken and Barrington won regional crowns as well. Eagle freshman Emma McMillan, who captured the R.I. individual title a week earlier, was the top local finisher at the New Englands; she placed third. The first R.I. boys’ finisher in Maine last year was Cumberland High senior Trevor Crawley, who was second overall. The Hawks’ Tierney, then a junior, was the third Rhode Islander to finish.

— by Bob Leddy, RITFF correspondent

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