Portsmouth High’s Fahrney, Kluth win state track titles

PHS boys come in sixth as a team, girls 13th

Posted 2/28/21

PORTSMOUTH — Two members of the Portsmouth High School boys’ indoor track and field team can finally say they’re the best in the state.

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Portsmouth High’s Fahrney, Kluth win state track titles

PHS boys come in sixth as a team, girls 13th


PORTSMOUTH — Two members of the Portsmouth High School boys’ indoor track and field team can finally say they’re the best in the state.

At the Rhode Island Indoor Track State Championship Saturday at the Providence Career & Technical Academy, juniors Colby Fahrney and Kaden Kluth became the first-ever boys’ indoor track state champions for Portsmouth High School, according to their coach, Shaun Horgan.

Fahrney took first place in the long jump with a best leap of 22 feet, 1.75 inches, while Kluth won the 1,000-meter run in a time of 2 minutes, 35.46 seconds. Fahrney also came in third place in the 55-meter dash, clocking a time of 6.71 — only a 100th of a second behind the second-place finisher.

Their performances helped propel the Patriots to a sixth-place finish in the team results. Bishop Hendricken was the overall winner among 21 schools.

“Colby is such a driven and focused kid, I had a feeling he was going to step up big on Saturday,” said Mr. Horgan. “He certainly did with personal bests in both the long jump and the 55. In the finals of the long jump, a kid from Barrington took the lead with the second attempt. Colby took it right back, and then added on a few more inches with his last attempt.”

Mr. Horgan said he couldn’t overstate how much hard work and detail went in to Fahrney’s win. “He is hugely deserving of this state championship. He did this all while managing his 55-meter trials and finals races as well, as the two events are going on simultaneously. He ran brilliantly in the 55 as well, powered out of the blocks, great form down the stretch, and just got leaned out the tape. I know he'll be back for redemption next year.”

The coach said Kluth ran “a smart and conservative race” on Saturday to win the 1,000 meters.

“I'm immensely proud of his effort, even though it was not a personal record; he was almost in cruise control,” said Mr. Horgan. “A big reason behind that strategy was due to the fact that he had another major race the following day.”

Earlier in the season, Kluth qualified to race in the Championship 800 Meters at the Adidas Indoor National Championships held Sunday, Mr. Horgan noted. At the national meet, Kluth ran the 800 in 1:57.68 — a person best and school record time (previously held by Mike Lynch, 2008). 

“It has been a particularly tough season for training and competing, with lots of snow on the outdoor track, having to train and race with masks on, et cetera,” the coach said. “He never complained and just continued to get in the work needed to compete at the highest level."

Girls’ results

The lady Patriots placed 13th as a team among 24 schools, with La Salle Academy the overall winner.

Meghan Lehane, a senior, had the best showing among her teammates. She took third place in the 55-meter hurdles in a time of 9.19 seconds. 

In the long jump, Lehane came in 10th with a best leap of 15 feet, 9.5 inches, and she also anchored the girls’ 4x200-meter relay team — along with fellow seniors Abbie Armijo, Lois Manning, and Kate Famiglietti — for an eighth-place finish in a time of 1:54.35.

The Patriots’ 4x800 relay team of Abbie Gilpin, Kitty Damon, Katie Yalanis and Keira Foster took fourth place in a time of 10:32.10.

Ellie Skeels, a sophomore, came in sixth in the 300-meter dash with a time of 43.72 seconds, and Sabrina Leary, a senior, came in seventh place in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:00.35.

The Patriots’ 4x400 relay team of (Ellie Skeels, Katherine Damon, Lois Manning and Abbie Armijo), came in seventh with a time of 4:23.51.

The following girls, all juniors, took eighth-place finishes in their respective events: Katherine Damon, 600-meter dash, 1:46.04; Erin O’Connell, shot put, 30 feet, 3.25 inches; and Katherine Damon, 600-meter run, 1:46.04.

2021 by East Bay Newspapers

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.