Merrill leads way as Portsmouth girls take 4th in states

Senior wins two individual races, runs leg on victorious relay team

Posted 6/4/19

PORTSMOUTH — Nikki Merrill, finally healthy after nagging injuries hobbled her during the indoor track season, made the most of her final outdoor meet as a member of the Portsmouth High …

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Merrill leads way as Portsmouth girls take 4th in states

Senior wins two individual races, runs leg on victorious relay team

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — Nikki Merrill, finally healthy after nagging injuries hobbled her during the indoor track season, made the most of her final outdoor meet as a member of the Portsmouth High School girls’ team Saturday.

At the state track and field championships at Brown University, the senior — for the third straight year — took first place in both the 800- and 1,500-meter runs.

Merrill, who’s bound for Villanova in the fall, ran the 800 in 2:16.06 and the 1,500 in 4:34.15.

Along with seniors Olive Allen and Elizabeth Sullivan and sophomore Sabrina Leary, she was also part of the 4x800-meter relay team which scorched La Salle in the finals by more than 17 seconds, finishing with a winning time of 9:22.54.

The victories helped Portsmouth secure a fourth-place finish as a team in the meet, which was won by Westerly High.

Allen, meanwhile, came in second in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:59.09.

Sullivan also had a good day, taking third in the 3,000-meter run (10:20.17) and  fourth in the 1,500 meters (4:42.02).

Maura Dennis, a sophomore, took fifth place in the pole vault with a best effort of 9 feet.

Gabrielle Bryan, a junior, came in fifth in the shot put with a best throw of 36 feet, 8.5 inches.

Meghan Lehane, a sophomore, came in sixth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.09 seconds. She took eighth place in the triple jump with a best leap of 33 feet, 10.5 inches.

Sophomore Ryan McNeilly competed in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing eighth in a time of 48.81 seconds.

Boys’ results

The PHS boys came in 19th place as a team.

The team’s best showing was in the 4x800-meter relay. The quartet of Ben Chase, Vincent Gardner, Carsen Prater and Jordan Cardoso took third with a time of 8:08.02.

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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.