Woonsocket's Jalen Evans settled for second place in the Class A 55-meter dash on Saturday. (ERNEST A. BROWN photo)
PROVIDENCE â€“ Precision, particularly in the short sprints, is often crucial in the outcome. One minor glitch at the beginning could determine who walks away with the gold and who settles for the silver.
Woonsocket High junior Jalen Evans, the top seed in the 55-meter dash at Saturdayâ€™s Class A Championship, found that out the hard way inside the Providence Career and Technical Academy field house.
â€śI never got the top speed and my start was awful,â€ť said Evans, after finishing second in the dash with a time of 6.5 seconds. â€śIn the middle of the race, I just lost it.â€ť
Evanâ€™s runner-up effort was just a tenth of a second from his hand-held, season-best this winter and the winning time posted by Ryan Williams of East Providence.
He was hoping for a better performance with the state meet just a week away.
â€śI was looking for a win,â€ť said Evans, also a third-place finisher in the 300 (36.8). â€śIt was not what I wanted to do.â€ť
Woonsocket coach George Briggs admitted it was his star athleteâ€™s initial jump out of the blocks that made the difference.
â€śIn the trials, he looked excellent,â€ť Briggs said. â€śBut in the finals, he just didnâ€™t get a good start. For 55 meters, you just canâ€™t make up for a bad start. Second is fine, but he certainly wanted to win.â€ť
After competing in his two events, Evans had to ice a tight hamstring. Itâ€™s something heâ€™s not too concerned about. His injured foot, suffered at the start of the football season, also appears to be a thing of the past, according to Briggs.
â€śHeâ€™s had a great week of practice,â€ť said the Woonsocket coach. â€śFor the last month, we have been in the weight room twice a week. He is stronger than heâ€™s ever been.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s a little tight,â€ť admitted Evans, about his hamstring. â€śItâ€™s not normal, but this has been a tough week. With the right type of rest and some ice, I should be okay.â€ť
The Woonsocket sprinter will be focusing on placing high in both events next week, but his best chance to possibly win might be in the 300.
â€śI think itâ€™s his best race,â€ť Briggs said. â€śI think he feels he has to run something in the 35s at the state meet and, again, the competition is good. It is tough this year. No doubt about it.â€ť
â€śDefinitely the low 35s,â€ť Evans said. â€śThe competition is good. With the right type of training, I can do it.â€ť
Cumberlandâ€™s versatile senior Ryan Rei captured the high jump, matching his PB of 6 feet, 2 inches. Rei didnâ€™t fare quite as well in the long jump, an event heâ€™s ranked No. 4 in the state.
Rei fouled on all three of his attempts. His last one appeared to be more than 22 feet, which is farther than his best of 21-11 Â˝.
Head coach Tom Kenwood and Rei felt the limited rest between his two events made things difficult. The Clipper senior had less than 10 minutes to prepare for the long jump after the high jump.
â€śI was tired by the time I got to the long jump. I am definitely disappointed,â€ť he said. â€śMy steps just didnâ€™t go on. I was reaching at the end.â€ť
Reiâ€™s foot was less than six inches past the board on all three of his attempts.
â€śHe was concentrating on the high jump and then he came over and had to take three jumps with a relatively short amount of time in between,â€ť Kenwood said. â€śHe was just reaching for the board. Heâ€™s had the history of fouling. Heâ€™s just got to get it into his head to get a good jump right off the bat and then he doesnâ€™t have to worry. You donâ€™t want to pressure yourself.â€ť
In the high jump, runner-up Lawrence Walker of Coventry also cleared 6-2, but Rei was awarded the victory on fewer misses. The Cumberland leaperâ€™s top opportunity for 6-4 came on his final attempt when he hit the bar with his heal.
â€śUsually I come close on one attempt, but I almost made it on all of them (today),â€ť he said. â€śI am hoping I can go 6-6 (at the state meet). I really think I can do it.â€ť
The Clippers placed fourth in the 4x800 relay with a school indoor record time of 8:26.0. Comprising the team was Trevor Crawley (2:04.4), Matt Sutcliffe (2:05.5), Alex Southiere (2:12.8) and Tom Fownes (2:03.4).
Crawley also finished sixth in the 1,500 with a 4:14.9 clocking. The junior distance ace was in seventh for most of the race with Sutcliffe (eighth, 4:23.1) holding the eighth spot a few strides behind. He moved into his final position with about 400 meters remaining.
â€śHe didnâ€™t have quite enough time (between the relay and the 1,500),â€ť Kenwood said. â€śThe state meet I am going to enter him in the 3,000 and he might have a little more rest for the 1,500.â€ť
Lincoln junior Aaron Roseman, the stateâ€™s top seed in the 55 dash, copped his specialty in the Class C meet. Roseman edged West Warwick senior Eddie Uthman with both runners registering a time of 6.4.
The speedy Lion, who has a best, hand-held time of 6.2, felt his quickness out of the blocks earned him the win. He held the advantage over Uthman from start to finish.
â€śI have been focusing on my starts recently,â€ť he said. â€śBecause of my hamstring injury (at the beginning of the season), I wasnâ€™t able to accelerate out of the blocks fast enough. I have been trying to strengthen that and I think my starts are getting faster. Thatâ€™s a big part of the race.â€ť
Roseman also ran the second leg of the Lionsâ€™ fifth-place 4x200 relay with a fast 22-second clocking.
Lincoln senior Tom Tallo won the 1,000 with a time of 2:46.9. Senior teammate Matt Olean had a solid race in the 3,000, placing third overall with a time of 9:24.4.
Class A Championship
Team scores â€“ 1. Bishop Hendricken, 124; 2. North Kingstown, 64; 3. La Salle, 54.5; 4. Coventry, 52; 5. Chariho, 41; 6. East Providence, 32; 7. Cumberland, 18.5; 8. Woonsocket, 18; 9. Pilgrim, 17; 10. Cranston East, 10; 11. Cranston West, 3.
Top local finishers
4x800 -4. Cumberland (Alex Southiere, Tom Fownes, Matt Sutcliffe, Trevor Crawley) 8:26.0
3,000 â€“ 6. Matt Smith, C, 10:10.4
Shot â€“ 4. Cory Agin, EP, 44-1 ÂĽ
HJ -1. Rei, C, 6-2
1,500 â€“ 6. Mike Crawley, C, 4:14.9
55 â€“ 1. Ryan Williams, EP, 6.4; 2. Jalen Evans, W, 6.5
600 â€“ 4. Joshua Rambert, EP, 1:30.2
LJ â€“ 2. Christopher Moura, EP, 21-0; 4. Alex Correia, W, 20- Â˝
300 â€“ 3. Jalen Evans, W, 36.8
1,000 â€“ 5. Tie, Tom Fownes, C, Zack Chapasko, LaS, 2:43.4
4x400 â€“ 4. EP, (Moura, Anthony Andrade, Rambert, Carl Sjogren) 4:01.7
Class B Championship
Team scores â€“ 1. Barrington, 94; 2. South Kingstown, 75; 3. Central, 70; 4. Lincoln, 39; 5. Westerly,38; 6. Hope, 37; 7. West Warwick, 35; 8. Portsmouth, 16; 9. Toll Gate, 13; 10. Mount Hope, 8. 11. Mount Pleasant, 2
Top local finishers
4x800 â€“ 1. Lincoln (Nicholas Engle, Tom Tallo, John Capaldi, Jacob Palladini) 8:39.9
4x200 â€“ 5. Lincoln (Aaron Roseman, Giovanni Colon, Marcus Rebello, Taylor Vass) 1:39.8
3,000 â€“ 3. Matt Olean, L, 9:24.4
55HH â€“ 6. Nicholas Pion, L, 9.6
55 â€“ 1. Roseman, L, 6.4
1,000 â€“ 1. Tom Tallo, L, 2:46.9.
Class C Championship
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Team score â€“ 1. Classical, 185; 2. East Greenwich, 86; 3. Prout, 39; 4. Narragansett, 38; 5. Central Falls, 37; 6. Moses Brown, 14; 7. Mount St. Charles, 13; 8. St. Raphael, 8; 9. Rogers, 3; 10. Tie, Smithfield, Providence Country Day, 2.
Top local finishers
WGT â€“ 6. DePina, CF, 49-1 ÂĽ
4x800 â€“ 2. MSC (Matt Alexander, Adam Bouley, Andrew Knueven, Elijah Touisignant) 9:20.9
4x200 â€“ 3. CF (Chayanne Eccalera, Jose Rivera-Ortiz, Tyshon Ashe) 1:39.9
3,000 â€“ 3. Robert Parker, SRA, 9:28.6
HJ â€“ 1. Vazquez, CF, 6-6; 6. Erik Mateo, CF, 5-8
55 â€“ 5. Chayanne Escalera,CF, 7.0
55HH â€“ 5. Mateo, CF, 9.3
1,500 â€“ 3. Adam Bouley, MSC, 4:49.8; 4. Alexander, MSC, 4:50.1
LJ â€“ 3. Rivera-Ortiz, CF, 19-3