Piotr Linek clears the 110 hurdles on his way to a win for Woonsocket Monday at Cumberland High School.
CUMBERLAND ‚ÄĒ Mount St. Charles junior Anthony Pasquarelli admitted he felt ‚Äúpretty good‚ÄĚ while prepping for the high jump at these Northern Division Championships, held at Tucker Field on Monday afternoon.
But even he didn‚Äôt anticipate walking away from the meet with his first-ever divisional crown, thanks to a leap of six feet, two inches.
He had outstanding reason: After all, he had to battle Central Falls High junior phenom Erik Mateo, who back in February became that event‚Äôs champion at the state indoor meet at the Providence Career & Technical Academy‚Äôs field house.
‚ÄúIt feels pretty good to win it,‚ÄĚ the reserved Mountie stated after posting the 6-2 leap and besting runner-up and Johnston freshman Brian Campanelli (who finished second at 6-2) and Mateo (who settled for third at 6-0). ‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt really expect to because Erik is so good.
‚ÄúMy legs felt pretty good (Monday), and my approach steps were consistent,‚ÄĚ he added.
‚ÄúAfter my first couple of jumps, I knew I was feeling good and that I might do alright. The high jump is all mental, and now I know I can clear 6-2, which makes it much easier (psychologically) to go into a jump.
‚ÄúThe only other time I had beat (Mateo) was at the Cumberland Freshman-Sophomore Invitational last year, and I did it with a 5-10, but this is much more important because it‚Äôs the divisional meet.‚ÄĚ
Despite his third-place finish, Mateo vowed to rebound at the upcoming class and state meets, the latter to be held June 1 at Brown Stadium.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm not that bummed; you need confidence in the high jump,‚ÄĚ he said afterward. ‚ÄúThe thing is, I messed up my left hip in gym class (Monday). We were playing Frisbee, and I came down and landed on it.
‚ÄúLast year at states, I finished fourth; my teammate, Steven Vazquez, won it at 6-8, and I finished fourth at six-even. I‚Äôm still going for the (state) title; this is just a minor setback.‚ÄĚ
Pasquarelli also contributed a third-place finish in the triple jump (38-4 ¬Ĺ), but his championship proved to be one of the major upsets of the day.
One that wasn‚Äôt just happened to be Woonsocket senior sprint standout Jalen Evans‚Äô reign in the 100-meter dash. With a time of 11.40, he easily outhustled the final‚Äôs qualifiers to the victor‚Äôs stand.
Evans had suffered a badly-bruised left knee last football season against Mount Hope, and was saddled with the injury through the indoor campaign.
‚ÄúI wanted to go 11-flat or 10.9, but I think I got the prelims and the semifinals got to me,‚ÄĚ he noted. ‚ÄúI had to come back from that injury, and that held me back from going all out during indoor. This lets me know I‚Äôve got to run a little bit faster.‚ÄĚ
Evans did just that as he became the story of the afternoon. He also snatched the 200 (22.90), the 400 (52.90) and ran the anchor led on the third-place 4 x 400 relay (3:53.80).
Still, as is usually the case, Cumberland collected the team title with 163.5 points, and the Novans took a distant second with 101 while Central Falls ‚Äď which got off to a great start ‚Äď placed third with 67.5, just 3.5 better than fourth-place Lincoln.
Evans accounted for 36 of those 101 points by his lonesome.
Mainstays for the Clippers included sophomore Jared Talbert, who mustered the 300 intermediate hurdles titleist in 44.90 and added a second in the 110 high hurdles (17.30 behind Linek); senior Trent Vasey, who snagged the javelin (158-6) while taking third in the discus and shot put; and, obviously, junior Jason Lambrou, who earned victories in the long jump (19-5 ¬Ĺ) and triple jump (41-6).
Lincoln senior captain Jacob Palladini claimed a second in the 1,500 (4:20.0), but didn‚Äôt mind a bit.
‚ÄúThat was right on my outdoor PR; I felt like I tried my hardest, but I knew I had to run the 800 as well, so I was holding back a little,‚ÄĚ he explained. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm still very pleased. When I ran the 1,500 last year, I took fifth, so I‚Äôm happy.‚ÄĚ
His distance coach, former Lions‚Äô All-State harrier Liz Carlson, indicated Palladini had registered a best-ever 4:13.0 during the indoor season, but she had clocked him at 4:19.9.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs virtually his best outdoor 1,500, so I think it‚Äôs good,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúHe had raced at the Rick Schomp Invitational (in South Kingstown) on Saturday, and went 4:19.1. His legs are tired, so if he can run virtually the same time with only 48 hours rest, that means his conditioning is working.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs great with a taper, so we‚Äôre hoping for big things for him at states.‚ÄĚ
Lions‚Äô sophomore Nick Ryan grabbed the 3,000 crown in 9:27.50, just four ticks in front of Cumberland frosh Sean Laverty.
Yet another surprise occurred in the 110 high hurdles‚Äô final. That‚Äôs when Villa Novan junior Piotr Linek outhustled his opponents and captured the league crown with a personal-best clocking of 16.7.
‚ÄúMy best time was 17.1, so that‚Äôs great!‚ÄĚ he offered. ‚ÄúI was a little scared halfway through because I heard people‚Äôs footsteps behind me, but I wanted to win this because I took second last year.
‚ÄúI was confident, but I didn‚Äôt want to be cocky,‚ÄĚ he continued. ‚ÄúI knew after the fourth hurdle that I was in front, and that‚Äôs when I thought, ‚ÄėYou can win this thing.‚Äô I felt good; I saw the sunlight in my face, and that helped. I felt it was my race (as it progressed).‚ÄĚ
As for the Warriors, they opened the meet with triumphs in both the 4 x 800 and 4 x 100 relays. In the former, the quartet of Armando Andrade, Logan Paulhus, Sam Adofo and Joao DaVeiga raced to an 8:41.20 clocking, while the latter foursome of Daniel Guerrero, Freddy Monteiro, Erico Nobre and freshman Luis Gracia finished in 45.90.
That last group tied the Clippers for the top spot, but officials ruled Gracia had outleaned junior Kyle Courtney. (Courtney, however, did surge to a satisfying runner-up placement behind Evans in the 400).
Mateo settled for second in the 300 hurdles and third in the 110s, though DaVeiga did take the 800 in a solid 2:04.50.
NORTHERN DIVISION OUTDOOR
TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Tucker Field
Team standings ‚Äď 1. Cumberland 163.5; 2. Woonsocket 101; 3. Central Falls 67.5; 4. Lincoln 64; 5. Smithfield 61; 6. Ponaganset 48; 7. Mount St. Charles 27; 8. Scituate 23; 9. North Providence 20; 10. Johnston 11; 11. Burrillville 3.
Area placements (top three)
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4x800m relay ‚Äď 1. Central Falls (Armando Andrade, Logan Paulhus, Sam Adofo, Joao DaVeiga) 8:41.20.
4x100m relay ‚Äď 1. Central Falls (Daniel Guerrero, Freddy Monteiro, Erico Nobre, Luis Gracia) 45.90; 2. Cumberland (Chris Arteaga, Tyler Mobrice, Zhen-Ming Feng, Kyle Courtney) 45.9.
100m dash ‚Äď 1. Jalen Evans (W) 11.40; 2. Chris Arteaga (CUMB) 11.70.
200m dash ‚Äď 1. Evans (W) 22.90; 2. Zhen-Ming Feng (CUMB) 24.20.
400m ‚Äď 1. Evans (W) 52.90; 2. Kyle Courtney (CUMB) 53.60.
800m ‚Äď 1. Joao DaVeiga (CF) 2:04.50; 2. David Agudelo (CUMB) 2:07.10; 3. Colin Berg (MSC) 2:07.40.
1,500m ‚Äď 2. Jacob Palladini (L) 4:20.00; 3. Ian Gould (MSC) 4:21.10.
3,000m ‚Äď 1. Nick Ryan (L) 9:27.50; 2. Sean Laverty (CUMB) 9:31.50; 3. Kevin Seaver (CUMB) 9:38.10.
110m high hurdles ‚Äď 1. Piotr Linek (W) 16.70; 2. Jared Talbert (CUMB) 17.30; 3. Erik Mateo (CF) 17.30.
300m IH ‚Äď 1. Talbert (CUMB) 44.90; 2. Mateo (CF) 45.80; 3. Dan Salazar (CUMB) 45.90.
4x400m relay ‚Äď 1. Cumberland (David Agudelo, Kyle Courtney, Chase Craven, Tom Sullivan) 3:47.60; 3. Woonsocket (Muhammad Gueye, Prinyavong Phongsavan, Pat Reilly, Evans) 3:53.80.
Shot put ‚Äď 1. Connor Fugere (W) 48-8 ¬Ĺ; 3. Trent Vasey (CUMB) 39-1 ¬Ĺ.
Discus ‚Äď 1. Fugere (W) 122-2; 2. Giovanni Gray (L) 120-10; 3. Vasey (CUMB) 114-2.
Javelin ‚Äď 1. Vasey (CUMB) 158-6; 3. Fugere (W) 144-8.
Hammer throw ‚Äď 1. Fugere (W) 193-2; 2. Gray (L) 175-3; 3. Adam Freiman (CUMB) 142-5.
High jump ‚Äď 1. Anthony Pasquarelli (MSC) 6-2; 3. Mateo (CF) 6-0.
Pole vault ‚Äď 2. Sullivan (CUMB) 11-0.
Long jump ‚Äď 1. Jason Lambrou (CUMB) 19-5 ¬Ĺ; 3, Jake O‚ÄôConnor (W) 18-3 ¬ľ.
Triple jump ‚Äď 1. Lambrou (CUMB) 41-6; 3. Pasquarelli (MSC) 38-4 ¬Ĺ.