PROVIDENCE — When it comes to the boys’ hurdles, North Smithfield continues to corner the market.
It doesn’t matter the season. The same axiom holds true.
From regular-season dual meets to every postseason meet, the same three names from the same school have appeared among the top finishers. At Saturday’s RIIL outdoor track & field state meet, a trio of Northmen finished 1-2-3 in the 110-meter hurdles. How often does that happen?
Around Conley Stadium, the 110 hurdles became known as the North Smithfield Invitational with 2021 graduate Aidan Beauchemin beating out teammates/juniors Ray Marsella and Matthew Stamatelatos. Beauchemin’s winning time was 15.19 seconds followed by Marsella (15.24 seconds) and Stamatelatos (15.49 seconds).
“I thought for sure that [Marsella] was going to take it, but I leaned forward. It was a nail-biter,” said Beauchemin while standing next to Marsella and Stamatelatos. “We’re the three best hurdlers in the state.”
The order of finishers conjured up memories of this past February’s indoor state meet when Beauchemin captured the 55-meter hurdles while Marsella finished in the runner-up spot. An all-state soccer player, Beauchemin credits much of success to the frequent challenges he’s received from Marsella and Stamatelatos.
“We push each other so hard in practice. We’ll go head-to-head. These guys [Marsella and Stamatelatos] have been busting their butts over the past six months,” said Beauchemin who earned a fourth-place finish in the javelin (160-10). “Wait until next year. They’re in great hands.”
Stamatelatos did his part in backing up the claim made by Beauchemin. Taking home top honors in the boys’ 300-meter hurdles was Stamatelatos, who posted a winning time of 41.03 seconds.
“When you have more than one quality hurdler, they’re always trying to best one another,” said Gary Seal, the North Smithfield coach who’s in-charge of the hurdlers. “The exciting thing to watch is that they’ve all gone back-and-forth.”
Here are some additional highlights from Saturday’s state meet:
• Rachael Mongeau knew she had some work to do in the girls’ 3,000-meter run. The challenge was met head-on as the 2021 St. Raphael graduate battled back from an early hole to place a respectable fourth (11:00.86).
• The Cumberland High boys’4x400 relay team established a school record as Jeb Gilson, Jordge Rocha, Owen Molis and Ethan Carpenter teamed up to place fourth (3:30.08). Molis grabbed some additional points for the Clippers in the 800 (third, 1:57.65).
• Cumberland junior Henry Dennen placed fourth in the boys’ 3,000 (8:46.30) while classmate Alex DeStefano jumped 11 feet, six inches to claim second in the boys’ pole vault.
•Staying with the boys' 3,000 running event, Mount St. Charles 2021 grad Ryan Slaney established a PR after clocking in at 8:47.32 - good for fifth place.
• Cumberland’s 4x800 girls relay team shaved six seconds off their previous fastest time to place fourth. Producing a time of 9:37.95 was Grace Carr, Summer Sartini, Liz Pickering, and Olivia Belt.
• Mount St. Charles 2021 graduate Piper O’Connell earned third place in the girls’ javelin (114 feet).
• Lincoln High 2021 graduate Haley Chartier placed second in the shot put (personal-best 37-4) fourth in the hammer (115-10), and sixth in the discus (103-2).
• Lincoln High junior Ryan Mcpeak earned a runner-up finish in the boys’ discus (157-3).
• Team-wise, North Smithfield's success in the hurdles enabled the Northmen to place fourth in the boys' meet (42 points). Right behind was Woonsocket (fifth, 40 points). The St. Raphael boys and Cumberland boys also finished inside the top 10. SRA placed eighth (26 points) while Cumberland placed ninth (22 points).
Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03