The CCRI golf team traveled to Chicopee Country Club in Chicopee, Mass. to compete in the Region XXI Division III Golf Championship on Monday and Tuesday. Chicopee CC is the home course of both Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and Holyoke Community College. The tournament featured 18 participants from five Region XXI community colleges. The schools were CCRI, who joined STCC and Holyoke CC along with Mass Bay Community College, and Dean College.
As a team the Knights won the championship with a two-day total of 649, defeating the second-place team Holyoke CC by 100 strokes, who scored a team total of 749, and 257 strokes over STCC who finished with a team total of 906. Head coach Brian Deighan described the victory as “A total team effort.” Holyoke Community College’s Thomas Hutchings was the medalist, shooting a two-day total of 152 with an impressive 79 on Monday and two-over par 73 on Tuesday, defeating last year’s medalist Anthony Lovechio (Wakefield) of CCRI by four strokes. Lovechio finished with a 156. The other CCRI competitors finished as follows: Pat O’Connor (North Kingstown) was fourth with a 158, Nick DeSalvo (Burrillville) was seventh with a 168, Gina Bartolotta (Wakefield) was eighth shooting a 169 and Zach Sullivan (Cumberland) was ninth with a 172. The CCRI two-day team average was 324.5.
“If we shoot like this we could be a top 10 team at nationals,” Deighan said.
The Knights now gear-up for the NJCAA Division III National Tournament to be held at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, N.Y. from June 4-7.
Allen earns ninth All-American honor
Three members of the CCRI track & field team traveled to Hutchinson Community college in Hutchinson, Kan. to compete at the NJCAA Division I Track and Field National Championships. This is the first time in CCRI history that CCRI has competed at the Division I level since moving up from Division III last year. The three CCRI participants were Bobby Allen (Cranston) in the 1,500 and 5,000, Steven Vazquez (Central Falls) in the high jump and Cassandra Gustafson (Pawtucket) in the javelin. As a team, the Knights finished in 26th place out of 36 teams at the national championships with six total points.
The highlight of the meet was Allen, who placed third in the 1,500 in a CCRI record time of 3:54.42 seconds. This bested his previous record of 3:54.45, which he set at the Silfen Invitational at Connecticut College. The third-place finish also earned the Knights their only six points they had in the meet. In addition, by finishing third he earned honorable mention All-American honors, the ninth All-American honor for Allen over his illustrious CCRI running career. Allen came back to finish ninth in the 5,000 with a time of 15:46.92.
“He is a great fighter and although he wanted more he made us proud with his gallant efforts in both races,” CCRI head coach Greg Cornell said. “This was the best finish ever by a CCRI Knight or Lady Knight at the NJCAA Division I Spring Track and Field Championship.”
Vazquez who placed 17th in the high jump with a 1.98-meter leap. Also, Gustafson placed 13th in the Javelin with a toss of 28.74m.
“All three athletes represented the Community College of Rhode Island well,” Cornell said. “They all have great seasons to look back on.”
Knights’ tennis finishes sixth at nationals
After two days of horrible weather, including rainstorms and tornadoes, the CCRI tennis team finished play at the Division III Men’s Tennis National Tournament at Collin College in Plano, Texas. The Knights finished in sixth place with 4.5 total points. The national champion was Gloucester County CC, which finished with 25 points.
After a rough first day of play, the Knights only had one team alive in the main draw and many competitors still alive in the back draw. The flight two doubles team of Ross Bouchard (South Kingstown) and Tim Holzinger (Foster) were in the main draw national semifinals versus No. 2 seed Ezio Cecere and Carlos Munoz from Bergen CC. Unfortunately for the Knights, they fell to the Bergen duo 6-4 and 6-3.
There were many other singles and doubles matches in which the Knights also competed, beginning with the flight one doubles team of John Chammat (Cumberland) and Sean Gorman (Wakefield) defeating the team of Jaibo He and Keith Lee from Bergen CC in the back draw finals 6-3 and 6-2. Also, National Player of the Year Ross Bouchard won the flight three singles back draw by dominating Richie Collins from Onondaga 6-0 and 6-1. Also finishing the tournament on a high note was Chammat in flight one singles, defeating Gustavo Linde in the back draw semifinal 6-3, 1-6 and 10-8 in a hotly contested match before defeating Stephane Legris from SUNY-Adirondack, who had to retire due to injury.
Other Knights competitors also finished well, including the flight three doubles team Otniel Lopes (Pawtucket) and Eddie Papineau (Scituate), who lost in the back draw finals to the No. 1 seed Lin Ochoa and Will Otremba from Nassau 4-6, 6-4 and 10-4 in another very exciting match. Lopes also fell in the flight two singles back draw final 6-3 and 6-2. In flight four singles back draw finals, Gorman fell to He 6-2 and 6-0. In the flight six singles back draw final, Papineau fell to Andy Parlow 2-6, 6-0 and 6-2 in another intense back-and-forth battle.
Rounding out the Knights competitors at nationals was Holzinger, who fell in the flight five singles back draw quarterfinal to Cody McCann from SUNY-Adirondack 6-2 and 6-2.