Warwick Beacon photos by Kevin Pomeroy
LEADING THE WAY: Hendricken's Connor Doyle runs at the head of the pack in the 3,000 during Monday's regular season finale. The Hawks beat La Salle and Toll Gate to finish at 9-1.
The Bishop Hendricken outdoor track team doesn’t lose very often in dual meets.
But on April 24, the Hawks lost by one point – 77.5-76.5 – to Classical, marking their first defeat in the regular season since losing once in 2008, also to Classical.
While it was disappointing, and at 9-1, Hendricken is almost assured a second-place finish in the Central Division behind the unbeaten Purple, it was far from the end of the world in the big picture.
And on Monday, the Hawks shook off the loss the best they could and resumed their winning ways. They defeated La Salle 108.5-50.5 and took care of Toll Gate 140-14.
It didn’t completely make up for falling a little short against Classical, but it was certainly nice to get back on track.
With the Schomp Invitational at Exeter-West Greenwich set to be held this Saturday, Hendricken was working on qualifying some of its athletes, and did just that.
“We did take care of business,” Hendricken head coach Jim Doyle said. “We had some people that we had to qualify for this upcoming meet – this week is the Schomp Invitational – especially the 3,000, and those guys ran quite well.”
Those guys are sophomore Colin Tierney, freshman Michael Potter and junior Connor Doyle, who ran 1-2-3 in the race. Tierney set the pace with a time of 9:00.7.
There was plenty more to be happy with, though.
Hendricken actually won nine other events and consistently had multiple people scoring points.
One group that left Doyle excited was his corps of freshmen sprinters.
At the front of that group are Power Kanga and Lee Moses. Kanga and Moses took first and second in the 200, while Kanga captured first in the 100. They also teamed up with freshman John Rosario and junior Marco DelVecchio to win the 4x100 relay.
Rosario added a tie for fourth in the 100, while John Cute – a sophomore – took third in the 100 and third in the 200.
“They’re bringing their times down,” Doyle said. “In the 100 and 200, they may not be state meet scores, but they’re significant in the relays. They’re running 23 seconds flat in the 200 and 11.2 in the 100. Those are outstanding times.”
Moses also helps out in the long jump, where he captured second place on Monday with a distance of 19 feet, eight inches.
The Hawks continued their strong work in the running events throughout the day. The team of Marcus Swift, Nick Russo, Cameron Ricci and Matt Lombardi won the 4x400, while Mark Vuono, Tierney and Palumbo finished 2-3-4 in the 1,500.
Alex Doherty grabbed fourth in the 800, and Lombardi and Rosario took home second and third in the 400.
In the hurdles, Jordan Barboza won the 300 with a time of 43.3, and he came in second in the 110. Adam McAteer took third in both events.
The Hawks also excelled in the field events.
Nick DeCiantis took home first place in the shot put with a throw of 47-1, then won the discus with a toss of 121-5. Shawn McAssey finished fourth in the shot and second in the discus, while Cory Woodbine took third in the discus. Ben Nelson was fifth in the shot.
In the javelin, Mike Fedorenko came in second place with a throw of 130 feet, and Chris Duxbury took fifth.
The hammer was even better, as Hendricken swept the top four spots. Reuben Horace dominated with a toss of 197-8, and he was followed by Joe Vincent, John Celona and Woodbine.
Brendan McNamara was third in the pole vault.
“I’m enthused about the performances that we have,” Doyle said. “We have key people in the distance events and our weight events. I think we’ll be fine.”
Now the goal is to avenge the loss to Classical and take care of business going forward.
In 2008, when Hendricken lost to Classical during the regular season, the Hawks ended up winning the division meet, the class meet and the state championship.
This year, there is reason for optimism again.
Hendricken was missing a few key contributors against Classical and still only lost by a single point.
But there is also some room for doubt.
The team is without senior captain Kyle O’Connell, who was an All-Stater last year and runs in the relays and the hurdles. He’s currently injured, though, and hasn’t been able to contribute thus far.
Key sprinter Ryan Brannigan didn’t come out for outdoor track after being one of the top runners on Hendricken’s indoor team.
Hendricken will simply have to wait and see how it works out. After the Schomp Invitational this weekend, the Central Division Championships will happen at Toll Gate on Wednesday. Ten days later, the Class A Championships kick off at Chariho, followed by the state championship on June 2.
Now, though, the Hawks are working on what they can control – namely, getting a little revenge for their rare dual meet loss.
“Central Division Championship is next Wednesday,” Doyle said. “We hope to avenge Classical there.”
Titans have strong showings
Toll Gate also competed in the meet on Monday, and it put forth a few standout performances of its own.
The Titans had three third-place finishers. James Norman was third in the shot put, Tyler Inkley was third in the javelin and Chris Durand took third in the long jump.
Also in the long jump, Yanghuang Lu took fourth place. In the 1,500, Henry Smithers led the way with a fourth place finish. Joe Frost wasn’t far behind, as he came in sixth.