Hawks looking to regain indoor track crown
Bishop Hendricken knew who its enemy was at last year’s indoor track state meet and had reason to be worried. Chariho knocked the Hawks from their perch, winning the title and ending Hendricken’s run of 17 consecutive state championships.
This season, as the Hawks try to recapture the crown, challenges will come from far and wide.
“It’s going to be very competitive,” said Hendricken head coach Jim Doyle. “It’s not like last year, when there was one strong team. I think a lot of teams will be in the mix – Classical, North Kingstown, Barrington, Central. It’ll be interesting.”
In that landscape, the Hawks will be focused on themselves. If they deliver a strong showing, they’ll have a good chance to regain the championship.
“As always, we’re anxious,” Doyle said. “I think we’ll be in the thick of things. It’s going to depend on how we perform and how the other teams perform.”
The Hawks already own the division and class championships. They won the Class A title on Tuesday after the meet was postponed due to the weekend’s snow storm.
While the scoring will be more spread out at states, the class meet offered some positive signs for the Hawks. They took second in five events and racked up points with their depth.
It’ll be a similar formula at states.
“We’re probably not going to get a lot of the first-place finishes that are out there,” Doyle said. “We have to chip away and try to pick up as many points as possible. Everyone knows that, and that’s what they’re focused on.”
Hendricken will be expecting a lot of points from its distance runners, which is something it couldn’t do last year. Chariho dominated the distance events, neutralizing one of the Hawks’ biggest strength.
Connor Doyle, Colin Tierney, Mike Potter, Tyler Henseler and Alex Doherty will lead the charge. Doyle won the 3,000 at the class meet, while Tierney and Potter went two-three in the 1,500.
“Those guys have to step up,” Doyle said. “If they run well and we get our distance points, that will be a big help.”
The Hawks will also be looking for points in the relay events and the 300. They should contend for first place in both the 4x200 and 4x400. In the 300, senior Alex Perreault owns the state’s top time this season and he’ll be looking for the title. Perreault is also part of the relays.
“He has to have a big day,” Doyle said. “He’s a senior and this is his opportunity to go out with a state championship.”
Sophomore Lee Moses, another member of the relays, will be looking to score some individual points as well. Moses shined at the class meet, taking second in the 55 dash and second in the long jump.
“He was unbelievable,” Doyle said.
The Hawks could sneak in for some points in the high jump, and they’ll also be looking for a good day in the weight events. Seniors Nick DeCiantis and Cory Woodbine led the charge at the class meet.
“We have to have a decent day there, especially in the shot put,” Doyle said.
All in all, the Hawks are in position to contend. Now it’s just about delivering.
“We looked strong in the division and the class, but the state meet scores out differently,” Doyle said. “It’s a big meet and everybody is ready for it. We’ll see. I think everybody knows what we have to do.”
Titans, Pats ready to go
Toll Gate and Pilgrim are coming off solid performances in the Class B Championship and will be looking for a good showing at states. The Titans took third at the class meet while the Pats finished fifth. Toll Gate was led by Henry Smithers, who took second in the 600, and Tom Martella, who placed third in the 300. Pilgrim’s Steve Croft had a big night, winning the 55 dash and taking second in the 300. Teammate Derek Daluz took fifth in the 300, while Dylan Gardner finished fourth in the weight throw.
Pilgrim and Toll Gate are also coming off solid class meet showings on the girls’ side. Several standouts are gearing up for states, including Pilgrim’s Melanie Brunelle, Becca O’Donnell and Destinee Barrette and Toll Gate’s Erika Pena and Heather Allstrom.