Coles captures state hammer title

Coles captures state hammer title

Woonsocket High sophomore Logan Coles, left, and throws coach Marc Piette pose for a picture near a sign that displays Coles’ winning throw in the 12-pound hammer at last Saturday afternoon’s RIIL Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Brown University. (Breeze photos by Eric Benevides)
Nationally ranked sophomore delivers 222-11 throw, places second in shot put

PROVIDENCE – Logan Coles is only a sophomore, but in his two seasons in the Woonsocket High boys’ track and field program, the nationally ranked thrower has compiled a vast collection of runner-up, third-place, and fourth-place medals in state and New England competition.

But in his first event at last Saturday afternoon’s RIIL Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Brown University, Coles was able to snag the medal that’s eluded him for so long – the shiny gold one reserved for state champions.

Coles overcame a rocky start to seize the 12-pound hammer with a throw of 222 feet, 11 inches that came on his fourth of six attempts and allowed him to edge one of his local rivals, Lincoln junior Kyle Moison, by 10 inches.

Coles’ victory was part of a 20-point afternoon, which didn’t get off to a great start when he toed the circle for the hammer competition. He fouled his first two attempts before getting off a 212-foot throw on his third to land in the finals.

Coles then unleashed his winning throw, and on his fifth attempt, he turned in a distance of 218-6. Moison, who held the lead after three rounds with a throw of 219-9, aired out his 222-1 throw on his fifth attempt, but he and Coles ended up fouling on their final throws.

“It wasn’t perfect, but it definitely feels good,” said Coles, who placed second in the shot put and third in the 25-pound weight throw at last February’s state indoor meet. “After the (state) indoor (meet), I was a little disappointed, but I came out and got it done and got the ‘W’ today, so that’s all that matters.”

The weight throw may have been one of the top events of the entire state meet, especially since it featured a handful of throwers who are ranked among the top dozen in the country.

Entering last weekend’s meet, Classical senior Jacob Furland was ranked second with a season-best 229-foot distance, and not far behind were Coles (4th, 225-10), Moison (5th, 222-10), Bishop Hendricken’s Ryan Morel (11th, 206-7), and Cumberland senior Cole Hooper (12th, 204-2). Morel ended up in third with a throw of 208-6, and Furland placed fourth in 206-5.

“It’s a family,” Coles said. “Kyle’s my boy, Jake’s my boy, and Ryan’s my boy. We just come out here and we like to compete, but it’s definitely friendly and we’re all pretty tight.”

Roughly an hour later, Coles placed second in the shot put with a throw of 52-10, as Moison won the event with a distance of 56-6. Moison, who was the state indoor champion in the shot and the hammer, then captured his fourth RIIL title of the year in the discus with a throw of 176-4, while Coles settled for fifth place with a throw of 141-2.

Another athlete with local ties also tasted state championship glory, as North Smithfield native Jack Wilbur, who is a junior on the La Salle Academy boys’ squad, ran the opening leg on the Rams’ 4x800 relay team that took top honors in a time of 8:02.86.

The Villa Novans, who finished eighth out of 27 schools in the team standings with 22 points, also saw Cedric Delva finish in a tie for fifth place in the high jump with a 5-foot-10 leap and Zach Macintyre place sixth in the javelin with a throw of 168-5.

Freshman Tarik Robinson-O’Hagan just missed out on a spot on the awards podium, as he took seventh place in the discus and eighth in the shot, and Derin Paskanik also came up short as he placed seventh in the hammer.

North Smithfield High’s best finishes came from Xavier Croteau, who finished ninth in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. He also helped the Northmen’s 4x100 relay team of Justin Decelles, Jason Meriwether, and freshman Matthew Stamatelatos place ninth.

In the girls’ meet, the top local finisher was Mount Saint Charles sophomore Edie Tomka, who placed third in the high jump with a 5-foot-1 leap. The winner was Johnston sophomore Olaitan Olagundoye, who cleared 5-3, and the second-place finisher was South Kingstown junior Sydni Vesterholm, who also jumped 5-1, but needed fewer attempts than Tomka to clear the bar.

Kent State University-bound Woonsocket senior Marissa Henley also finished fifth in the hammer (161-10) and WHS sophomore Dajonna Lewis (100-meter dash, 12.75 seconds) and freshman Charity Harlan (triple jump, 34-2½) seized sixth places. Adding a seventh place was Novan freshman Jahzarah Alexis in the high jump.

The Mounties also received seventh places from Julia Kamp in the 400 and the 4x800 relay team of Kamp, Meghan Whalen, Eileen Whalen, and Emily Graham, which set a school record with its time of 10:07.77. Mount’s 4x400 relay team of Kamp, Meghan Whalen, Eileen Whalen, and Betina Yacoub also placed eighth.

Most of the athletes who placed in the top six of their events will be back in action at Saturday’s 74th annual New England Championships at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine.

Coles, who is ranked fourth in the nation in the event, delivered a throw of 222 feet, 11 inches that topped the runner-up finisher, Lincoln High junior Kyle Moison, by 10 inches. Coles will be throwing the hammer at the New Balance Nationals next week in North Carolina.
Several local high school athletes turned in excellent showings in the field events at last Saturday afternoon’s RIIL Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Brown University. Left, Mount Saint Charles Academy sophomore Edie Tomka focuses on the bar during the girls’ high school competition. Tomka took third place with a 5-foot-1 leap. Center, Woonsocket High freshman Tarik Robinson-O’Hagan gives it his all in the boys’ shot put, an event he took eighth place with a throw of 46 feet, 4 1/2 inches. Right, North Smithfield High senior Jason Meriwether gets ready to land in the sand in the boys’ long jump.