Smithfield jumps to top of class

Smithfield jumps to top of class

Girls’ indoor track and field team holds off Saints to capture Small Schools title

PROVIDENCE – The Smithfield High girls’ indoor track and field team took first place in the Small Schools championship meet last Saturday afternoon at the Providence Career & Technical Academy field house, but the Sentinels needed to overcome some tough competition from St. Raphael Academy before taking home the 13th class title in their program’s history.

Smithfield, which was led by senior Kendra Ezeama’s, pictured, victories in the shot put and weight throws, scored 74 points, just three more than SRA, to claim its first championship since 2016. The Prout School wasn’t too far behind in third place with 67 points.

“We received some really great competition from St. Ray’s,” Smithfield girls’ head coach John Marchand said. “Obviously, they have an up-and-coming program with (head) coach (Chris) Magill. We work with him with the Sentinel Striders, so I can’t say enough nice things about him and his program.”

The Saints were led by junior Rachael Mongeau, who captured three events – the 1,000, 1,500, and 3,000 meters. “Lisa (Mongeau, SRA assistant coach), Rachael’s mom, and I grew up a street apart,” said Marchand, “I knew her growing up, and there’s a pretty close, nice relationship between the two teams. We have a lot of respect for them.”

The Sentinels and the Saints were neck-and-neck, as the final relay races were playing out and the long jump finals were being recorded.

The Saints picked up a point in the 4x400 relay when their team placed sixth, but the Sentinels picked up 14 points in the long jump to clinch the title, as senior Graesyn Fontaine took second place with a leap of 16 feet, 10 1/2 inches and freshman Lauren Boyd placed third with a 16-6 3/4 jump.

SRA junior Jordan Cournoyer ended up taking fourth in that event with a leap of 16-3, but that was only good for four points.

“It came down to Lauren Boyd,” Marchand said. “She barely got into the finals, but she was able to get a huge PR jump; she did that twice, and that ended up giving us the points we needed to move ahead of (Cournoyer), who is a great jumper. If you reverse those (places), St. Ray’s would have won by a point.”

As for Ezeama, who won the state indoor and outdoor titles in the shot put last season, she produced 20 points by claiming the shot with a throw of 39-11 3/4 and the weight in 48-2 1/4. Also winning an event for the Sentinels was senior Hannah Schofield, who captured the 55-meter hurdles in 9.51 seconds.

Smithfield also scored 14 points in the high jump, as senior Hannah Falcone and junior Sophia Harrison posted jumps of 4-10, and the Sentinels’ 4x800 relay team of seniors Anna Logan and Alyssa Cournoyer and sophomores Marissa McDonough and Christy Ramage also placed second in a time of 11:35.11.

“I’m really happy for our girls,” Marchand said. “We worked hard, especially the seniors. It was a lot of mental toughness that they showed this year. We had a lot of freshmen that came in, and the seniors kept working, and that ended up being a nice combination. This gives them something of their own to be proud of, instead of comparing them to (the state outdoor championship teams of) 2015-16.”

In the boys’ Class C meet, Smithfield took fifth place with 37 points, with senior Tim Ferron scoring 14 by finishing second in the 1,500 (4:42.01) and third in the 1,000 (2:48.73).

Scituate finished 10th with 16, and Ponaganset was 11th with 11. The Spartans’ points came from senior Colin Maher, who won the 1,000 in a time of 2:44.32, and senior Conal Wilkie, who took third in the 1,500 in 4:43.95. Senior Ben Mancini led Ponaganset with his second-place finish in the long jump (21-1).

The top athletes from the three schools will be back in Providence on Saturday at 11 a.m. for the state championship meet.