Mount boys claim ninth place at RIIL cross country meet

Mount boys claim ninth place at RIIL cross country meet

Slaney, Laquerre receive All-State honors; Belvin is 24th in girls’ race

GLOCESTER – It had been quite some time since the Mount Saint Charles Academy boys’ cross country team last cracked the top 10 in the RIIL Championships at Ponaganset High, but thanks to the performances of their top two seniors, the Mounties were able to end that drought.

Ryan Slaney, pictured, earned Second-Team All-State honors by taking 13th place in 16:22.49 and Ceejay Laquerre grabbed the final spot among the Third-Team All-State selections by finishing 21st in 16:35.99, and that led the Mounties to a 9th-place finish that was their best showing at the state meet since 2012.

“I’m very happy with them,” said MSC cross country coach Amy Noecker. “It was very thrilling to be able to have them run here today and run as well as they did. In the four years I’ve coached this team, we’ve never had a full team come (to this meet), so it was really exciting to have all of them here.”

This season was truly a memorable one for the Mounties, who not only posted a 10-2 dual-meet mark in the Northern Division, which was good for third place and marked their best record in eight seasons, but also finished third in the previous weekend’s Class C meet, just 12 points behind the winner, Smithfield.

Of course, the Mounties’ act wasn’t just a two-man show, and that was evident at last Saturday’s meet. MSC had three more runners finish among the top 80 with times under 18½ minutes: freshman Ethan Fadden, who finished 68th in 18:00.29, and seniors Ben Happenny (75th, 18:17,74) and Owen Noecker (78th, 18:21.67).

Finishing just ahead of Fadden was Woonsocket’s representative in this race, senior Drew Paskanik, who took 65th place in 17:57.39.

In the girls’ meet, the Mounties saw freshman sensation Emmy Belvin conclude her rookie season with an exclamation point by placing 24th in a time of 20:00.91 that destroyed her previous personal-best time by 28.09 seconds.

“She did awesome,” said Noecker. “She ran a great race. I’m super happy for her. She had a major PR on a challenging course, so that was exciting.”

Woonsocket High senior Drew Paskanik, shown running through the woods and approaching the first-mile mark, took 65th place in a time of 17:57.39.