CHS girls rule Northern Division meet

CHS girls rule Northern Division meet

Cumberland High senior Nicolette Ducharme scored 32 points in last weekend’s Northern Division meet by not only taking first place in the discus and shot put, but also placing second in the hammer and fourth in the javelin. (Breeze photo by Eric Benevides)
Ducharme, Carr capture multiple events, Clippers score team-record 222 points to claim championship

JOHNSTON – The Cumberland High girls’ outdoor track and field team repeated as Northern Division champions on Sunday afternoon, and along the way, the Clippers accomplished something at the two-day divisional meet that they hadn’t done in two decades.

The Clippers scored an astounding team-record 222 points, which was 55 more than their total from the 2019 meet, and marked the first time since their 2001 championship season, when they produced 206 points, that Cumberland scored over 200 points.

Taking a distant second place was Smithfield High with 75 points, and Lincoln High was third with 63 and tallied one more point than fourth-place Johnston High.

Speaking of Johnston, the Panthers hosted the second day of the 11-team meet. Last Saturday morning, Lincoln High served as the site of the meet’s opening day, which solely consisted of the throwing events.

When that day was in the books, the Clippers had scored 40 points, thanks to a sensational meet from Brown University-bound senior Nicolette Ducharme, who won the discus with a throw of 100 feet, seven inches and the shot put with a throw of 37-9, took second place in the hammer (155-5), and finished fourth in the javelin (86-6).

Sophomore Alyssa Yankee also had the best meet of her young career by setting PRs with her third-place finish in the discus (88-6) and fifth place in the shot put.

The following day, the Clippers added to their medal count and struck gold in several events. Sophomore Grace Carr delivered multiple victories in the 800 (2:27.49) and the pole vault (7-6), and Cumberland swept the three relays.

The 4x800 team of junior Ally Jakubiak and freshmen Julia Laverty, Grace Belt, and Emily Finder won its event in a time of 11:14.86, and the 4x100 team of seniors Maggie Peterson and Brynn Eckman, junior Eden Guiterrez, and freshman Grace Bleyer placed first in a meet-record 52.85 seconds. The 4x400 squad of senior Lizzie Pickering, Carr, and freshmen Anna Kalafut and Summer Sartini also handily won its race in 4:29.36.

Providence College-bound senior Olivia Belt also captured the 1,500 in 5:02.07, and Pickering took the 400 in 1:02.23, and while junior Alia Nigri didn’t win any events, she still scored 26 points by placing second in the 300-meter hurdles (53.14 seconds) and triple jump (33-8), third in the long jump (15-10½), and fourth in the 100-meter hurdles.

In the sprints, the Clippers saw Guiterrez place second in the 100 (13.67 seconds) and 200 (28.15) and Eckman add third places in the 100 (13.86) and 200 (28.23), and senior Bailee Brown (3,000, 12:51.44) and Sartini (800, 2:30.90) also added runner-up finishes.

The Lions were led by their talented thrower, senior Hayley Chartier, who scored 26 points by capturing the hammer with a meet-record and PR throw of 165-7 and finishing second in the discus (95 feet) and the shot (34-7). Chartier’s throw in the hammer moved her into the seventh spot in the national rankings in that event.

Central Connecticut State-bound senior Riley Specht also had a solid meet that saw her take second in the 400 (1:03.36) and help the 4x400 relay team of junior Carson Cole and freshmen Camila Tabora and Sequoia Drolet take runner-up honors in 4:56.52, and senior Abigail Gill also won the 100-meter hurdles in 17.13 seconds.

Cumberland native and Blackstone Valley Prep junior Lucy Noris also had an excellent ran in the 3,000 and clocked a time of 11:03.12.

In the boys’ meet, Cumberland’s bid to repeat as divisional champions was snuffed out by Smithfield, which won its program’s first title by scoring 137 points, just six more than the Clippers. Lincoln finished third with 82 points.

The Clippers saw junior Mikel Lacroix score 16 points by winning the 100-meter dash (11.51 seconds) and placing second in the 200 (24.36), and junior Henry Dennen matched Lacroix’s point total with his victory in the 3,000 (9:22.03) and third place in the 1,500 (4:10.37).

Also taking events were junior Alex DeStefano in the pole vault with a 11-foot attempt and the 4x400 relay team of seniors Owen Molis and Jake Gilson, junior Jeb Gilson, and sophomore David Medeiros in a meet-record time of 3:34.31.

The Clippers did plenty of damage in the 800 and 1,500 by taking four of the top six places in each event. In the 800, senior Jorge Rocha’s second-place finish of 2:01.81 guided the Clippers, and in the 1,500, Molis led the way by placing second in 4:06.22.

Second places were also provided by senior J.T. DeDonato in the javelin (141-6) and the 4x800 relay team of seniors Will Henson and Maxwell Iwuc, sophomore Wheaton Harvey, and freshman Jeremiah Rocha (8:42.93).

Lincoln was led by junior Aiden Fletcher, who not only captured the 200 in 23.54 seconds, but also placed second in the 100-meter dash in 11.80 and helped the 4x100 relay team of seniors Spiros Revis and Marc Leonetti and sophomore Oliver Fillion add another runner-up finish in 46.55. Fletcher also finished sixth in the long jump.

Senior Nate Beals also won the javelin with a 149-foot throw, and the 4x800 relay team of senior Austin Balon, juniors Pranjal Mather and Thomas Zhao, and sophomore Nathan Evans claimed its race in 8:42.93. Junior Ryan McPeak also had multiple third-place finishes in the discus (129-2) and javelin (138 feet).

Another local athlete who took part in this meet was Cumberland resident and Mount Saint Charles Academy senior Ryan Slaney, who won the 1,500 in 4:05.15. Slaney and Molis will be continuing their track and field careers at Bryant University after they graduate.

On tap for this weekend are the class championships. Cumberland will compete in the boys’ Class A and girls’ Large School meets on Saturday morning at Coventry High; Lincoln will be in action on Sunday at Providence’s Conley Stadium for the boys’ Class B and the girls’ Medium Schools meets, and Slaney and Noris will take part in the boys’ Class C and the girls’ Small Schools meets at Narragansett High.