Smithfield boys win first Northern Division championship

Smithfield boys win first Northern Division championship

Saunders sweeps jumping events to help Sentinels hold off Clippers; Boyd scores 24 points for girls’ team

JOHNSTON – The Smithfield High boys’ outdoor track and field team captured its program’s first Northern Division championship by putting together an outstanding performance at last weekend’s two-day divisional meet at Johnston High’s Polisena Stadium.

The Sentinels, who hadn’t finished higher than fifth in this meet since 1998, produced a school-record 137 points to top the other 10 schools at the meet, as well as the meet’s defending champion, Cumberland, by six points.

Junior Jayden Saunders led the Sentinels’ charge by sweeping the jumping events and ending the meet with 30 points. He won the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 11 inches and the high jump with a 5-foot-10 distance, and his 40-foot-6 leap in the triple jump easily took that event.

Speaking of the long jump, the Sentinels dominated that event by grabbing three of the top four places and notching 22 points. Right behind Saunders was sophomore Jeremy Knobel, who delivered a jump of 19-8, and senior Aidan Sayles placed fourth.

The 4x100 relay team of senior Zach Isble and sophomores Eric Basile, Will Schiller, and Knoble also claimed their race in 46.42 seconds, and sophomore Elijah Saddlemire also set a meet record in the 800 with his first-place time of 2:01.70.

The Sentinels also ruled the 3,000 and scored 16 points in that event behind freshman Jason Padula’s runner-up finish of 9:44.88, junior Dante DiGregorio third-place finish of 9:48.94, and senior Ethan Maione’s fifth place.

Saddlemire, Isble, Schiller, and Sayles also joined forced on the 4x400 relay team that placed second in 3:44.39. Schiller also took second place in the 400 meters in 53.66 seconds; Sayles was the runner-up in the pole vault at 10-6, and Knobel tied for second place in the high jump at 5-8.

Adding a third place for the Sentinels was their 4x800 relay squad of juniors Aiden Powers and Unwana Okokon, sophomore Reilly Bennett, and Maione, which clocked a time of 8:50.80.

In the girls’ meet, the Sentinels took second place with 75 points, as Cumberland handily won its second straight title with 222. Ponaganset placed sixth with 32 points.

Sophomore Lauren Boyd had a big meet for the Sentinels, as she captured the 100-meter dash and tied the meet record in that event with her time of 13.14 seconds and won the long jump with a leap of 17-4 that was an inch off the meet record. Boyd ended the meet with 24 points, as she also finished fourth in the triple jump.

The 4x800 relay team of juniors Audrey Turcotte and Marissa McDonough and freshmen Kamryn Lynch and Caroline Bosco took second place in a time of 11:46.02, as did Sophia Harrison in the pole vault at 7-6.

Three sophomores also supplied third places for the Sentinels: Mia DeGregorio in the 300-meter hurdles (57.14 seconds), Lily Ford in the javelin (90-10), and Lillie McCormick in the pole vault (7-6).

Ponaganset’s top finish came from junior Rachel Morin, who finished second in the high jump with a 5-foot-1 leap. Placing third were Ponaganset’s 4x100 relay team of seniors Melanie Wilber and Emma Papa, junior Maya Hannah, and sophomore Payton Klein (58.12 seconds), Ponaganset sophomore Amelia Jackson in the 800 (2:37.11), and Scituate senior Leah Tabor in the 3,000 (14:21.74).

Smithfield and Ponaganset will compete on Sunday at Providence’s Conley Stadium for the boys’ Class B and the girls’ Medium Schools meets. Scituate, meanwhile, will return to action on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the boys’ Class C and the girls’ Small Schools championship meets at Narragansett High.