Under perfect conditions, the spectators at Ponaganset for this past Saturday’s RIIL State X-C Championships were able to witness an outstanding meet on both the girls’ and boys’ side. While the competitions were close, just two were alone at the finish in the individual battles. Congratulations to our latest recipients of the HOKA Athletes of the Week, St. Raphael’s Rory Sullivan and Cumberland’s Sam Henderson. For the second straight week, Sullivan and Henderson earned this honor after their impressive victories at states.
Sullivan, the Class C winner on Oct. 28, was on point from the gun. She matched her 5:37 opening mile from the class meet to establish her ground early and coasted to her first individual title, breaking the tape in a PR of 18 minutes, 8.79 seconds for the five-kilometer distance. She was nearly 10 seconds ahead of Chariho’s Erin vonHousen, who secured second at 18:18.30.
Henderson, the Class A victor, took a different approach in striking it rich. The gifted junior was six seconds behind the leaders at the mile mark and started to do his damage once he hit the thick of the woods just a short time later. Once he exited that portion of the course for the final 1K, it was clear he was well on his way to his victory, which he secured with a PR of 15:33.29. The Clipper standout was nearly a football-field length front of Barrington’s Brandon Piedade, who placed second at 15:47.14.