Class Meet Preview: Class A Boys, Large School Girls

For about nine hours on Saturday, athletes and schools from throughout the state will battling for individual and team glory at the annual RIIL Class Championships at the PCTA field house. Below we preview the Class A and Large School championship meets.




Day/Time: Saturday at 9 a.m.

Teams: Mount Pleasant, Woonsocket, East Providence, Cranston East, Cranston West, Cumberland, North Kingstown, Coventry, Toll Gate, La Salle Academy, Bishop Hendricken, Pilgrim, West Warwick

Last Year’s results: Hendricken took home its 40th team title with a 168-141 victory over runner-up La Salle. Cumberland was third with 67 points.

Athletes/Events To Watch: Could we have a new No. 1 in the 25-pound weight throw? With the level of competition expected to perform behind the cage, it’s certainly possible. Six of the top 10 throwers in the state are in this event, including the 1-3-5 ranked Adam Beaudry of Woonsocket (66 feet, 1 inch) and Hendricken teammates Matt Giuliano (64-7.5) and Derek Goll (63-11.75). It’s championship time. That’s usually when we start seeing more and more PRs. That’s what Beaudry on Monday when he won the Northern Division title with his current best. Save for a few other top athletes, this event should feature most that will be occupying the podium at the State Meet in two weeks…In his final league meet of the season on Jan. 22, Pilgrim’s Brandon Wolfenden came just a quarter of an inch from state leader Kaden Thomas of Rogers in the shot with a heave of 52-10.75, his second straight 50-plus throw. Wolfenden made it three in a row at the Suburban Division Championships on Tuesday where he took gold with a 52-6.25 effort. He appears to be peaking at just the right time. Will we see another career best this weekend? It sure looks that way…Along with a few other events, the 3,000-meter run is usually one of those events where Hendricken racks up a considerable amount of points. That should continue this weekend where the Hawks have three or more runners that we expect will be occupying some of those top spots. Speaking of that top spot, look for La Salle’s Marshall Vernon to be making a statement in this race. The Rams’ sophomore leads the field with a best of 8:36.0 from the Yale Track Classic. Vernon was a little under the weather at the Metropolitan Division Championships where he gutted his way to a fourth-place finish in the 600m. If healthy, the talented underclassmen will be tough to beat on Saturday. He’s also entered in the 1,500m (4:07.07) and 1K (2:35.15), where he also has the top seed. Will he run all three? It’s possible. The 1,500m appears to be his toughest to attain gold if he does the triple. Vernon will be matched against the Hawks’ Jack Moretta (4:08.10), who will have fresh legs. In the 1,000m, his seed is four seconds faster than the next two, Cumberland’s Connor Magill (2:39.45) and Hendricken’s Ollie Ide (2:39.65(….Cranston West’s Alonzo Parker-Sharpe is unbeaten so far against his RI rivals in the 55m dash. The Falcon senior’s perfect streak will be tested this weekend. Parker-Sharpe holds the No. 1 seed with his best of 6.57, a time he ran in the prelims of the Suburban Division Championships. He clocked 6.66 in the finals. It will be deja vu for Parker-Sharpe on Saturday where he could battle against the same runners he did at the divisionals. The top seven from that meet are in this race with 2-3 finishers, Joel Felix of Hendricken (second, 6.78) and Toll Gate’s Mason Tanner (third, 6.82), posing the biggest threat. The 300m could be thriller to the end, The top four seeds have all broken 37 seconds with Parker-Sharpe (36.40), La Salle’s Garrett Giroux-Pezzullo (36.49), Hendricken’s Jacob Coates (36.75) and La Salle’s Joshua Aceto ….Consistently over the last few years, La Salle and Hendricken have produced some of our state’s top 4x200m relay squads. It will be no different this weekend. The Rams currently have the fastest time in the state with their time of 1:30.95 from the Catholic Conference Invitational at the TRACK at New Balance on Jan. 21. Occupying the two spot is Hendricken with a time of 1:32.45 on the flat oval of the PCTA. One of the first events of the day should provide plenty of excitement.

Team Outlook: At last year’s meet, Hendricken won by 27 points over La Salle. That margin should be much bigger this weekend. The Rams look to be a shoo-in for the runner-up spot again. Cumberland, North Kingstown, Pilgrim and Toll Gate could be fighting for third.



Day/Time: Saturday at 9 a.m.

Teams: Barrington, Central, Classical, Coventry, Cranston East, Cranston West, Cumberland, East Providence, Hope, La Salle Academy, Mount Pleasant, North Kingstown, Pilgrim, Woonsocket

Last Year’s Results: Classical won the school first-ever team title. The Purple collected 139 points. Barrington was second with 83 points, while Cranston West placed third with 75 points.

Athletes/Events To Watch: The sprinting events have the ability to generate quite a bit of electricity inside the PCTA. In both the 55m dash and 300m, Cranston West senior and recent Northeastern commit Ailani Sutherland is the top seed. Sutherland has a season best of 7.28 in 55m from the MSTCA Boston Holiday Challenge last month. Her all-time best is 7.11 from her second-place finish at the New England Championships in 2023. Sutherland has the runners to push her this weekend. Among them are East Providence junior Nazarae Phillip (7.40) and La Salle senior Alexis Caggiano (7.41). In the 300m, it will be a rematch of this past Saturday’s Bayha Division Championships. In that race, Caggiano got the best of her rival with a PR of 41.64. Sutherland, who ran 41.78 for second, owns a best of 41.51 from the Holiday Challenge last month…Like the boys, the weight throw includes a lot of familiar faces among the top seeds. Leading the way is our state’s first 50-footer, Woonsocket’s Adelaide Caron, who unleashed a PR of 51-2.75 to capture the individual title at the Headley Division Championships this past weekend. Classical’s Susan Adekunie has been relatively consistent all season with her best of 49-7.25 coming at the season-opening RITCA Invitational. Could she join the 50-club on Saturday? Other athletes that should figure in the mix are Woonsocket’s Angeliea Ortiz (48-5.5), Classical’s Gifty Bediako (48-2), Coventry’s Mia Hoskins (48-2) and Woonsocket’s Isabella Piette (47-8.25). Ortiz’s effort came at the divisional championships where she was a runner-up to her teammate with a two-foot best…As always, handoffs prove crucial in events like the 4x200m. That will more than likely be the difference in this one where our state’s top three teams will be locking horns on Saturday – Classical (1:46.86). Cranston West (1:47.98) and La Salle (1:48.95)…Pilgrim’s Keaney Bayha is the top seed in the 1,500m (4:43.08), 600m (1:41.59) and the 1,000m (3:03.47).

Team Outlook: This one could be tight between Classical and La Salle. Both teams are capable of hitting the century mark, which we feel will be needed to hoist the trophy at the end. Cranston West, Cumberland and Barrington appear to be the leading contenders to earn the bronze on Saturday.

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