State Meet Preview: Boys’ Throwing & Jumping Events

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes did his thing on Sunday night by lifting the Kansas City Chiefs to their second straight Super Bowl title. Now it’s time for track & field’s version of the Super Bowl in the Ocean State with this weekend’s RIIL State Indoor Championships. Like Mahomes did with his game-winning drive in overtime to secure of 25-22 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, we’re predicting many stars to shine inside the PCTA field house on Saturday when our top boys and girls compete for individual and team glory.

Over the week, we’re going do our best to let you know just who those possible stars may be when the stakes are at their highest. As always, your welcome in advance if we happened to provide some billboard material for your athletes and teams. It certainly wasn’t our intention. But it is fun to stir things up a bit, isn’t it?

Without further adieu, here we go. Below we feature the boys’ 25-pound weight throw, shot put, long jump and high jump.



You don’t want to miss this event! We repeat, you don’t want to miss this event! Again, we repeat, you don’t want to miss this event! Do you get the point? There will be several exciting events taking place at Saturday’s meet, what happens behind the cage at the far right side of the track oval, could be the event of the meet. Throughout this season, we’ve had nearly a half dozen new state leaders. At the Last Chance Invitational this past weekend, we had eight lead changes before a winner was determined. As in years past, there is no clear-cut favorite, no one that we would consider a front-runner on Saturday. It’s that close. We can name at least five that we believe can win this weekend. Bishop Hendricken’s Matt Giuliano leads this talented field after unleashing a state best of 69 feet, 4.25 inches to place second at the Millrose Games this past Friday. Tyler Durang of Lincoln seems to have caught lightning in a bottle. Durang captured individual honors at Last Chance with a state No. 2 of 68-9, a best by three feet. At No. 3 is Woonsocket’s Shamrock Thoun, our Class A victor, who was third at Millrose with a PR of 68-8.5. Hendricken’s Derek Goll (67-2.75) and Woonsocket’s Adam Beaudry (66-1) are the next two in the rankings and athletes you can’t ignore this weekend. We can almost guarantee that a 70-footer will take this title and, judging by our entries, it could be any of a number of athletes that can do it. No doubt, this is a take-your-pick event and one that can’t be missed. Have we said that enough?


After watching the weight throw, make the short walk across the track to the shot put circle. This event could generate some excitement, too. We have three in this event that we believe are capable of grabbing that gold medal. The top seed is Rogers’ Kaden Thomas, who has held the No. 1 spot since unleashing the metal ball a distance of 51-9 to capture the crown at the season-opening RITCA Invitational. Since that performance, he has been 50-plus four other times, including a PR and state-leading 52-11 on Jan. 15. This past weekend at the Last Chance Invite, Thomas lost for the first time to a state rival when red-hot Brandon Wolfenden of Pilgrim took the title with a distance of 52-3.25 to Thomas’s 51-11 effort. Wolfenden has been laser-focused since winning last month’s World Trophy Invitational by six feet with a then-best of 51-11. That began a string of five straight victories in the shot, including a league meet win a few weeks ago where he had his all-time best of 52-10.75. You also can’t count out Durang, who recently joined the 50-foot club with a best of 50-5.75 from Last Chance, an effort that enabled him to sweep the throwing events. Other top athletes are La Salle’s Jonathan Cheshire (48-0.75), Pilgrim’s Cole Menning (47-7.25) and Lincoln’s Mitchell Murtha (47-2.75), to name a few.


So far this season, we’ve had two athletes exceed 22 feet in this event. Another is an inch shy of that milestone and a few others are right in the mix. We always say, one big jump in this event can make a difference in the end no matter where you’re seeded among the upper-echelon of competitors. Over at the sand pit, it could get intense, very intense. Moses Brown’s Gabe Lane will be looking to make it two straight for the Quakers. A year after former teammate Salter Arms earned the title, Lane has potential to do the same. He holds the No. 1 seed with his winning leap of 22-1.75 from the Class C Championships. Joshua Dabanka of Classical is at No. 2 with a best of 22-0.5 from the divisional championships. And right there at the third seed is Hendricken’s Cooper Maher at 21-11. Of the trio, Debanka has been the most consistent with three other 21-plus jumps and a triumphant 20-11.75 from the Class A meet. Lane’s PR effort was a best by more than a foot and Maher was nearly three feet further that his season best in the only other time he competed in this event back in mid December at the RITCA Invitational. There’s a bunch more that you can’t ignore, too. Among them are Hendricken’s Jude Monti (21-9.75), La Salle’s Ephraim Abhulme (21-8.75), Pilgrim’s Hunter Schobel (21-7.5) and Middletown’s Cam Miller (21-7.5).


We think 6-7 or 6-8 might win this event on Saturday. The competition certainly leads us to believe that. Portsmouth’s Aidan Chen and Central’s Demetrius Outland are tied for the No. 1 spot in the state rankings with both clearing bests of 6-6 this season. Outland, the reigning outdoor titlist and a runner-up here last winter, had his PR performance at the East Coast Invitational back in mid January. Chen had his best at the Class B Championships two weeks ago where he upset Outland for the crown. This could be a rematch of that meet with both proving they’re capable of winning this weekend. There’s also the Islanders’ Miller, who won the Southern Division crown last month by matching his PR with a leap of 6-5. North Smithfield’s Nick Lamoureux is another high-jumper you can’t take lightly. He ranks No. 4 in the field with a best of 6-4 from his victory at the Northern Division Championships in late January.

Share Your Thoughts