State Meet Preview: Boys’ Sprinting Events & Hurdles

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 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, you’re 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’ 55-meter dash, 300m, & 55m Hurdles.

55m Dash

For the first time in four years we’ll have a new victor n this race with the graduation of three-time champion Jared Gibbons of La Salle Academy. The meet record of 6.40 seconds seems to be out of reach here, but we could have a nail-biter in this event with at least three or four that could walk away with the crown. The No. 1 seed is Alonzo Parker Sharpe of Cranston West. Parker-Sharpe has a state best of 6.57 from the divisional championships a few weeks ago and was unbeaten, at least against his RI rivals, until the Class A meet on Feb. 3. In that meet, the Falcon senior was upset by Central’s Elijah Gardea, who was timed in a state No. 2 of 6.61. Both sprinters will match up again on Saturday for a rematch of the race. But don’t ignore a few others we believe can surprise at the end such as Hendricken sophomore Jeremy Seidi (6.52) and Central’s Joseph Forbes (6.68). This should be a good one.


This is a race that could certainly get interesting with a bunch of runners that could steal a victory. La Salle’s Garrett Giroux Pezzulla (36.01), the Falcons’ Parker-Sharpe (36.08), Chariho’s Elias Sposato (36.14) and Barrington’s Ethan Knight (36.16) are the top four seeds based on times they’ve run at qualifying meets inside the PCTA field house. Giroux-Pezzulla at the Yale Track Classic (35.25), Hendricken’s Jacob Coates at the Ocean Breeze Freedom Games in NY (35.47) and Sposato at Yale (35.90) have run faster on banked ovals. We’re giving Giroux-Pezzulo the edge in this race, but it’s going to be close, very close at the finish. Being the first one at the cutoff point could prove crucial.

55m HH

Barrington is a team that we feel will be in the hunt for the boys’ title on Saturday. Here’s where the Eagles have a chance to add 20-plus points to their score with the No. 1, 2 and 5 seeds. The battle for the individual crown should come down to BHS teammates Bobby Wind and defending champion Ethan Knight. Knight has the top time in the field with his best of 7.49 from his victory at the East Coast Invitational, a race that Wind was just a half stride behind in a PR of 7.50. Knight defeated the Eagles junior two weeks later at the divisional championships, but was second to Wind at the Class B meet. You see where this one is going. Look for both to be in championship mode this weekend where a lean at the finish just might be the difference. Don’t forget North Smithfield’s Aidan Bienvenue, too. He could also create some havoc up front. Bienvenue was our state’s 300m hurdles winner last spring. He ranks No. 3 in this event with a 7.78 best from this past weekend’s RITCA State Qualifier. Portsmouth’s Landon Rodrigues is the fourth seed with a time of eight-seconds flat.

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