Raye Sisters, Wizards’ 4x100m Highlight New England’s

A new state record and the Raye sisters simply doing what they do best.

Yes, indeed, it was all about winning for West Warwick at Saturday’s 77th annual New England Outdoor T&F Championships.

Lisa Raye defended her crowns in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Xenia Raye was a victor in the 400m and, along with teammates Jailyn Huffman and Tatianna Baldinelli, the Raye sisters were part of the Wizards’ record-setting 4x100m relay that combined for a state mark of 47.47 seconds.

For that title, West Warwick won it out of the unseeded heat. The Wizards were .35 ahead of top-seed Windsor (CT), which was timed in 47.82 for second.

“We were just focused on getting the baton in our hands and running off with it, get the state record and qualify for the New Balance Nationals,” said Lisa Raye.

The Wizards’ effort was well under the qualifying standard of 48.50 for NBN and breaks the two-year-old state record In of 47.64, set by Cranston West at the 2022 State Meet.

In winning her races, Lisa Raye left no doubt she would be the first one break the tape at the end and is clearly heading for some great happenings at next weekend’s New Balance Nationals in Philadelphia. The Wizards’ gifted sophomore made it two straight in the 100m, matching her effort from the prelims with a near meet record of 11.42, just one hundredth of a second shy of the 2015 mark of 11.41 by Maine’s Kate Hall. Raye came back later to defend her 200m crown with a record 23.14, erasing the 2015 MR by former Hope star Quashira McIntosh. La Salle senior Alexis Caggiano was fourth in the race at 24.93.

“I wanted to be able to run those times going into New Balance Nationals so I can see what I am capable of doing,” said Raye, about her races. “I was really grateful I was able to run those times now.”

Xenia Raye finished second in the 100m dash where she clocked a strong 11.92. After running her leg on the 4x100m, the top-seeded Raye took care of business in the 400m where she was timed in 55.16. Coming down the stretch, the Wizards junior appeared to be laboring somewhat and was in third with about 50m left.

I think it discouraged me when I saw out of the corner of my eye that there was someone…sneaking up on me and I was like, ‘Okay, I am not placing third,’ and made sure, and then I came in first,” she said. “I was proud of myself.”

The Ocean State collected a trio of bronze medals in the meet, which was held at the University of New Hampshire’s Wildcat Stadium under inconsistent weather conditions that included sunny skies, cool and moderately windy conditions and occasional downpours throughout the day.

A week after winning the State Meet with the first 40-footer of her career, Classical’s Gifty Bediako was third in the shot with a distance of 40-10.5. The senior’s best in this event is 42-2 from the states.

The La Salle Academy foursome of Amari Monteiro, Thaden Leomensah Antonio Bearden and Garrett Giroux-Pezzullo combined for a time of 3:20.74 an effort that placed them behind CT teams Windsor (first, 3:17.92) and Daniel Hand (second, 3:20.59). With a similar relay team that had Joshua Aceto replacing Leomensah’s leg, the Rams were fourth in the 4x100m at 42.58. Barrington was sixth in 43.07. Giroux -Pezzullo was also fifth in the 200m with a time of 22.11.

In the 800m, Classical’s Thomas Breen was involved in one of the most competitive races of the afternoon. The recent state titlist was able to withstand a fast, opening leg of 55 seconds and earn the third-place medal with a PR of 1:52.58. He was more than a second ahead of his previous best of 1:53.96.

“I wanted to come though (the 400m) at 54-55 (seconds) and was just over 55 (seconds),” Breen said. ”At that point, I was in the middle of the pack. I went into the backstretch and with 250 (meters) left, I said to myself, “They’re only going to get further away, I got to kick it now.’ I kicked it and got into the third position and at the 150 (meter) mark just carried it home.”

Cumberland’s Will O’Shea, the 1,500m state titlist, was fourth in the 1,600m with a time of 4:17.27. O’Shea ran negative splits in the race. He led the field in the early stages, passing through the 400m in 1:03.72 and the 800m at 2:11.59. The Clipper senior blazed his final 400m in 59.22 in a race where the top six finishers were under a minute. Maddox Jordan of Noble (ME) was the quickest of the bunch, sizzling to a 57.22 split to edged CT rivals Collin Walsh of New Milford and Jack Mattingly of E.O. Smith at the line. Jordan was timed in 4:15.38. Walsh clocked 4:15.53, just two hundredths of a second ahead of Mattingly.

Barrington hurdlers Bobby Wind and Ethan knight both made the podium. Wind won his heat in the 110m HH and advanced to the finals where he was fifth overall with a time of 14.53. Knight, who just missed the finals in the 110m HH after placing second in his heat of the prelims, was fourth in the 300m IH at 38.97.

Sean Gray of Portsmouth did the pace-setting for much of the 3,200m before eventually taking fifth overall in 9:14.73. The top six in the race were separated by five seconds. In an exciting final lap, Gray ran his last 400m in 64.17 to hold onto his position.

Chariho’s Erin vonHousen had a pair of solid performances in the 1,600m and 800m in her final races heading to Oregon on Tuesday for the Nike Outdoor Nationals. The Charger senior was fifth in the 1,600m with a school record of 5:00.71. She was ninth overall in the 800m with a time of 2:16.58.

Other RI athletes making it to the podium were Cumberland’s Grace Bleyer in the long jump (fifth, 18-2). Exeter/West Greenwich’s Nini Olawuyi in the long jump (fourth, 18-2.5) and the triple jump (fifth, 37-0.25), Burrillville’s MacKenzie Clearly in the javelin (fifth, 119-8), and South Kingstown’s Kai Sorlein in the javelin (sixth, 170-6).


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