While the victories were minimal, New England athletes still put on quite a show at the New Balance National Outdoor Championships this past weekend.
The region produced three champions at North Carolina A&T University’s Irwin Belk Track. From Connecticut, Staples High senior Henry Wynne captured the mile run and Weston senior Emily Savage took the pole vault. Maine’s Tyler Bard, a junior from Lisbon, was first in the one-mile race walk.
Wynne won his second straight National title in the mile. He also took gold at the indoor meet back in March. In Sunday’s race, Wynne finished with a time of 4 minutes, 7.84 seconds. The University of Virginia-bound runner, whose only loss this season was a second-place effort in the Dream Mile at the adidas Grand Prix in April, defeated runner-up Jack Keelan of St. Ignatius College Prep (IL.), who was timed in 4:08.79. Connecticut’s James Randon of Middlesex was fourth in the field at 4:10.29. Randon was also second in the two mile with a personal-best time of 8:52.5. En route to his runner-up finish, Randon ran a PR of 8:16.5 for the 3K.
Wynne, who won the 800 at the New England Championship, dipped under the 1:50 barrier for the second straight week with a sizzling anchor in 4x800 relay. His leg of 1:48.92 propelled the Wreckers to a third-place time of 7:42.11.
Savage, the top seed in the pole vault, won her specialty with a height of 12-10.75. The victory capped off spectacular season for the Weston standout. This spring she established meet records at the Penn Relays and the New England’s and is also the State Open titlist. She owns a best of 13-2.5.
Bard was an easy winner in the one-mile race walk. Freshman Spencer Dunn, another athlete from the Pine Tree State, was second at 7:28.12.
Barrington (R.I.) senior Charlie Ianota continued his consistency this spring in the hammer throw by finishing second overall with a heave of 219 feet, 6 inches. Ionata was ranked No. 2 in the event all season long behind NBNO winner Rudy Winkler, a senior from Averill Park (N.Y.). This season, the Eagles’ star had a personal-best effort of 240-5 at the R.I. state meet.
Lincoln-Sudbury (Mass.) junior Ben Colello was a second-place finisher in the Decathlon with 6,352 points. Colello, who won the 400 hurdles at the Mass. All-State Meet, won four of the 10 events. He was first in the 400 (49.57), the 110 hurdles (14.67), the 100 (11.39) and the long jump (20-8). Wilmington (Mass.) senior Patrick Berry was seventh with 5,584 points. He won the javelin at 172-11
Staples (Conn.) freshman Hannah DeBalsi, who nearly set a national freshman record in the two mile at the New England meet, placed an impressive third in the event at the nationals where she ran 10:16.20. The race was won by North Carolina’s Wesley Frazier in 10:07.35. Frazier was easily the MVP of the weekend. She also captured the mile at 4:39.66 and smashed the national mark in the 5,000 with a time of 15:55.94.
Waterville (Maine) senior Bethanie Brown was third in the 5K with a strong time of 16:41.84. She was also eighth in the two mile at 10:24.44, about 10-meters ahead of Peabody (Mass.) senior Catarina Rocha, who was ninth at 10:26.20. Newton (Mass.) junior Annika Gompers was 15th in the 5,000 at 17:28.14 and Westerly (R.I.) junior Jackie Burr set a state record of 17:31.2 to place 16th overall.
In the boys’ 5,000, Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) junior Colin Tierney was just two-seconds shy of an R.I. record, placing 17th overall at 14:59.57. The Ocean State had two more runners hammering away at sub five-minute pace with Cumberland senior Trevor Crawley placing 24th overall with a 15:05.49 clocking and Hendricken senior Connor Doyle crossing the line in 29th with a time of 15:12.35.
Just like she did at the NBNI meet, Classical (R.I.) junior Maddy Berkson placed third in the 800 with a state record of 2:08.4. Berkson broke a record that stood for just two hours. In an earlier heat, Bay View senior Erica Johnson dipped under the 2005 mark of 2:09.72 by former Westerly great Samantha Gawrych with a PR of 2:09.66.
Hope (R.I.) sophomore Quashira McIntosh just missed All-American status in the 200, but still set a state mark. She was seventh overall with a time of 24.21. In the Emerging Elite 100, McIntosh broke her own state record with a time of 11.8 in the preliminaries. She was second overall in the finals at 11.86.
Burlington (Mass.) senior Adam Bonfilio established a New England record by taking third in the Octathlon with 5,531 points. He bettered the old mark of 4,398 points that was set last year. Wachusett Regional (Mass.) senior Colin Bennie, running in the unseeded heat, placed ninth overall in the mile with a time of 4:14.28, third fastest among Bay Staters this season.
Several relays teams finished among the top-six at the nationals. Windsor (Conn.) had three of its boys’ teams earn All American. The senior quartet of Sherrod Peay, Tikvan Johnson, Brian Sappleton and Kahlin Bolden combined for a time of 1:55.50 in the 1,000 shuttle relay to place third overall. The senior foursome of Rashad Ramsey, Montrelle Murphy, Bolden and Sappleton smashed a state record in the 4x400 with a fourth-place clocking of 3:13.44, breaking the 1992 mark of 3:17.30 by Prince Tech. Windsor also was fifth in the 4x100 with a time of 41.40.
In the girls’ 4x800, R.I. squads’ Barrington and La Salle Academy were second and third, respectively with times of 9:04.86 and 9:05.65. Barrington was also fourth in the 4x1 mile with a state record of 20:46.96. The distance medley produced two more All-American squads. With a 4:48.66 mile by DeBalsi at the anchor, Staples was third overall with a time of 11:53.61, a Connecticut state record. La Salle placed fourth in the event with a state mark of 11:58.61.