The ever-improving Central Falls track and field program added another milestone to its list Saturday afternoon.
With their sweep of Northern Division rivals Woonsocket and Shea, the Warriors manufactured the school’s best league record since its inception in 1999-2000, finishing the dual-meet season at 6-2. The girls’ team has a chance to match that effort on Jan. 31 when the Lady Warriors (4-2) conclude their Sullivan Division schedule against Moses Brown (2-2) and Rogers (1-5).
“I expected that we would do this well this season because of the numbers and the experienced kids we have from my FastTrack team,” said C.F. head coach Ernest Fennell, making reference to his local track and field club. “We got a nice group of freshmen that filled in for us. We got a lot of guys in the sprints and we had a strong group of young guys.
“What I said to them at the beginning of the season, if we work as a team we can win some meets.”
Central Falls defeated Shea, 62-47, and was a narrow 57-52 winner over Woonsocket.
Against the Villa Novans, its closest competition, Central Falls had placements in 10 of the 11 individual events. In the 25-pound weight throw, an event that the Warriors lost a key athlete in top state meet performer Nico Danielson, who opted not to compete this winter, C.F. collected four points with a second- and third-place finish from Matthew DePina (44 feet, 6 ½ inches) and Marvin Garduno (40-1 ¾).
Sophomore Armando Andrade, one of several underclassmen on the Warriors’ 33-member squad, was a double winner by breaking the tape in the 3,000- and 1,500-meter runs. Freshman Tyshon Ashe finished third overall and second against the Villa Novans in the 300 with a solid 40.5 clocking. Another ninth-grader, Ostoniel Nestres, was right behind in fourth overall at 40.7.
The Warriors’ Kevin Perez, a junior, was a runner-up to Shea standout Fred Gobewole in the 55 dash with a time of 6.7. Gobewole, the top runner in the state in the short sprint, continued his consistency this season by matching his personal best of 6.3. Gobewole also won the 300 at 37.2.
In its meet with Woonsocket, C.F. got some key points in the latter events by sweeping the 600 with junior Yensi Reyes, senior Antonio Diogo and Perez finishing in that order.
There was no surprise in the high jump as 2010 state outdoor champion Steven Vazquez matched his season best with a leap of 6-4.
“It was a back-and-forth meet until the 600 results came in and then the long jump and the weight throw,” Fennell said. “I knew it was going to be close.”
For Woonsocket, senior Aaron Harmon copped two events, winning the weight throw with a heave of 50-4 ¼ and striking gold in the shot put with a distance of 38-3/4. Senior Jessie Charette won his debut in the indoor long jump, edging teammate Alex Correia by an inch with his leap of 19-6. Charette also placed third in the high jump at 5-8, the same height achieved by teammate and second-place finisher Anthony Neal.
Besides Gobewole’s efforts, Shea junior Nilton Tavares was the overall winner of the 600 with a time of 1:36.4.
Ponaganset finished with a sweep of St. Raphael Academy and Tolman in a battle among winless squads in the Northern Division. The Chieftains topped the Saints, 47-40, and beat the Tigers, 43-30. Tolman and SRA tied in their one-on-one matchup at 35-35.
The Chieftains were led by Chris Ricard, who placed first in the long jump at 17-11 ½ and the high jump at 5-4.
Robert Parker, the Saints’ distance ace, captured the 3,000 (9:24.9) and the 1,000 (2:54.8). His SRA teammate, Sam Reinhardt, took the 1,500 (4:53.5).
The Tigers’ Juan Wilson blazed to victory in the 55 dash (6.7) and the 300 (38.6) and James Aguiar was the winner of the 600 (1:35.9).
Cumberland finished the Northern Division dual-meet season with its eighth consecutive undefeated record with its sweep of Lincoln and Mount St. Charles. The Clippers (8-0) had a superb effort from Chris Duarte in the 55 high hurdles. Duarte posted one of the fastest times in the state with his winning 7.8 clocking.
The Clippers’ Ryan Rei copped the high jump at 5-10, was second in the 300 at 39.9 and combined with teammates Steven Healey, David Szczerepa and Brian Salemi to place first in the 4x200 relay with a time of 1:41.0
Dan Janetti was a double winner for the Lions (7-1) by taking the 55 (6.7) and the 300 (38.2). Aaron Brunelle in the 1,500 (4:27.1), Edward Cummins in the shot put (39-5) and Geoffrey Conklin in the 600 (1:31.3) also posted wins for Lincoln.