PAWTUCKET — Monday’s city championship meet at Slater Park featured an expected victory by the St. Raphael Academy boys and an end to the SRA girls’ six-year run as champions.
Tolman’s girls, coached by former Tiger star Kayla Fleming, beat the Saints 22-33 to capture the city title. Shea High finished a distant third in the meet. Tolman placed five runners among the first seven finishers.
St. Raphael’s Catherine Piper won the race in a personal-best time of 20 minutes, 27 seconds but Tolman’s depth and pack-running technique proved difficult to beat.
“Our team has been improving every week,” Fleming said. “I’m really proud of the girls.”
The SRA boys rolled to a pair of easy wins over Tolman and Shea as Bobby Parker and Sam Reinhardt led the way, finishing way ahead of the field. Parker was clocked in 16 minutes, 11 seconds over the 2.9-mile course while Reinhardt came home second in 16:43. Teammate Bill LaRose led the next wave, placing third in 18:26.
Tolman edged Shea 28-29 in the battle for second place.
“I figured we would finish 1-2 with Bobby and Sam,” Saints coach Al Vanasse said. “It was just a matter of whether our 3-4-5 runners would come through and they did.”
The Saints placed five runners among the top eight in the boys’ race. Justin Rivera took sixth and Alex Wisnewski finished eighth.
Shea’s Abraham Kerkula placed fourth in 18:28, followed by Tolman’s Ryan Deighan in fifth, seven seconds behind the Raider. Tolman, coached by John Toth, got three runners in the top 10 as Frank Dugan (ninth) and Steve Taveras (10th) finished strong. The Tigers managed a slightly better finish among their top five runners than the Raiders did, allowing them to win by a narrow point.
Piper finished the girls’ meet in good shape, barely breathing hard as she recounted the race.
“That is my best time on this course,” the senior admitted. “It didn’t feel like a personal record. I wasn’t really pushed in the race so it surprised me a little. My best time before this one at Slater Park is in the high 20:40s.”
Tolman’s impetus for winning came with the 2-3-4 finish of junior Brittany Black, senior Kaitlyn Camara and sophomore Amanda Matuszek. Kelly and Lisa Mongeau placed sixth and seventh to seal the victory for the Tigers.
St. Raphael 17, Tolman 38; St. Raphael 18, Shea 38; Tolman 28, Shea 29.
Top 20 finishers: 1. Bobby Parker (SRA) 16:11; 2. Sam Reinhardt (SRA) 16:43; 3. Bill LaRose (SRA) 18:26; 4. Abraham Kerkula (S) 18:28; 5. Ryan Deighan (T) 18:35; 6. Justyn Rivera (SRA) 18:40; 7. Omar Ndiaye (S) 18:54; 8. Alex Wisnewski (SRA) 19:09; 9. Frank Dugan (T) 20:10; 10. Steve Tavera (T) 20:11; 11. Xavier Wallace (S) 20:19; 12. Benton Newray (S) 20:33; 13. John Pacheco (T) 20:35; 14. Wayne Whitaker (T) 20:49; 15. Ethan Mendes (SRA) 20:52; 16. Kyle McIlmail (T) 21:10; 17. Mike Majdalani (T) 21:31; 18. Jake Sawyer (T) 21:35; 19. Corey Letendre (T) 22:01; 20. Mason Delisle (S) 22:05.
Tolman 22, St. Raphael 33; Tolman 15, Shea 50; St. Raphael 15, Shea 50.
Top 15 finishers: 1. Cat Piper (SRA) 20:27; 2. Brittany Black (T) 21:49; 3. Kaitlyn Camara (T) 21:56; 4. Amanda Matuszek (T) 22:19; 5. Michelle Torres (SRA) 22:31; 6. Kelly Mongeau (T) 24:36; 7. Lisa Mongeau (T) 24:29; 8. Marybeth Mennucci (SRA) 26:45; 9. Hannah Coderre (SRA) 26:45; 10. Joanne Ramirez (S) 31:53; 11. Lupe Rojas (T) 32:59; 12. Neshondra Smith (S) 34:26; 13. Anissa Vargas (S) 34:45; 14. Soleil Mendes-DaGraca (SRA) 36:54; 15. Telanni Mack (S) 36:59.