PROVIDENCE — The South Kingstown High School girls outdoor track team jumped – quite literally – to its best state meet finish since 2009 on Saturday at Brown Stadium.
The Rebels picked up individual crowns from Mary Lyons and Katie Madore and tallied 53 of their 57 points from the jumping events, the pole vault and the hurdles. Essentially, if a Rebel girl was leaving the ground, good things were happening.
“They just work really hard,” head coach Eric Anderson said of the jumping corps. “There isn’t really any secret to it. They work hard. They show up every day, they do what we ask them to do and they put in the extra time.”
The Rebels had the lead in the team standings after 17 of 19 events, but Westerly surged to the front with 14 points from the javelin and a title in the 4x400 relay, the final race of the day. The Bulldogs won the team championship for the third consecutive year. Barrington finished second, three points ahead of South Kingstown. The third-place finish is the program’s best since it won the state title in 2009.
The North Kingstown girls finished sixth, Prout was 13th and Narragansett finished in a tie for 28th. North Kingstown led the way among local boys teams, placing third behind Bishop Hendricken and La Salle. Jumping success also powered the Skippers, with Brandon Bolster winning the state title in the high jump. The Narragansett boys finished 22nd and South Kingstown was 24th. The Prout boys did not score at the meet.
For the South Kingstown jumpers, the performance was nothing new. Top-tier strength and depth in the jumping events helped the Rebels win the Southern Division and Class B championships. And on Saturday, they lived up to their potential on the big stage.
Last year, Madore was the state runner-up in the triple jump. This time, she came in as the top seed and didn’t disappoint, logging a best of 36 feet, 6.75 inches to claim the top prize.
“It feels good. I almost won last year and I was frustrated that I didn’t,” Madore said. “So it’s pretty good to win it.”
Teammate Sydni Vesterholm was right behind her, taking second place with a jump of 36 feet even. Those performances allowed the Rebels to rack up 18 points in the event.
“With me and Sydni both doing the triple jump, we push each other,” Madore said. “Having each other makes us jump better.”
Lyons also came in as the top seed in the pole vault. It wasn’t easy to deliver. She was also running on the 4x100 relay, which made for tricky timing, but she ultimately cleared 9 feet, 6 inches to beat the rest of her challengers, then finished by clearing 10 feet.
“It feels like a really big accomplishment,” Lyons said. “I’ve been looking forward to it the whole season. To actually have it happen is really cool.”
Vesterholm followed up her second-place finish in the triple jump with another silver in the high jump. She cleared 5-1, finishing just behind champion Olaitan Olagundoye. Teammate Chloe Greene finished in a tie for fourth place in the high jump as part of a busy afternoon. The reigning indoor state champion in the long jump, she took second this time to Moses Brown’s Marybeth Fitzsimmons, while also placing third in the 100 hurdles.
“Lot of team players,” Anderson said of the busy schedules.
South Kingstown also picked up points from Isabelle McDonald, who took sixth in the 800. The 4x100 and 4x800 relays also placed.
The area’s other state champion came from the boys side, where North Kingstown’s Bolster claimed the top spot in the high jump. At indoor states, he had finished second to teammate Riley Lalonde. With Lalonde battling an illness for much of the spring season and finishing outside the medals Saturday, it was Bolster’s turn. He cleared 6-02 to win.
“Indoor, I was second. I worked all season, leading up to this moment, right here,” Bolster said. “This is my first time getting 6-02 this season, so I’m pretty proud of that. My teammate Riley, he didn’t come in top six, but he cheered me on and he helped me get the win.”
The North Kingstown boys and girls combined to win 14 additional medals. As usual, the pole vault yielded plenty of hardware. Brady Joy finished second and Conor Trask was fifth in the boys competition. Madison Britt, Leah Browning and Lauren Toland went 2-3-4 for the girls, with Mae Bogosian in sixth. Also for the Skippers, Sam Toolin took second in the 1,500, Jack Perreault finished fourth in the 800, Sadie Souls finished second in the 300 hurdles, Brooke Thompson tied for fourth in the high jump and Erynn Field finished third in the hammer throw. Three relay teams also medaled.
Nearing the end of an outstanding career at Prout that included several state championships, Sarah Mitchell finished second in the shot put and fourth in the discus at her final state meet. Prout’s 4x800 relay placed sixth.
Narragansett got medals from Will Smigel, who placed fourth in the pole vault, and Christina McPhillips, who took fifth in the 300 hurdles. For South Kingstown’s boys, Garrett Wall took sixth in the 110 hurdles and Montaner Fresilli finished sixth in the shot put.