The future continues to remain bright in the Bishop Hendricken track program.
Thursday night at the Providence Technical and Career Academy, the Hawks’ freshman team captured the state title by a comfortable 44 points over second-place LaSalle Academy. Hendricken totaled 121 points compared to the Rams’ 77. Pilgrim came in 13th with four points.
The meet started strong for the Hawks when the 4x800 meter relay team comprised of Dave DeFusco, Dan Ruggiero, Jared Forrest and Josh Clift earned a silver medal. Next, the 4x200 meter team went out and broke the meet record with a blistering time of 1:39.1. Matt Gage, Desmond Bernal, Kwity Paye and anchor Kurt Rousseau brought home gold for the Hawks.
La Salle dominated the 3,000 meters with a talented duo, but the Hawks hung tough as Jeff Venter and Max Waite added a fourth and fifth-place finish respectively.
Hendricken was also highly successful in the 55-meter hurdles as Sam Laurie, Ethan Famiano and Mike Bittner went second, third, and sixth. Gage and Paye added 10 points to the Hawks’ total in the 55-meter dash with fourth and fifth-place finishes.
Hendricken’s jumpers also enjoyed a banner day. First, Robert Merlino and Bittner claimed gold and silver in the high jump, and then Paye and Anthony Witherstone finished first and third respectively in the long jump, giving the Hawks 34 points in the jumping events. Paye and Gage completed big days finishing third and sixth in the 300 meters.
While their running and jumping teammates were putting on a show, Hawk throwers were also enjoying considerable success. Dan Thomas earned a second-place finish in the 35-pound weight throw, while Shawn Connors earned a point in the shot point. To finish things off, Merlino, Rousseau, and DeFusco went 2-3-4 in the 600, prior to Joey D’Antonio, Merlino, Mike Duckworth and DeFusco racing to a Hendricken freshman school record of 3:54.3 in the 4x400 meter relay, good for second place.
“The guys gave a great team effort tonight,” said Hendricken coach Dan Brennan.
Pilgrim was also well represented at the meet as Jonathan Lejeune threw the shot put 32 feet, 3 inches to take fourth place.