The middle school cross country state championships were held at Ponaganset High School last weekend, and many local runners impressed on the course.
The Winman boys club took home a 4th-place finish as a group while Vets took home 20th. North Cumberland won the event as a team. The Western Hills boys led the Cranston schools with a fifth-place finish, while Hope Highlands took 21st and Park View 34th.
The Vets girls team finished 25th, while North Cumberland also won the team event. Park View led the girls teams with a 16th-place finish while Western Hills took 19th. Hope Highlands would later finish 29th overall.
“The boys had a really nice race. Three of our seven guys finished higher than they had ever finished before, they ran great. We saw them get stronger and stronger throughout the year and they went up against some really tough competition in the northern part of the state. North Cumberland produces some incredible runners, so for them to do as well as they did against them, we were really pleased,” said Winman coach Mike Vadney.
Vadney was excited to see his team’s progress throughout the year, and was pleasantly surprised with its showing on the biggest stage.
“We weren’t really sure what we were going to get. To see how well Luc (Dionne) and Ryan (Henderson) developed, they came in and were machines. Add the Maynard’s in there, they surprised us. Every year that you coach you hope to see improvements and this year was a nice step forward,” said Vadney, who also hopes to carry over some momentum next season. “Hopefully next year we can build on this. We have some kids coming up that are into running, we have some sixth graders that are really solid runners. We have some runners that should turn out to be really good next year.”
Here is a look at some of the top performers:
Ryan Henderson led Winman, finishing 13th overall while teammate Luc Dionne took home an 18th-place finish. Josh Maynard finished at 37th while John Maynard was 66th.
Vets was led by Ian Bubar at 60th place, while Brady Highcove took 64th.
Blake Santos finished his fantastic season for Western Hills with a 2nd-place finish, while teammate Patrick McDonough took 26th. Teammate Hendry Prendergast finished 31st. Christian Mak led hope Highlands, finishing at 53rd overall.
Oce Lowe led the Winman girls with a 41-st place finish overall. Keaney Bayha led Vets.
Courtney Rice finished fifth overall for Hope Highlands, while Stella Loezos led Park View with a 36th-place finish.