NORTH SMITHFIELD — Like a bottle of fine wine, North Smithfield High’s boys’ and girls’ indoor athletics program has continued to improve with age.
Since their RIIL debut in the 2016-17 season, the Northmen have seen their double meet records improve slightly each winter and more athletes are advancing to the state championship and achieving success on the biggest stage of the RIIL.
On Saturday at 3:30 p.m., both teams will look to build on their stellar two-competition seasons in the Boys’ Class C and Girls’ Early School Championships at the Providence Career & Technical Academy grounds.
Both sides had never cracked the top three in the team standings – the boys came close to fourth place in 2019 and 2020 – but this weekend could see some history being made for the growing program .
“We’re still trying to peak for class championships,” assistant coach Gary Seal said Friday afternoon. “We are faced with schools that are our size. I know St. Ray’s are always on top, but we always want to compete with the top teams.
Seal, who is also the Northmen’s boys’ cross-country coach, is in his fifth season with the indoor program, which was created by head coach Catherine Reyes and also includes another longtime assistant on staff, Victoria Costa.
“The three of us have been here for a while and we picked another coach, Cole Dubois, who graduated from this school two years ago,” Seal said. “He joined us this indoor season to work with the pitchers, and we have four good coaches who work well together.”
Seal has seen a lot of good things come out of the program in his five seasons on the staff, and one of them has been the steady influx of talent that pours into the teams every year.
“We’re getting the numbers to come out,” he said. “Between the two teams, we are at 65, with up to 30 people per team, which is quite good for a small school. We hope it continues or at least stays at this level because when you have numbers you can compete.
And take on the Northmen this winter, especially the women’s team, who went 10-1 in the Sullivan Division but couldn’t stop the also undefeated Bay View Academy in their double final for the regular season championship. January 19.
“The girls meet was so exciting,” said Seal, who saw the Bengals defeat the Northmen, 60-49. “You never like to lose, but sometimes you can have a good loss, and I don’t think we could have done better. I thought it was going to be a five-point encounter anyway, but (Bay View) just had a better night.
The boys’ team, meanwhile, finished its season with a 7-3 mark, losing to the three teams that shared the regular season title with 9-1 records, Cumberland, Lincoln and St. Raphael. Academy.
North Division titles and the Clippers have gone hand in hand over the past few decades — Cumberland easily won the championship last Thursday night — “and they’re the highlight,” Seal added. “They have an exceptional team and coaches, and that’s what you try to aim for. I think we are at least competitive with the big schools, and we are happy to compete with them, especially since they are a class A school and we are a class C.”
The boys’ team is punctuated by their three captains, senior hurdler Ray Marsella, senior long jumper Joe Rossi and junior distance runner Ethan Geoghegan, and three other stars are senior Matt Stamatelatos, junior Sam Beauchemin and the second Nick Lamoureux. Marsella earned second-team All-State honors in the 110-yard hurdles last season outdoors.
In last week’s North Division meeting, the Northmen swept the 55-yard hurdles behind Marsella (8.01 seconds), Stamatelatos (8.07) and Sam Beauchemin (8.43); Lamoureux won the high jump with a school-record six-foot jump, and Rossi’s 19-6 1/2 leap in the long jump earned him second place.
Speaking of school records, two others were broken during this meeting. The 4×800 relay team of juniors Brennan Drolet, Joshua Hanlon, sophomore Wyatt Letizia and Geoghegan placed fourth in 9:22.47, and Drolet broke Nathan Masi’s school record in the 600m in 1:34.2.
The women’s team, which boasts its biggest roster ever and will compete in the Sullivan Division Championship Meet on Wednesday, Feb. 9, is led by its three senior captains, sprinter Siranee Caron, hurdler/high jumper Jackie DeRonde, and long jumper/shot putter Abby Fortin.
The Northmen also have five high-scoring juniors in Beth Marsella (hurdles), Kara Farmer (600, long and high jumps), Lydia Hughes (long jump, distance events) and Abby Tremblay and Samantha Fagan (halfbacks). -background), as well as a few key riders from last fall’s cross-country team who helped the Northmen qualify for the state meet, like senior Kat Brandao and sophomores Jasmine Burt and Eden Beauregard.
In the meeting against Bay View, the Northmen produced an impressive 33 PRs, set four school records and tied a fifth. The record breakers were junior Carla Sund at the shot put (27-foot-one); the 4×400 relay team comprised of sophomore Grace Lane, rookie Frances Tiner, Caron and Beauregard; Marsella in the 55-meter hurdles (9.59 seconds) and Caron in the long jump (14-10), and DeRonde tied the school record in the high jump with a 4-for-10 jump.
Three days later, at the World Trophy Invitational at the PCTA premises, four more team records were broken. The shuttle relay team of juniors Kylee Phelan and Nina Finn, Marsella and DeRonde took first place (and upset the top-ranked classic), Marsella (first place, hurdles, 9.38) and Sund (weight, 28 -4) broke their own records, and the 4×800 relay team made up of juniors Kara Farmer, Fagan, Burt and Beauregard also achieved great success.