NORTH SCITUATE — Chariho High qualified three cross country runners for next weekend’s New England championships and the girls’ team turned in its best showing since 1981 at Sunday’s Rhode Island state championship meet.
Stephen Gencarelli and Jung Kim qualified for the boys’ team, while Isabel Baker made it for the girls’ squad.
The girls placed ninth among the 18 teams in the team standings. It was the best showing by a Chariho team since 1981 when the Chargers were second.
Chariho girls place ninth
The Chargers scored 255 points for their ninth-place finish. La Salle Academy won with 36 points, placing all five of its scorers in the top 11. Barrington was just three points back at 39, with four runners in the top 8.
Chariho also finished ninth in 1978 and was fifth in 1980, before being the runner-up in 1981.
“Our girls were super, super psyched (with the team’s finish),” Chariho coach Diane Leith-Doucet said. “Me too!
“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to be top 10 in the states. We graduated our two top runners, but we added some really good newcomers. A lot of our people have been stepping up. Their seriousness and intensity have carried them a long way.”
Isabel Baker led the Chargers on Sunday, placing 17th of 137 runners with a personal-best time of 19 minutes, 37.25 seconds. Emma McMillan, of Barrington, won the 3.1-mile race in 17:42.87.
The top six teams and any individual in the top 25 finishers qualified for next weekend’s New England championships in Manchester, N.H.
This was Baker’s first race since the Manhattan Invitational in early October. A medical issue sidelined her until this state meet.
“I’m very, very happy for her,” Leith-Doucet said. “I knew it was in her. She was afraid of how she would do and she wound up with a personal best. I’m really proud of her. It was awesome.”
Caroline Duksta finished 38th in 20:37.91. The other Charger scorers were: Natalie Keefe (71st, a personal-best 21:42.46); Delaney Silvestri (79th, a personal best 22:03.25) and Pam Lelli (84th, 22:09.32).
Of the five Chariho scorers, only Silvestri graduates. Five of the team’s top eight runners this year return, which bodes well for the future.
Chariho boys take eighth
Gencarelli placed 15th among the field of 141 finishers, while Kim was 19th.
Chariho finished with 232 points, good for eighth among the 18 teams that scored. Bishop Hendricken captured the team title with 37 points. La Salle Academy was second with 42.
The top six teams and top 25 individuals qualify for the New England championships next weekend in Manchester, N.H.
Gencarelli covered the 3.1-mile course in 16 minutes, 42.59 seconds. Kim finished in 16:46.57.
Gencarelli nearly duplicated his finish of 16:41.21 at last weekend’s Class A meet on the same course.
“He kind of surprised us last week since it was only his third week of the season. He has been out since the St. George’s meet (Sept. 23) with knee problems,” Chariho coach Bill Haberek said. “I thought it would be a little hard for him to come back and better his time, but we talked about 16:50 and he did that. They both (Gencarelli and Kim) have worked very hard. The whole team has worked hard. Some of the guys were off just a bit today.”
Other scorers for Chariho were Mitch Carrier (52nd,17:36.07), Alden Andrea (80th, 18:13.38) and Matt Drummond (87th, 18:22.75).
Hendricken’s Colin Tierney won the race in 15:49.01
McLaughlin finishes 42nd for Westerly
Westerly High’s Maddy McLaughlin turned in the best showing for Westerly taking 42nd.
She covered the 3.1-mile Ponaganset High course in 20 minutes, 54.23 seconds.
Other scorers for the Bulldogs were Sarah Garvey (61st, 21:31.61), Carlie Sisco (63rd, 21:35.11), Serenity Chen (113th, 23:23.29) and Catherine Labriola (114th, 23:23.97).
Westerly finished 13th of 18 teams with 348 points. La Salle Academy took the team title with 36 points. Barrington was second with 39.
Barrington’s Emma McMillan won the race in 17:42.87.
For the first time since at least 1994 the Bulldogs did not qualify a runner for the New England meet.