PROVIDENCE — After injuries slowed both her cross country and indoor track seasons, Jackie Burr ended her senior season with the Westerly High girls’ track team in style.
The Bulldogs’ distance runner won the 3,000 meter race for a second straight year, this time by a wide margin, at the state meet at Brown University Saturday.
Jon Jacobs had a pair of top-three finishes for the Westerly boys, the Chariho boys’ team established a school record in the 4x400 relay and Delaney Silvestri finished fourth in the 400 for the Charger girls.
Burr’s time of 10 minutes and 9.46 seconds was over 5 seconds faster than runner-up Sheridan Wilbur of La Salle Academy (10:14.99).
“I’m so happy, I really wanted to win the race for my parents and my coach (Dave Federico),” Burr said. “He gave me pep talks all year and told me ‘We’re just training for the 3k.’”
Burr missed significant time in the cross country and outdoor seasons because of an injury.
“I pulled a muscle in my right shin,” she said. “It’s not shin splints, but the doctor’s thought I might have had a small stress fracture but they couldn’t see anything on the X-ray.
“I knew it would be tough after the injury and I really struggled in the indoor season because it was all just trying to come back and motivate myself because I wasn’t seeing the times I expected.
“In outdoor I felt really good coming in and I started to PR again.”
The fact that Burr won the race did not come as a surprise to Federico, but the margin of her victory did.
“We felt like other people would give it a go but they didn’t give it a go,” Federico said.
The “other people” Federico was talking about was dominant Classical runner Maddy Berkson. She owns the state record in the 3,000 and her best time this season of 9:44.72 ranks No. 16 in the country.
Berkson won both the 800 and the 1,500 and set a state record in the latter.
Berkson finished fifth in the 3,000, and was clearly saving some energy for other races.
“It looks like she’s getting ready for the 4x400 that she’s running (10 minutes after the conclusion of the 3,000),” Federico said. “That’s probably what her strategy was because after you pull out of a race you can’t run anymore.
“It’s kind of the same situation as last year, they’re (Classical) after a state title and we’re not so we really didn’t have that head-to-head match up.”
Burr said she wasn’t sad to see Berkson take it easy in the 3,000.
“I knew she (Berkson) was doing the other two races, so I was hoping she’d have tired legs. It’s great to see her run well and she’s a wonderful competitor but I really wanted to hold the title.”
Burr was also part of a second place 4x800 relay team that included Julie Senior, Maddy McLaughlin and Charlotte Andrus.
The Bulldogs were runner-up with a 9:32.80.
“The 4x800 was sensational,” Federico said. “We came in with a seed time of 9:57, granted Jackie wasn’t on those teams we ran, but she ran great and so did the rest of the team.”
On the boys’ side Jacobs took second and third. respectively. in the shot put and discus.
Jacobs threw a personal best 48 feet, 2 inches to take second in shot put..
“I was hitting really good positions and, at the end, I was able to get a snap off, which is what you want to do in the shot put,” Jacobs said.
Westerly throwing coach Nate Discuillo said hitting a high water mark at states is what he wants all his athletes to do.
“It was a great performance by Jon,” Discuillo said.
“That’s what we do, it’s about getting them ready for this day.”
Jacobs was far less pleased with his third-place effort in the discus.
“I didn’t do as well in the discus as I wanted. If I had PR’d I’d have won,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs effort of 139-11 was about 2 feet shy of Rogers’ Garret Davis (141-10) who finished first.
Discuillo said he thought Jacobs should have won the discus.
“Jon and I have been talking since last year and I told him I thought he’d win the discus here. Things happened and he fell a little short.”
Riyan Lennon finished sixth in the triple jump for Westerly with an effort of 41-8.
Chariho relay teams
The Chargers had a pair of fourth place relay teams, including the 4x400 team, which set a school record.
Mitch Carrier, Alden Andrea, Zach Gardell and Kahekee Northup ran a combined time of 3:28.36.
Andrea, Gardell, Northup and Andrew Sardelli also came in fourth in the 4x800 and posted a time of 8:07.37.
“The 4x800 team ran so well today,” Chariho coach Bill Haberek said. “They knocked about 8 seconds off their seed time and both Kahekee and Alden were under 2 minutes.”
Max Leatham, who’s seed time of 14.8 seconds was the fastest among 110 hurdlers, finished seventh.
“Sometimes in an event like that, things click and sometimes they don’t and today they didn’t,” Haberek said. “I wish he could have had the race today that he had at Classical.”
Leatham established his seed time at the Classical Classic.
Delaney Silvestri was the highest finisher for the Chariho girls and placed fourth in the 400 with a 58.79.
Carrier finished fifth overall in the 1,500 for Chariho with a time of 4:10.84.
All top six finishers qualified for the New England meet Saturday at a Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass.
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