200-meter winner Laura Murphy (center) at the Hershey State track meet at Rhode Island College. Credit: Margie Murphy
Thanks to EG Parks & Rec for sending this recap:
The East Greenwich Parks & Recreation’s team of runners posted strong performances at the state finals of the national Hershey Track & Field program on July 8 at Rhode Island College. Two EG runners qualified to compete in the nationals in Hershey, Pa., Aug. 2.
The EG team consisted of 16 runners who had already been tested locally in order to advance to the state meet.
East Greenwich’s top finishers at the state meet were Ally Carlsten, 13, and Laura Murphy, 14, a three-time Hershey track national competitor. Both girls competed in the 13/14-year-old 100 meter dash and handily won their preliminary heats. This win advanced them to the final round where it was neck and neck for the two East Greenwich runners. Carlsten was the victor in the end in a well fought race with a time of 12.97, with Murphy just 0.03 second behind her for second.
Murphy’s night wasn’t over and she went on to capture first place in the 13/14-year-old 200 meter race with a time of 27.42.
Carlsten rounded out her night by capturing first in the 13/14-year-old long-jump contest and was a member of the 4×100 relay team with Jasmine Ma, Hannah Slaiby & Brie Rowey which finished third overall.
Both girls’ first-place finishes put them in the running for a spot on the New England and northeast Canadian Provinces’ regional team which will travel to Hershey, Pennsylvania, to compete in the National meet. Their times and distances were compared with other regional winners. Both Carlsten and Murphy were selected to represent Region 6 in Hershey; Carlsten in the 100-meter race and Murphy in the 200-meter race.
Murphy is the first person from Rhode Island to make it to the North American Finals 4 times in the 37-year history of the program, according to , Matt LaFazia, R.I. state coordinator for the Hershey’s Track and Field meet.
At the national meet, qualifiers from eight regions representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada, will compete. In 2012 Murphy finished third at the national meet in the 11/12-year-old 100-meter race.
Also making the podium at the state meet was Mike DelSesto with a second-place finish (5:24.30) in the 13/14-year-old 1600-meter race to a nationally recognized cross country runner and top R.I. Middle School runner. Carl Greene captured third place with a time of 28.07 in the 13/14-year-old 200-meter race. The 13/14-year-old boys 4×100 meter relay team of Greene, Quentin Viera, Nate Nichipor and David Wang clinched second place.
All the East Greenwich runners came out and gave their best effort and showed sportsmanship and team spirit. The balance of the team was made up of Charlotte DeAnglis, Gabe Reynolds, Matt DelSesto, Sam Slaiby, Jeremeu Jarbeau, and Kaelin Viera. Their hard work leading up to the meet showed. The runners were coached by Greg Johnson and Stanley Johnson over many summer nights. Congratulations on a great meet!