PAWTUCKET – There’s cause for optimism regarding the boys’ and girls’ cross-country programs at Tolman High.
With both squads fielding extremely young squads this fall, meets like the one on Monday afternoon at Slater Park will serve as stepping stones for future seasons. The Tolman boys posted a 22-32 victory over Moses Brown, though dropped a 22-33 decision to East Providence.
As for the girls, the Tigers bowed to the Townies (25-32) and Quakers (20-37). Monday’s gathering also included fellow city school Shea with the Raider boys falling to the Townies (20-39) and Quakers (25-31) with the girls sustaining a 17-44 loss to Moses Brown along with a 19-41 setback to E.P.
What had Tolman boys’ head coach John Toth beaming with pride was the substantial step forward his runners took from when they last combed the Slater Park race trails a few weeks ago. Toth reported that just about every Tolman harrier who crossed the finish line ended up posting a lower time from the Sept. 16 meet at Slater Park.
“I have so many young kids and we’re getting beat up pretty good, but it’s a learning thing for them right now. I have 27 guys, but 20 of them are coming back,” Toth pointed out after Tolman concluded with a 4-5 mark against Metro Division foes. “Seventeen of the 25 kids who ran here three weeks ago improved today, and that’s awesome.
“At this stage, I’m not worried about how many meets we’re going to win,” Toth added. “I just want to see them improve. I’m pushing them hard every day, but it’s fun. We’re having a good time and they’re getting better.”
The Tigers did place three finishers in the top 10. Their top finisher was senior Oscar Urizar, who achieved bronze-medal status thanks to finishing one second ahead of Shea sophomore Robert Postle. The two Pawtucket-based runners were neck and neck as they neared the conclusion before Urizar quickened his pace at a most appropriate time.
A first-time distance runner, Urizar has proven a pleasant addition for Toth. Urizar ended up posting a time of 18:15.
“Oscar was a nice surprise coming out as a senior,” said Toth. “The young kids are watching him and saying, ‘I can get better, too.’”
Jonathan Consoli is another Tolman runner who Toth won’t have back in 2014. The senior placed seventh Monday with a time of 18:30. Coming in eighth place was one of the Tigers’ cause for optimism as sophomore Tyler Lentendre finished in 18:35.
The Tolman girls were led by Lisa Mongeau’s time of 22:12, good for a fourth-place finish.
“I’m very happy with Lisa,” said Tigers head coach Kayla Fleming after her girls lowered the curtain on a 2-8 performance against league opponents. “She’s a senior this year and I’ve seen so much improvement over her four years.”
If there ever was a sign that things are on the up swing, Fleming witnessed it as she watched two of her freshmen grab the ninth and 10th spots. Leinni Valdez was the ninth-place finisher with a time of 23:41 while twin sister Lisbeth was right behind at 23:42.
“They started a little later, so they haven’t run the whole season,” said Fleming about the Valdez sisters. “They were behind some of the other girls, but now they’ve jumped up to the second and third spots.”
Toth and Fleming will take their respective teams down to the Big Apple this weekend to participate in the Manhattan Invitational. The week after that, the Tigers will head to Burrillville Middle School for the Bronco Invitational.
“I’m taking six girls (down to New York),” said Fleming.
Added Toth, “I want to continue to show the kids what hard work is all about. We’re going to see a ton of kids this weekend and it’s going to be an experience.”
Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03
At Slater Park – 2.9 miles
East Providence 22, Tolman 33
East Providence 19, Moses Brown 39
East Providence 20, Shea 39
Tolman 22, Moses Brown 32
Moses Brown 25, Shea 31
1. Mike Monagle (EP) 17:21; 2. Josh Letendre (EP) 17:55; 3. Oscar Urizar (T) 18:15; 4. Robert Postle (S) 18:16; 6. Dan Castillo (EP) 18:28; 7. Jonathan Consoli (T) 18:30; 8. Tyler Letendre (T) 18:35; 9. Brett Tierney (EP) 18:39; 11. Chris Santos (EP) 18:40; 12. Billy Belizaire (S) 19:00; 14. Justin Capraro (S) 19:12; 15. Vicente Noriega (T) 19:12; 16. Corey Morel (T) 19:13; 17. John Braga (EP) 19:19; 19. Derek Geiger (EP) 19:25; 20. Jordan Amado (EP) 20:31.
East Providence 25, Tolman 32
Moses Brown 20, Tolman 37
East Providence 36, Moses Brown 20
East Providence 19, Shea 41
Moses Brown 17, Shea 44
3. Angela Leonardo (EP) 21:37; 4. Lisa Mongeau (T) 22:12; 6. Emily St. Hilaire (EP) 7. Naomi Vander-Sloot (S) 23:36; 9. Leinni Valdez (T) 23:41; 10. Lisbeth Valdez (T) 23:42; 12. Anne-Sophie Grenier (EP) 24:07; 13. Megan St. Hilaire (EP) 24:12; 14. Jessica Andrade (S) 24:24; 16. Sarah Botelho (EP) 24:46; 19. Amanda Matuszek (T) 24:55; 20. Jasmine DaSilva (EP) 24:57.