Lions’ Doyle wins N.E. weight title

Lions’ Doyle wins N.E. weight title

Lincoln senior Garrett Doyle had an eventful week that saw him not only capture the New England championship in the hammer throw and place fifth in the shot put, but also set four school records. (Breeze photos by Eric Benevides)
High school throwers head to Manhattan for this weekend’s New Balance Nationals

PROVIDENCE – Garrett Doyle didn't have to wait very long to avenge his most difficult defeat of the indoor track and field season.

A week and a half after placing second to Classical's Jacob Furland in the 25-pound weight throw at the state championship meet, the Lincoln High senior returned to the scene of the crime, the Providence Career & Technical Academy field house, to top Furland for a bigger prize, the New England championship.

Competing at the New England Weight Championships last Wednesday, Feb. 28, Doyle defeated a field of 37 throwers from five different states by unleashing a throw of 70 feet, 7¾ inches that was not only his third-best toss of the winter, but also outdistanced Furland, the runner-up thrower, by four feet, 4½ inches.

At the RIIL Championships on Feb. 17, Doyle was hoping to capture a state title or two in the hammer and shot put, but he settled for runner-up honors in both events. In the hammer, he delivered a throw of 69-6¼ that would have won most meets, but on that day, was three inches shorter than Furland's winning throw.

But the New England meet certainly belonged to Doyle. The first of his six throws was 68-4½, and he also unleashed three other throws (67 feet, 70-6¼, and 66-8) that would have been good enough to claim the title.

"I've thrown 70 (feet) for the past five meets, except for the states," reported Doyle, who had delivered a 71-foot throw at the RIIL's "Last Chance" meet that was held prior to the state meet. "I was disappointed with myself after that meet, but I'm happy I threw 70 again, and I had some good throws today."

Locally, six of the top 10 finishers were from the area, including two that earned All-New England honors for placing in the top six: Lincoln senior Evan Grivers, who took third place with a throw of 66-2¼, and his classmate, Matt Thibaudeau, who finished sixth in 63-7½. Right behind them were Lincoln senior Mike Balestra (63 feet), Cumberland junior Cole Hooper (60-7), and Lincoln sophomore Kyle Moison (59-1¼).

Doyle, who is currently ranked second in the nation in the hammer, will join Grivers, Thibaudeau, Balestra, Hooper, and Moison in Manhattan on Sunday when they lock horns with the country's elite high school throwers at the New Balance Nationals at The Armory. Doyle is one of nine throwers in the country to deliver a 69-foot throw, with the top performance coming from Trey Knights of Ridgefield, Wash., who has topped 80 feet on a few occasions and owns a personal-best mark of 83-6¾.

"It should be good competition," added Doyle. "There are a lot of people who have thrown 69 and 70 (feet), and I'm hoping to PR so I can get second, or maybe first if Trey Knight's not there."

Once the 25-pound event was in the books, Doyle and 18 other throwers took part in a weight triathlon that saw the competition throw 35-pound and 56-pound weights. Doyle set two school records in both events with a 54-11¼ throw in the 35-pound weight and a 30-11¼ toss in the 56.

But Doyle wasn't done writing his name in the LHS record books. At the New England Indoor Track & Field Championships last Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Facility in Roxbury, Mass., Doyle broke the school record in the shot put with a throw of 53-4¾ that gave him fifth place.

The following day, at the Weight-a-rama competition that took place back at the PCTA, Doyle won the weight again, but this time with a throw of 72-½ that shattered his old school record. Again, Furland took second to Doyle, this time by four feet, 3¾ inches.

Once again, local throwers ruled this event, with Hooper taking fourth place (63-4¾), Grivers finishing fifth (62-5¼), Thibaudeau placing eighth (59-9½), and Moison ending up in ninth (59-6¾).

On the girls' side, Lincoln sophomore Jackie Andrews also had a whirlwind five days that began when she earned All-New England honors in last Wednesday's meet by placing sixth in the 20-pound weight with a throw of 48-10.

Andrews also participated in the girls' weight triathlon, and like Doyle, she broke two school records, as she delivered a throw of 41-11½ in the 25-pound weight and 26-4½ in the 35. Both records had been owned by Jackie's sister, Samantha, who is a freshman on the University of Rhode Island's women's track and field team.

Andrews, who will also compete at the New Balance Nationals, also participated in the Weight-a-rama and placed seventh with a throw of 46-6½.

Last Saturday's indoor championship meet in Roxbury also saw a few more athletes place in the top 25 in their events. Cumberland senior Chris Choquette just missed out on earning All-New England honors in the 55-meter hurdles, as he turned in a time of 7.92 seconds that was good for seventh place and was 0.09 a second away from sixth and a spot on the podium.

The two-time state hurdling champion also took 17th place in the long jump with a leap of 19-11.

Also placing in the top 25 were the Cumberland girls' 4x800 relay team of juniors Gabrielle Abramek and Allison Raposo, sophomore Emma Gaudreau, and freshman Elizabeth Pickering (16th place, 10:13.25), Grivers in the shot put (19th, 46-6½), Lincoln freshman Riley Specht in the girls' 600 (21st, 1:43.17), and Cumberland sophomore Adah Anderson in the girls' two-mile (11:43.93).

Cumberland freshman Olivia Belt, who did not compete at the New England meet, will also run in the freshman mile at the New Balance meet.

And while they're in New York, Andrews, Doyle, Grivers, Thibaudeau, Balestra, and Moison will also be in action on Saturday morning at the Hershey USATF Youth Indoor Championships at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island.

Lincoln sophomore Jackie Andrews proudly shows off her medal after earning All-New England honors by placing sixth in the 20-pound hammer throw with a toss of 48 feet, 10 inches.