To say that the future for Johnston High School’s track and field program looks bright would be an understatement.
As proof, Alex Morin – a one-time standout with the Johnston Youth Football Panthers and student at Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School - staked claim to the shot put title during Saturday’s Rhode Island Middle School Track and Field Championships held at Narragansett High School.
Morin, who closed out his middle school sports career Saturday, came up with a throw of 40 feet, 2 inches which was more one foot longer than his closest competitor.
The talented eighth grader, who will enroll at Johnston High School in September, also finished third in the discus throw – a personal best – of 13 feet, 6 inches.
“Phil saved his best for last,” said Dan Mazzulla, who coaches the Ferri Middle school track and field team. “In fact, a lot of our kids turned in super performances Saturday at the state meet.”
As a unit the Ferri girls’ track team finished 15th out of 22 schools, many of which have established and high-powered programs. The Jaguars boys’ team placed an impressive eighth in a field that totaled 20 squads.
Individually, Nicholas Baccala – one of the to youth wrestlers in Rhode Island and New England – placed a creditable fifth in the 80-meter hurdles in 13:23. Like Morin, Baccala is also a talented player on the Panthers’ youth gridiron.
Ferri’s Jason Padulla finished fifth in the 3,000 in 10:35.11 and that field also included many talented middle school tracksters.
Three Ferri girls – Terry Powell, Jayanna Rollins and Talia LaFlamme also came in for honors during the highly-competitive middle school state track and field event.
Powell, for example, competed in the 200-meter dash and finished fourth. Rollins tied for third, fourth and fifth in the final of the high jump at 4:04. LaFlamme landed a fifth place finish at the state event. Cutline for submitted photo