Mahoney, Salvatore lead Panthers


The Cranston East Lady Thunderbolts drew first place in the Suburban Division cross country opener 5K race at Roger Williams Park on Monday afternoon.

Classical earned second-place, while Cranston West placed third.

Johnston and Central were also on hand for both the girls and the boys races, but neither had enough runners to qualify for team points.

Classical’s Caroline Janowich took first overall for the girls with a time of 22:52, while East’s Stella Loezos finished in second at 23:15. In third place was East’s Eden Fisher with a time of 23:46, followed in fourth by Classical’s Grace Jordan and in fifth, East’s Aislinn Baxter.

Rounding out the top ten girls were East’s Miko Lehnert in sixth, followed by her teammate Alessandra Messina in seventh, West’s Aria Lee in eighth, Johnston’s Audrey Mahoney in ninth, and Classical’s Rudy Groves in tenth.

The Lady Panthers only had four of their 12 runners on hand for the race because some of the athletes also play on the soccer team who had a game that night.

“I think overall they did well,” Johnston coach Cheryl Marfeo said.

And Marfeo was especially happy with Mahoney, who took ninth-place.

“I think she runs well,” Marfeo said. “She has great strides and she has good pace.”

For the boys, it was Classical who placed first, West in second, followed by East in third.

Dylan Maples of West drew first place individually with a time of 18:12 and Classical’s Max Schmidhauser took second place while his teammate Cooper Michaud drew third. Finishing fourth was East’s Dan Duarte, followed by Classical’s Nick Mott in fifth.

Rounding out the top ten for the boys was, Classical’s Ethan Itkin in sixth-place, Central’s Tear Samudra in seventh, West’s Alex Phok in eighth, with his Falcons teammates Nick Montaquila in ninth and Ben Harvie in tenth.

The Panthers top runner was Derek Salvatore, a freshman.

“I have a really good core group of freshmen this year,” Johnston coach Jay Areson said. “We have eight freshmen boys which is very unusual for me. So, it’s great that they’re running at the middle school and then coming here.”

Johnston’s top two runners were freshmen. Derek Salvatore placed 15th out of the 62 runners.

“So, he’s running really well this year,” Areson said. “He’s one of my top runners.”

Finishing 25th was Dylan Robbins and 28th Joel Aubin, a senior captain.

“So, I’m excited for my freshmen to go into the freshmen states this year because usually we never really participate because I’ve never had a big enough squad to take,” Areson, who is in his fifth year of coaching, said. “So, it’s going to be a nice team effort this year. I’m definitely going to take this group of freshmen because I’m excited to see what they can do.”

And Areson hopes to keep the trend of young runners coming to his team.

“I think the numbers are getting bigger at the middle school, so it’s good,” Areson said. “It’s good because a lot of times they’re running over there, but they’re not coming here to run. So, we’re seeing more and more boys coming and running at the high school level, which is nice.”

Joining Aubin as a captain is Jacob Healy, also a senior.

“Two solid runners that have been here since the beginning,” Areson said. “So, they’re still learning. They’re running. Each race they’ll be shaving time off their pace.”

And Areson hopes his team can have a fun season.

“We may have lost by a few today, but the numbers time-wise is lower than what I would have expected, which is good. So, I’m excited for this group of freshmen and the other boys.”

“We definitely competed from where we’ve been in the past few years where we’re progressing forward,” Areson concluded.   


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