Both favorites came through to win at this year’s Rhode Island Indoor State Championships on Saturday. National leader Gianna Rao (Ponaganset, North Scituate, RI) left no doubt in the girl’s competition. All five of her legal throws outdistanced runner-up Chelsea Yang (Pilgrim, Warwick, RI). Her best attempt of 60’2″ was just six inches under her personal best and far enough to break the nine year old meet record, as well as the facility record. Jared Brier (Woonsocket, RI) led a trio of Woonsocket throwers to a podium sweep. He was the only thrower over 70 feet in the competition, while runner-up Jacob Greenless (Woonsocket, RI) added more than a foot to his best for second place.
The Simplot Games is one of the traditional western indoor meets, having been around when it served as one of the few opportunities for west coast throwers to compete indoors. As has been the case in recent years, however, it was east coast throwers that dominated the competition this year. A contingent from the Throw1Deep club in Georgia swept both the boy’s and girl’s titles. While Throw1Deep was expected to win, the individual winners were not the favorites within the club. Sydnee Walker (King’s Ridge Christian, Alpharetta, GA) won a close girl’s competition over Makenli Forrest (Woodward Academy, College Park, GA), who is the former national leader and currently ranked second nationally. The competition came down to the end and Walker prevailed by less than nine inches. In the boy’s competiiton Jay Judge (Walton, Marietta, GA) also came through with an upset by throwing a personal best to edge out top seeded Evan Hardin (Harrison, Kennesaw, GA).
National leader Jake Wickey (Medina, OH) added more than a foot to his best to win convincingly at the Spire Scholastic Showcase on Sunday. But for the majority of the competition he wasn’t even leading. The meet featured an intense showdown of the nation’s top four throwers. Jordan Geist (Knoch, Saxonburg, PA) led throughout much of the competition until Wickey unleashed a final round personal best to move into first. Geist held on for second and Nick Lane (Bowling Green, OH) took third. State leader Madison Pollard (Anthony Wayne, Whitehouse, OH) also won the girl’s competition.