Top Girls’ Events To Watch At New England Championships

The region’s best will occupy the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury for the 36th annual New England Indoor Track & Field Championships. Here’s some of the top events to keep an eye on this weekend.



55-meter dash

At last year’s meet, Rhode Island athletes were prevalent n this event with West Warwick’s Lisa Raye leading a 1-2-6 finish. Cranston West’s Ailani Sutherland was the runner-up in the race, while West Warwick’s Xenia Raye secured the sixth spot. We still believe the Ocean State has chance for a strong showing this weekend, but neighboring MA appears to have the edge as a team in this one, occupying four of the top eight seeds. The Wizards’ Lisa Raye is the favorite to defend her crown. She’s been consistently under seven seconds the last few weeks. She twice has broken 6.9 seconds this winter. The gifted tenth-grade clocked 6.87 en route to running 7.39 for 60m at the Millrose Games on Feb. 11 and less than two weeks ago won her second straight individual crown at the RI State Meet with a time of 6.89. We don’t expect her to lose on Saturday, but she may not be the only runner under seven seconds. Methuen’s Lauren Quarm, another sophomore, took individual honors at the MIAA Meet of Champions this past Saturday with an all-time best of 6.95. Behind her are a trio of runners under 7.1 in one of the more talented fields we’ve ever seen at the New England’s in several years. Those runners include Framingham (MA) senior Abby Desmarais (7.08), Lewiston (ME) senior Makenna Droulin (7.08) and Xenia Raye (7.09). Norton’s Jillian Strynar (7.13), Dennis Yarmouth’s Breanna Barham (7.18) and Natick’s Emmanuella Edozien (7.20) are among MA other top entries. Sutherland is the next best for RI at 7.25. The meet record is 6.87, set by former Norton star Brooke-Lynn Williams in 2016. That mark is certainly in jeopardy this weekend.

High Jump

Our top two seeds in this race certainly have some momentum and extra confidence on their side going into this event. Occupying the 1-2 spots are Zoe Santos of Norton (MA) and Sierra Thompson of South Kingstown (RI). Both athletes won this event at their respective state meets and both attained PRs in the process with Santos clearing 5 feet, 8 inches and Thompson soaring to a best of 5-6.5. This field also includes three at 5-6 with Avery Pitts of EO Smith (CT), Macy Daigle of Central Catholic (MA) and Katie Caraco of Reading (MA) expected to compete on Saturday.


The meet record of 2:46.45, set last year by former Moses Brown (RI) great Sophia Gorriaran, is safe. But the region’s best time this year of 2:49.95 by Katherine Bohike of Newington (CT) from the Ocean Breeze Elite Invitational last weekend, has an outside chance at being challenged on Saturday. The field includes four runners that have done 2:55.24 or faster in their careers. The top seed is Glastonbury (CT) junior Brooke Strauss with a season best of 2:53.22 from her victory at the CT State Open on Feb. 17. Stauss was fourth in this race last year with her current best of 2:52.18. There’s also Maloney (CT) senior Bria Benigni, who was second to Strauss at the State Open with a PR of 2:55.65, and another Nutmeg State standout in Conard junior Liv Sherry, who took the bronze at the State Open and was third at the New England’s in 2023 with a best of 2:51.27. Erika Wojcik of North Andover (MA), a runner-up at the MIAA Meet of Champions this past weekend, comes in as a fourth seed with her best of 2:55.24 from her recent performance. Nauset Regional (MA) junior Madeline Mahoney is the fifth seed with a best of 3:00.97. Watch out for the RI contingent that’s heading to Reggie, a trio that includes Alison Pankowicz (3:00.97), St. Raphael’s Rory Sullivan (3:01.60) and Pilgrim’s Keaney Bayha (3:01.71). Pankowicz won her first individual state title at the championship meet less than two weeks ago. She improved on her best from just last month by nine seconds! She appears to still have more in the tank. Sullivan and Bayha ran their current bests after running one and two events, respectively, before the 1K at the State Meet. Both will be fresh-legged this weekend. With a field like this, we could see a race similar to last year when 11 broke three minutes.


This is a race that could certainly get interesting in the closing stages of the race, particularly the last stretch. The No. 1 seed is Mount St. Charles (RI) senior Emmy Belvin, who won the RI State Meet with a PR of 1:36.57. Belvin, who is primarily a middle-distance runner with bests of 2:18 for 800m and 5:12 for the mile, has proven she also has some wheels. The sub 60-second 400m runner ran her current best for the 600m on the flat oval of the PCTA field house. She’s capable of faster on the banked track of Reggie Lewis. Connecticut has the next two seeds with State Open victor Esme Daplyn, who ran a New England lead of 1:34.42 at the Class LL Championship a few weeks ago. There’s also defending titlist Gabriella Hernandez of E.O. Smith, who has a season best of 1:34.07, and a PR of 1:31.69 from last year’s Class CCC Championship. Hernandez won the 2023 title at the New England’s in 1:32.98. If she can regain her old form from her junior season, she could be tough to beat.


Expect a lean at the finish determining the winner in this race. The top three seeds have all broken 40 seconds this season with Manchester Central (NH) senior Harriet Barber and the Wizards’ Lisa Raye posting identical times of 39.59 from their recent state meets and Xenia Raye clocking 39.66 to place second to her sister at the RI states. All three ran their current times on a flat tracks. We’re predicting the possibility of two, potentially all three, breaking 39 seconds at the banked Reggie Lewis. Lisa Raye is the defending champion and has a PR of 39.50 from that race. This could be one of the races of the day.

Two Mile

This is a race that could have a decent pack of runners still in contention late in the race. We’re listing Chariho Regional (RI) senior Erin vonHousen as the favorite. She’s the No. 4 seed based on her victory at the State Meet where she ran 10:07.70 for the 3K distance. The Charger senior ran her all-time best of 10:00.65 to capture the individual crown at the Yale Track Classic back in January. This past weekend she broke five minutes for the first time in the mile by placing second at the Ocean Breeze Elite Invitational in a time of 4:58.36. The competition includes four others with sub-11 seed times, including Shelton (CT) senior Hannah Andrejczyk (10:54.64), Ridgefield (CT) junior Ava Malagisi (10:55.24), Houlton (ME) sophomore Teanna Ewings (10:56.86) and Nashoba Regional (MA) senior Caroline Collins (10:59.41).


The favorite here is Katherine Bohlke of Newington (CT). Bohlke, who won the State Open, raced to a PR and nation No. 9 of 4:45.49 to place third at the Millrose Games a few weeks ago. We’re predicting we could see at least one of two under the 4:50 mark this weekend. Wellesley (MA) junior Charlotte Tuxbury captured the recent MIAA Meet of Champions with a time of 4:56.35, her third time under five minutes this season. Tuxbury, who did the pace-setting from the start of that race, indicated afterwards that one of her goals is to break 4:50. With the level of competition, it could happen on Saturday. There’s also Conard’s Sherry She ran 4:49.20 at the New Balance Nationals last June and was second to Bohlke at the State Open in a season best of 4:57.47.

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