'Topper Wins At 1st Meet Of Champions
by Ed Dean
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - St. Johnsbury Academy's Aaron Rutstein won the long jump, North Country's Justin Fyffe raced to second place in the 3000 and SJA's Bryan Black landed second place in the javelin Saturday at the first Vermont Meet of Champions.
The event, held at Middlebury College's Dragone Track, opened the door for 200 Vermont competitors to earn a trip to New Englands.
The top six finishers in each event qualified to compete in the 51st annual New England Track and Field Championships next Saturday in Providence, R.I. at Brown University.
Rutstein, who was the only athlete from the Northeast Kingdom to actually win an event, noted that felt pretty good jumping, even with a sore ankle.
quot;My ankle's been bothering me a little, but I won so it doesn't matter now,quot; said Rutstein, grinning broadly.
Two other NEK thinclads who qualified for the New England Meet in the long jump and triple jump pits were SJA's Nate Cloutier (second in triple jump, fourth in long jump) and LI's David Noyes (third in long jump, sixth in triple jump).
Lyndon's Ryan Emmons raced to third place in the 100-meter dash in 11.68 to earn his ticket. SJA's Justin Barton and Matt Robinson both qualified to go on with respective fifth- and sixth-place throws in the shot put. LI's David Noyes nabbed sixth place in the javelin.
The Hilltoppers 4x100 relay team of Ryan Bennett, Chris Clayton, Matt Robinson and Joey Tay managed to take sixth place.
On the girls side, SJA freshman sprinting sensation Laurie Lang earned her spot by racing to fourth place in the 400-meter run in 61.76.
LI's Bonnie Kirchoff landed a sixth place finish in the discus and Viking teammate Shanna Stoddard nabbed fifth place in the javelin.