CRANSTON, RI (WPRI) — This week’s Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses Hometown Sports Heroes is Ailani Sutherland.

The Cranston West sophomore won gold in the 100M and 200M and helped her team take home the 4X100 title in a State Meet record time of 47.64, breaking a mark that had stood since 2009. Sutherland’s break out performance coming after she took her first Gold in the 55M at the State Indoor Meet.

“She found what she needed to find and has really risen to the top,” said Falcon Head Coach Rebecca DelNigro. “She’s always had some talent, and she’s really come through and discovered what she’s able to do and I think that’s really boosted her confidence to run her best right now. And she’s got more to go, more to give.”
Ailani and her teammates will head to Pennsylvania this weekend to compete at the New Balance Nationals. Sutherland will run in the 100M, 4X100M and the 4X200M, and she’s hoping to reach her best on the biggest stage.

“I’m very excited about Nationals, a little nerve wracking because a lot of people will be there, and I’m hoping to do really well,” Sutherland said. “I’m hoping to PR. My goal is to run 12.1 in the 100. I’m at 12.2 and I just need to knock off a little time.”
“There’s things that I see that she can still improve upon,” DelNigro said. “She’s got the natural speed but there are some things I still see. Her starts are something we want to see get faster, and if she can do that, then I think she will be untouchable.”

If you have a Hometown Sports Hero you’d like to nominate, email sports@wpri.com