Record-setting day for Naugatuck on the track
BEACON FALLS — The Naugatuck boys 4-by-800-meter relay team of Jake Simons, Muad Hrezi, Colin Reilly and Nick Moriello broke a Naugatuck Valley League record, but the outstanding effort wasn’t enough to catapult the Greyhounds ahead of one of the strongest NVL fields in years.
The Greyhounds finished a distant fourth at the NVL championship meet on Tuesday at Woodland regional High School.
The 4-by-800 squad broke Seymour’s 2008 record with a first-place finish of 8 minutes, 5.40 seconds.
Senior long-distance runner Muad Hrezi won gold twice for the ‘Hounds, winning the 1,600 in 4:33.02 and the 3,200 in 9:46.30.
“I tried not to go out too strong,” Hrezi said. “I wanted to sit back in the pack and then make my move in the last 100 yards. I turned the corner and had the lead but out of the corner of my eye I saw a red jersey. I thought it was the runner from Derby but down the stretch the Wolcott runner was right on my hip.”
That was all the noise the boys were able to muster as the team’s total of 68 points was well behind third-place Wolcott’s 78 and second-place Derby’s 79. Woodland won the meet hands-down, scoring a team total of 152 points after completing the regular season undefeated.
Nick Moriello ran to a second-place finish in the 800 in 2:03.86. That race was won by Wolcott’s Joe Gioielli, who broke the only other NVL record of the meet with a first-place run of 1:56.22.
“This is a tough meet,” Naugatuck coach Ralph Roper said. “This is one of the strongest fields in a long time.”
Colton Wagner captured third place in the pole vault with an effort of 11 feet, 6 inches and the 4-by-400 relay team of Patrick Alves, Simons, Moriello and Reilly finished second in a time of 3:31.36.
The Naugatuck girls faced a tough challenge and finished fifth with a team total of 75 points. Woodland edged regular season champion Watertown, 134-132, while Holy Cross (97) held on for third over Wolcott (90).
Jordyn Allen won gold in the 1,600, racing to victory in a time of 5:28.27.
“We knew coming in here that this was going to be a very competitive meet for us,” Allen said. “I trained real hard for this all year, and I wanted to come out and give it my best effort.”
Naugatuck got a strong effort from Shannon Hale, as she finished second in the 100 hurdles in 17.59 seconds, and then gutted out a third-place finish in the 300 hurdles in a time of 49.85 seconds.
Brianna Ritter took gold in the discus with a throw of 104 feet, 10 inches, beating the closest competitor by 15 feet. She finished third in the shot put with an effort of 30-2.
Naugatuck will now gear up to compete at the Class L championships on Tuesday.