Next up, State Open

Three local athletes qualify for meet

Naugatuck’s Dan Schumacher (pictured) along with Woodland’s Mike Lang and Jazmyn Menzies will compete at Saturday’s State Open in New Haven. –FILE PHOTO

Naugatuck’s Dan Schumacher (pictured) along with Woodland’s Mike Lang and Jazmyn Menzies will compete at Saturday’s State Open in New Haven. –FILE PHOTO

NEW HAVEN — Three local athletes qualified to compete in the State Open track meet thanks to their performances at their divisional meets last week.

Woodland’s Mike Lang and Jazmyn Menzies and Naugatuck’s Dan Schumacher will all compete at Saturday’s State Open at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

Lang, a senior who is no stranger to the State Open, qualified in both the long jump and the high jump last Saturday. His leap of 21 feet, 7 inches was just ½ inch shy of the Class S long jump championship. He also qualified in the high jump with a bound of 5-10, which placed him fifth in Class S.

Lang’s other event in Class S, the 55-meter hurdles, saw him finish fourth in 8.40 seconds. He earned all of the Hawks’ 14 team points, which placed them in a tie for ninth place. Bloomfield won the meet, but Woodland was the top Naugatuck Valley League team at the competition.

Dean Conway (10th in 1,000 meters) was the other top-10 finisher for the Hawks.

“We finished about where I thought we would,” Woodland boys coach Tim Shea said. “Lang did what we expected him to do.”

Menzies earned a pair of points in Class S thanks to her two jumping performances. Her 5-foot high jump placed her in a tie for fifth and earned her entry into the State Open, and she earned another point by finishing sixth in the long jump (15-4).

She also competed in the 4-by-400 relay, but the team was disqualified for a line violation. To Woodland girls coach Jeff Lownds, Menzies’ versatility is an illustration of what has made the Hawks so competitive in recent years.

“We’re lucky that we’ve had girls who are multi-talented,” Lownds said. “Brittany Albright, Rachel Spiwak, Syd Corneau. Audra (Blewitt) is like that (this year). We’re very lucky to have girls who are not one-dimensional.”

The Hawks girls earned six points in Class S, good for a tie for 21st place. Megan Lynch’s fourth-place finish in the pole vault (8 feet) accounted for Woodland’s other four points.

Other top-10 finishers for Woodland included Blewitt (seventh in long jump), Ashley Michie (ninth in 55 meters) and the 4-by-200 relay team (Marisa Macek, Lisa Thrasher, Haleigh Resnick, Michie; eighth place).

“We were satisfied with the season we had,” Lownds said. “We couldn’t have done any better than at we did at NVLs, and Class S is tough. Overall, when you win three (NVL titles) in a row, you can’t be too disappointed.”

Schumacher was Naugatuck’s star at last Thursday’s Class L competition. He qualified in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters after being scratched in the 1,000. Schumacher placed fourth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:32.42 and was seventh in the 3,200 with a mark of 9:53.24. He handily beat his seeded times in both races.

Other top-10 finishers for the Greyhounds included Tyler Hayward (10th in 600 meters) and James SanAngelo (10th in shot put).

The Naugatuck girls did not score but were paced by Jasmine Grey, who tied for seventh in the long jump (4-8).

The three local State Open qualifiers will try to make the New England meet March 1 in Boston. It’s a place Shea is familiar with, thanks to his team’s successes over the years.

“They’re in good position, hopefully, to go to Boston,” Shea said. “I’ve been telling them all week: ‘It doesn’t matter what you do, just be one of the six.’ That’s a huge goal for these kids. For all the success we’ve had, we’d like to get more kids up at that level.”

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