Woodland, Naugatuck compete at NVL championships
SEYMOUR — Woodland came up just 70 pounds shy of defending its Naugatuck Valley League weightlifting championship Saturday at Seymour High.
Instead, the Wildcats did just enough in their home gym to dethrone the Hawks. Seymour lifted a team total of 11,835 pounds to Woodland’s 11,765 pounds. Naugatuck finished ninth of 12 teams by lifting 9,980 pounds.
Despite the runner-up finish, the Hawks boasted some of the day’s star lifters. Senior Levi Fancher led the pack by lifting a total of 1,045 pounds — the most lifted by any single competitor all day. He defended his title in the 201-220-pound class and earned the meet’s Most Valuable Lifter award.
Fancher won two of the three events in his division. His 455-pound squat was easily the most of anyone in the class, and his 290-pound power clean outdid the rest of the field by 25 pounds. Fancher also placed third in the bench press with a lift of 300 pounds.
“I failed 315 (pounds) on bench and 300 on power clean, so I wish I got those,” Fancher said. “But it’s a great way to go out. I’m pretty satisfied with it.”
Woodland dominated the 201-220 division thanks to Fancher and senior teammate Chris Slavin. Slavin also finished among the top three in all three lifts with his 420-pound squat (second), 300-pound bench press (second) and 255-pound power clean (third).
The Hawks’ other star of the day was senior Josh Collet, who swept all three events in the 181-200-pound division. Collet’s squat (420 pounds), bench press (290) and power clean (270) gave him a total of 980 pounds.
Both Fancher and Collet earned All-NVL honors for their efforts.
Naugatuck returned to the NVL weightlifting competition after a multiple-year absence. Football coach Craig Bruno, who is in his first full offseason with the Greyhounds, was excited to be at the meet and announced his summer NVL football passing league competitions to fellow coaches.
His ‘Hounds placed ninth with many of their football-playing weightlifters busy playing in the NVL basketball quarterfinals at the same time. Naugy will soon move into a state-of-the-art weight room, which is part of the renovation at the high school.
Two Greyhounds finished on the podium at the competition. In the under-160-pound class, Freddy Sanchez bench pressed 270 pounds to finish third in the event. In the over-220-pound division, Will Paul bench pressed 305 pounds to also claim third.