Woodland girls win NVL indoor title, boys edged out by Derby
NEW HAVEN — The Woodland girls indoor track team continues to dominate the NVL championship meet. And they did it with depth.
The Hawks won their fifth straight NVL title on Monday night, overcoming the competition with strong performances across the board at the Floyd Athletic Center in New Haven.
The Woodland boys team placed second overall, edged out by first-place Derby by three points.
The girls won the meet with 97 points, seven point ahead of second-place Seymour. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the victory was that the Hawks took first in two events, and grabbed 13 top-five finishes overall.
Despite being down over 20 points in the first three events, the Hawks stayed focused and took home another title.
“We have a lot of respect for the competition in this league,” Woodland girls head coach Jeff Lownds said. “And to win five straight titles is a very notable achievement that says a lot about the hard work of our athletes.”
Woodland’s Lisa Thrasher took first in the 600 meter run in a time of 1:48.39, and she was also part of the 4×400 relay team’s top-place finish that won by nearly 10 seconds. Thrasher was joined by Gianna Polletta, Clara Drozdowski and Erika Michie in the 4×400.
“That was the first time those four girls ran together in the 4×400, and they wound up with the sixth best time in their class this season,” Lownds said.
Two other Woodland relay teams took second — the 1600 sprint medley and the 4×800.
Kelsey Mitchell was one of many Hawks who grabbed key points for the Hawks. Mitchell was third in the 1600 meters and fourth in the 3200 meters.
Teammate Erika Michie joined Mitchell with two top-five in multiple events. Michie was fifth in the 55 dash and fourth in 300 meters.
In perhaps the most striking display of depth, the Hawks failed to grab first in the pole vault and long jump, but dominated both events.
Samantha Plasky placed second in the pole vault and teammate Emilie Norieka took third in the event. Even though Seymour athletes took first and fourth, the Hawks took the most points in the event and one more than Seymour.
In a similar result in the long jump, the Hawks took third, fifth and sixth to keep pace with the top-two finishers. Lauren Lombardo (third), Gianna Polletta (fifth) and Ava Capuano (sixth) grabbed a total of nine points.
Jordan Williams was third in the 55 meter hurdles, less than a half second behind the winner.
Winning a fifth straight title speaks to the program, and not just individual performances.
“If you win five straight titles, it’s not with the same girls,” Lownds said. “It speaks to our ability to regroup and reload each year.”
On the boys side, Tom Smith won the 55 meter dash and the high jump as the Hawks nearly took home the top spot.
“We were very pleased with the way we competed,” Woodland boys head coach Tim Shea said. “We worked very hard to get ourselves in the right spots to get the most points. The meet was tight and came down to the last event so we knew we had a chance.”
Woodland’s Jeff Giusto was a force in the distance events — finishing second in the 1000, 1600 and 3200 meters and earning a total of 24 points for the Hawks.
Other top finishes for the boys included the 4×400 relay team of Sean Mardin, Colton Cronin, Matt Luxedor and Edit Krivca. In the 600 meters, Luxedor and Isah Miller took third and fourth for the Hawks.
“Our 4×400 team dropped like 10 seconds from our seed,” Shea said. “Not many people gave us a chance and that became our goal. We wanted to be part of the conversation that night and we were. We can use this as a spring board for outdoor where we will be adding more kids to the mix. Hopefully outdoor just got a little more interesting.”