NEW HAVEN — The Naugatuck High School indoor track team was a few steps off the pace at the NVL championship meet.
The girls finished third with 73 points at the meet Monday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven for the second year in a row. The boys, who were the defending champions, took fifth place with 53 points.
The Woodland girls won the meet with 97 points, while Derby won the boys title with 89 points.
Ariana Alvarado defended her NVL title in the 55 meter dash finishing at a pace of 7.59. Naugatuck also picked up a bevy of points with Alvarado finishing second in the 300 meters in 44.61 and Kyla Magalhaes finishing third in 44.78.
The 4×200 relay team of Magalhaes, Alvarado, Rachel Garcia and Jill Orts raced to a first-place finish. The 4×400 team of Garcia, Magalhaes, Jasmine Grey and Melissa Goja took second.
The Lady Greyhounds didn’t finish as high up in the standing in the distance races, but did show a significant drop in times. Cindy Stirk ran to ninth in the 600, but cut 6 seconds off her time with a finish of 2:01.58, Melissa Goja placed tenth in the event.
“I thought the girls relays and our sprints did very well for us,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. “Our distance runner needed to pick up the pace and a couple of our girls really saw significant time drops. But we need to try and get some of the younger kids out to boost our feeder program.”
Courtney Morin was fifth in the 1000 meters in 3:32.15 and Lauren Stankiewicz finished eighth in the 1600 in 6:17.09. Brianna Lennon placed eighth in the 1000 meters and dropped 15 seconds off her time to finish 10th in the 3200 in 14.25.72.
Jasmine Grey took third in the high jump for the second year in a row at 5 feet, and placed fourth in the shot put with a distance of 30 feet and 1/2 inch. Makayla Teixeira finished fourth in the 55 hurdles with an effort of 9.94 and Elizabeth Trumbley was fourth in the pole vault at 6 feet, 6 inches.
The boys team was led by Mark Zamani who pulled off the trifecta. Zamani won the 1000 meters in 2:44.47, the 1600 in 4:44.07 and the 3200 in 10:20.53. The senior distance runner was the only bright spot for the boys team outside of Kevin Okifo, who finished second in the pole vault at 9 feet, 6 inches.
“It was a tough day for Naugy track,” Roper admitted. “Not only was this a real competitive field with Derby, Woodland and Seymour at the top of their game. We did have some injuries, especially to Aren Seeger and Dan Oladapo, and some other athletes had other challenges. But the injuries didn’t have us at the top of our game.”
There were no significant time drops or distance increases that would have made the Greyhounds more competitive. Naugatuck fell behind quickly without a presence in the 55 meter dash and never made up the space in the team total points.
Luis Garces placed fifth in the 1600 in 5:09.16 and Andrew Carroll finished sixth in the 300 meters in 38.58. Matt Wahl added a fifth-place finish in the 55 hurdles in 9.30.
The boys did show some resolve with the 4×400 relay team of Mike Campos, Carroll, Mike Zamani and Bailey Mortensen finishing fourth, and the 4×800 team of Elliot Via, Ross Via, Garces and Dave Kerns taking fourth.