Hawks ready to take on state’s best

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys and girls indoor track team is prepared to take on the best athletes the state has to offer.

The Woodland girls, who are five-time defending NVL champions, will look to make their mark in the Class M state meet Saturday at the Floyd Little Athletic Complex in New Haven. The Woodland boys, who were NVL runner-ups this year, will compete in the Class S meet Friday at the complex.

“It’s an honor to qualify for the state meet,” Woodland girls head coach Jeff Lownds said. “Tim Shea, Adam Schultz and myself are very proud of what the Woodland indoor track team has accomplished this season.

“But we are going up against the best athletes in the state. To even qualify puts you at the top 25 percent of the athletes in the state and that is saying something. We are going to go out and give it the best effort we possibly can.”

The girls squad has several athletes that qualified in multiple events.

Clara Drozdowski qualified in three individual events (55 meter dash, 300 and 1000 meters) and as a part of the 4×400 relay squad. Lisa Thrasher also qualified in three individual events (600 meter, 1000 and high jump) along with being a member of two relay squads — the 4×400 and the sprint medley.

Erika Michie (55 meter dash and the 300 meters) along with Kelsey Mitchell (1600 and 3200) are two more athletes that have qualified in multiple events. Michie and Mitchell are also part of two relay teams that have qualified.

The 4×400 team, which came in first at NVLs, of Thrasher, Gianna Polletta, Drozdowski and Michie lead the Hawks. The 4×800 team of Kailyn Accetura, Erin Machado, Emilie Norieka and Mitchell along with the sprint medley foursome of Sam Plasky, Jordan Williams, Ava Capuano and Thrasher will give Woodland three solid chances in the states.

Williams also qualified for the 55 meter hurdles. Capuano, Lauren Lombardo and Polletta have all qualified for the long jump and will give the Hawks a strong presence in the jumping events.

“Qualifying for the states is certainly a noteworthy accomplishment,” Lownds added “Our 4×400 girls relay team is currently ranked as the sixth seed in the Class M, so they have a chance to compete for a medal.”

The Woodland boys team is looking to Jeff Giusto, who finished second at NVLs in the 1000, 1600 and 3200. Tom Smith finished first in the high jump at the NVL meet and qualified for the state meet.

The boys 4×400 relay team of Sean Mardin, Colton Cronin, Matt Luxeder and Edit Krivca took first at the NVL meet and qualified for states. Luxeder also qualified in the 600, Mardin in the long jump and Greg Fagan in the 55 meter dash.

The Hawks will also be represented in the state meet by the 4×200 (Fagan, Ben Nuss, Jeff Webster and Smith), the 4×800 team (Paul Jones, Matt Giaquinto, Isah Miller and Luxeder), and the sprint medley team (Nuss, Webster, Cronin and Giaquinto).