NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck boys and girls indoor track team is preparing to compete in the Class L state meet Saturday at the Floyd Little Athletic Complex in New Haven.
The girls team goes into the state competition fresh off a third-place finish at the NVL championship, while the boys are looking to rebound from a fifth-place at the league championship.
“We have a few athletes that are poised to do well at the states,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. “We may not be as deep as some of the other teams that we will be competing against but we will be prepared to do our best with what we have.”
The Naugy girls didn’t qualify any mid or long distance runners for states, but do bring a group of athletes that can be successful to the table.
Ariana Alvarado is a two-time NVL champion in the 55 meter dash and placed second in the 300 meters at NVLs. Jasmine Grey was right behind Alvarado in the 55 meters and put up strong numbers in the 300 meters, shot put and high jump to qualify for states in four different events.
Kyla Magalhaes (300 meters) and Makayla Teixeira (55 meter hurdles) have also qualified in individual events for the Greyhounds.
Three relay teams will also give Naugy a chance to pick up some valuable points and quite possibly a medal when all is said and done.
The 4×200 team that finished first at the NVL meet consists of Magalhaes, Alvarado, Rachel Garcia and Jill Orts. The 4×400 squad of Garcia, Magalhaes, Grey and Melissa Goja placed second at NVLs. Also looking to leave its mark is the sprint medley foursome of Orts, Teixeira, Garcia and Courtney Morin.
“I think we have a couple of girls who are solid in their performances and can be successful at states,” Roper added. “We do have three relay teams and they can all put up strong numbers to be competitive.”
The boys team may not be as strong as the team that began the season due to injuries. Naugy is without the services of Aren Seeger. Dan Oladapo, who runs the 55 meter dash, may be a game-day decision as to not further injure his hamstring for the spring track season.
The 4×200 relay squad of Jalen Datil, Carroll, Mike Campos and Xavier Lewis will be joined by the 4×400 team of Campos, Carroll, Mike Zamani and Bailey Mortensen to bolster the Greyhounds’ hopes of bringing home a medal.
“The boys team has a couple of relays that has the potential to do well at the states,” Roper said. “We have a few athletes at individual events but I’m not about to push someone who’s not at 100 percent.”
Naugatuck is strong in the 300 meters with Andrew Carroll and Mike Zamani qualifying for the state meet. The ‘Hounds biggest threat is Mark Zamani, who won the winning the 1000, 1600 and 3200 meters at NVLs and will be looking to bring home a medal at the state meet.
“Mark is poised to do well at the states,” Roper said. “I’m not sure we are going to try and push him to run in all three events. We are going to compete with what we have and come out of it with everyone healthy.”