NAUGATUCK — This year’s Naugatuck boys and girls track teams may be the most balanced teams the Greyhounds have assembled in quite a few seasons. The Greyhounds will take that balance into the NVL championship Tuesday in Torrington.
“We definitely have some athletes who can put up some big numbers for us,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. “Of course it all comes down to bringing your best effort on that day and keeping it together in the face of some stiff competition.”
The boys team once again has a stable of runners led by Mark Zamani and Graden Beasley.
What coach Roper is most pleased about is the progress made by the throwers, taught by assistant coach Ron Mills.
“Coach Mills has really helped our throwers make vast improvements and that will help us to be a more balanced team heading into the NVL championship meet,” Roper said.
Kyle Anders, Logan Bond and William Chockey are the throwers that the Greyhounds will need to rely on. Naugatuck will also look to pick up points from freshman Jacob Fazekas in the hurdles and Zach Koslosky in the pole vault.
Aren Seeger, Mike Zamani, Joe Dempsey, David Kerns, Luis Garces and Antoine Sistrunk will be assets in the mid-distance and relays.
Matt Wahl lends experience in the hurdles with Fejiro Onakpoma representing a triple threat in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
The girls team is strong in the distance with assistance coach Bill Hanley developing a core of runners in Lauren Stankiewicz, Cindy Stirk, Briana Lennon and Courtney Morin.
What will push Naugatuck over the top is a group of athletes that can be threats in three events.
Ariana Alvarado in the 100, 200 and 400, Jasmine Grey in the jumps and mid-distance, and Rachel Garcia in the triple jump, long jump and high jump set the pace for Naugatuck.
The girls will also boast a solid group of throwers in Erin Schofield and Sam Morin. The relay teams will have depth in Melissa Goja, Renell Clarence and Alvarado. Liz Trumbley (pole vault), Kyla Magalhaes (hurdles) and Macie Best (jumps) give the Greyhounds their deepest squad in quite a few seasons to make a run at an NVL title.
“We have some moneymakers on both the boys and the girls side,” Roper said. “We did well and stayed with Woodland in our last meet. It will be very competitive going up against Seymour, Woodland, Derby and the rest of the NVL schools.”