Superior depth carries Hawks to victory, boys take third at NVL championship
TORRINGTON — Make it four straight Naugatuck Valley League outdoor track and field titles for the Woodland girls.
The Hawks captured the title in Torrington on Tuesday afternoon with 111.75 points, outlasting Derby (106) and Seymour (102), who finished second and third, respectively. The Woodland boys took third overall scoring 120 points.
The girls team stuck to the plan of getting points whenever and wherever they could, and it paid off.
The Hawks were down after 15 events, but picked up 10 points in the triple jump and 11 points in the 3200. They were up 12 points after 17 events.
“We were fortunate enough we stayed in it,” Woodland girls head coach Jeff Lownds said. “We don’t count anything until 18 events are over. Derby and Seymour are good teams, and we were fortunate to beat them.”
For the seniors, including captains Lisa Thrasher, Ava Capuano and Lauren Lombardo, the win means they went all four years as NVL outdoor champs.
“Four is pretty special,” Lownds said. “Our seniors have never lost an outdoor conference meet — we had one tie — but never lost one.”
The Woodland girls didn’t win a single event, but their superior depth propelled them to another title.
Lombardo, who was named the Most Outstanding Jumper, took third in the triple jump in 32 feet, 5 inches.
Erika Michie finished second (1:02.35) in the 400 and third (27.22) in the 200. Kelsey Mitchell added a third-place finish in the 3200 in 12:26.42.
On the boys side, Craig Starkey won the pole vault for the Hawks clearing 11 feet, while the team notched two relay victories. Cedric Benoit, Edit Krivca, Matt Luxeder and Brian Sardinskas won the 4×800 in 8:26.08, while Sean Mardin, Luxeder, Quincy Koch and Colton Cronin took the 4×400 in 3:32.40.
The Seymour boys won the meet with 138 points, and Derby finished second with 122 points.
“The boys competed tough today,” Woodland boys head coach Tim Shea said. “But in track you can only control what you do. Seymour had a great day today, hats off to them.”
Woodland’s Jeff Giusto took second place in the 1600 (4:39.69), 800 (1:59.06) and 3200 (10:16.75), finishing just seconds behind Naugatuck’s Mark Zamani in each event.
Brandon Clifford finished second in the 110 hurdles (16.20), and added third-place finishes in the long jump (20-4.5) and triple jump (41-8). Sean McAllen came in third in the javelin with a throw of 155 feet, 1 inch.
“I know some of the boys were disappointed with the way things turned out, but I’d be concerned if they weren’t,” Shea said. “Now it’s time to get ready for the state level.”