BEACON FALLS — From a coaching stand point Tuesday’s track meet that saw Holy Cross, Watertown, Woodland and Naugatuck wind up the regular season was all about staying healthy and preparing for the NVL championship meet.
But the neighboring rivalry between Naugatuck and Woodland has a way of fueling the fires of competition. It always has and by the looks of it, it always will.
The Woodland boys ran down the Greyhounds coming away with an 85-65 victory. The Woodland girls had just enough to edge out the Greyhounds, 82-68.
The next time the teams take the track will be with a NVL title on the line in Torrington on May 24.
“Naugatuck is our biggest rival and you are going to get up for this meet no matter what,” Woodland junior Matt Giaquinto said. “I think the biggest difference between these two teams is our depth in the distance. That will also help us in our relays. We have a strong senior class and we have been close in the past and we have the athletes this year to make a run for it.”
There were two other competitors on Tuesday. The Woodland boys also upended Watertown, 126-24, and Holy Cross, 122-28, to finish the regular season 13-1. The Naugy boys went on to beat Holy Cross, 120-29, and are 11-3.
The Woodland girls defeated Watertown, 107-41, and Holy Cross, 99-50, to finish the regular season undefeated at 14-0. The Naugatuck girls got by Holy Cross, 95-55, and finished at 11-3.
“It’s always nice to be competitive in the league,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. “But at the end of the day it’s all about preparing to do our best at the NVL championship. We are a little banged up right now but hopefully we will be at a 100 percent at the league meet.”
The Woodland boys got the deciding edge taking all three relays.
The 4×100 team of Ben Nuss, Sean McAllen, Tyler Collodel and Greg Fagan won in 44.6. The 4×400 squad of Sean Mardin, Matt Luxeder, Quincy Koch and Colton Cronin raced to victory in 3:38, and the 4×800 team of Luxeder, Edit Krivca, Brian Sardinskas and Jeff Guisto finished first in 8:28.
Naugatuck made some noise with Mark Zamani finishing first in all three distance runs: the 800, 1600 and 3200. Fejiro Onakpoma was a double winner in the long jump (20 feet) and the triple jump (45 feet, 1 inch). Tyler Blair threw a first-place distance of 102 feet, 7 inches in the discus.
The Hawks had enough distance between Naugatuck with McAllen taking first-place finishes in the 100, 200 and the javelin (142 feet). Brandon Clifford took first in the 110 hurdles, Koch won the 300 hurdles and Cronin won the 400 meters.
The Woodland girls stayed ahead of the competition by winning two of the three relays and winning all of the distance runs.
Kelsey Mitchell won both the 1600 and 3200, and Clara Drozdowski took first in the 800.
The 4×400 relay team of Lisa Thrasher, Alexa Casimiro, Erika Michie and Megen Sirowich took first in 4:29. The 4×800 team of Casimiro, Erin Machado, Sydney Grillo and Sirowich finished first in 10:46.
“It’s certainly good to be on our home track for a meet like this,” Casimiro said. “It gives us a little advantage but we still need to go out there and perform at our best.”
Naugatuck was able to stay on the Hawks’ heels as Ariana Alvarado won the 100, 200 and 400. She was also part of the 4×100 team with Kyla Magalhaes, Rachel Garcia and Renell Clarence that took first in 52.4.
“We came into this meet to get ready for the NVLs but it’s kind of hard not to focus on trying to beat Woodland,” Clarence said. “Even in practice the coaches have been telling us how important this meet is and we realize they are our biggest rival, so we want to do well.”
The Greyhounds also had winning performances from Magalhaes in the 300 hurdles, Garcia in the triple jump, Jasmine Grey in the shot put and Erin Schofield in the javelin.