Different means, same end for Hawks

Woodland’s Matthew Luxeder, right, and Vincent Costanzo lead the pack early on during a meet Tuesday versus Crosby, Torrington and Wolcott in Beacon Falls. –LUKE MARSHALL

Woodland’s Matthew Luxeder, right, and Vincent Costanzo lead the pack early on during a meet Tuesday versus Crosby, Torrington and Wolcott in Beacon Falls. –LUKE MARSHALL


BEACON FALLS — The Woodland cross country teams used different ways to get the same winning results on Tuesday.

The boys won the top four spots to defeat Crosby (15-45), Torrington (15-45) and Wolcott (16-44). The girls didn’t place in the top three, but took five spots in the rest of the top 10 to beat Torrington (26-33), Crosby (15-45) and Wolcott (23-35).

The girls are now 9-0, while the boys stand at 7-2.

Head coach Jeff Lownds spoke earlier this week about the consistency and expectations of Woodland’s cross country teams. The early season success appears to be a combination of hard work, perseverance and a good mental approach to running.

“In many ways, it’s a state of mind for our program,” Lownds said.

Emma Slavin, a freshman, grabbed the top spot for the Hawks on Tuesday. Slavin finished in fourth in a time of 22:36 on the 3.1-mile Woodland course.

Emilie Noreika (23:11) took fifth for Woodland, while teammate Jill Brotherton (23:38) was seventh and Jess Fox (23:58) was eighth overall. Woodland’s Meredith Dyckman (24:31) placed 10th, rounding out the team’s five best finishes on the day.

“The girls team is inexperienced, and it has good days and bad days,” Lownds explained. “But, they work hard and support each other.”

Woodland’s Emilie Noreika heads toward the finish line during a meet Tuesday versus Crosby, Torrington and Wolcott in Beacon Falls.–LUKE MARSHALL

Woodland’s Emilie Noreika heads toward the finish line during a meet Tuesday versus Crosby, Torrington and Wolcott in Beacon Falls.–LUKE MARSHALL


Both Woodland squads came into the season with potential — and it’s showing.

On the boys side, Woodland’s Matt Luxeder (18:01) and Vin Costanzo (18:05) were first and second, respectively.  They were followed by teammates Wes Stein (18:48) and Kyle Crowell (18:51). Greg Aldrich (19:04) was sixth overall and Matt Giaquinto (19:33) was 10th.

“The boys are getting better every week,” Lownds said. “Each meet is a training day.”

Specifically, Lownds said the team is working on eliminating the gap between runners.

“We have to eliminate that space where other teams can slip two or three runners in between,” Lownds said.

Tuesday showed progress for both teams who are competing at the top of the NVL standings.

The Hawks will face Watertown, Ansonia and Oxford on Oct. 4.