WATERBURY — The Woodland boys and girls track teams took full advantage of their opportunities on Tuesday to get a leg up on the competition.
The boys earned a 105-45 win over Holy Cross and a slim 76-74 win over Naugatuck, while the girls flew by the Crusaders, 107-31, and the Greyhounds, 114-36. Both teams improved to 6-0 on the season.
It was a perfect spring day at Holy Cross as a throng of fans lined the fence around the track to watch the flurry of activity on the other side.
The Woodland girls squad, which has won four straight NVL titles under head coach Jeff Lownds, used its diversity and a strong showing from junior Erika Michie to pull away.
Michie raced to victory in the 100, 200 and 400 meters to set the tone for the Hawks. The girls went on to show their overall team balance as Emma Slavin took first in the 1600 and Megen Sirowich finished first in the 800.
“This is just another track meet early in the season,” said Lownds, trying to down play the significance of the rivalry meet with Naugatuck. “We have a long way to go. (Naugatuck head coach) Ralph (Roper) does a great job with his team and it’s always a challenge to face them, and I know the kids are up for it on both sides.”
Sam Plasky leaped to victory with a 7 foot, 6 inch effort in the pole vault. Alexandra Cianciolo won the triple jump at 30 feet, 4 inches, and Gianna Polletta won the long jump at 15 feet.
The Hawks also had first-place finishes in the throwing events. Jasmine Michie won the shot put with a throw of 30 feet, 8 inches and Stephanie McLean took first in the discus at 85 feet, 1 inch.
“We might have a target on our back having won the title four years in a row,” Polletta said. “But we have balance throughout the lineup and can be competitive in every event, and that’s what we are looking for.”
That team balance runs through the entire class with promising freshmen teaming up with the experience of the upperclassmen.
Jordan Williams took a pair of second-place finishes in the 100 and 300 hurdles. Jade Brennan ran to second place in the 400 meters and had a third-place showing in the 200 meters.
McLean took second in the shot put and Christina Hart was second in the discus. Kristen Persico finished second in the javelin with Alexa Hassan finishing third in the javelin.
“It’s all about team depth,” Lownds said. “Last year we won the championship without winning any events as we had a lot of second- and third-place finishes. We have a lot of freshmen who are coming on and the goal is to get better every day.”
The boys team showed their strength by winning all three relays to set the tone for the victory. The 4×100 team of Tom Smith, Jack LaPerriere, Sean Mardin and Ben Nuss raced to victory in 44.9.
The 4×400 squad of Isiah Miller, Matt Luxeder, Cedric Benoit and Mark Crowley took first in 3:36.9, and the 4×800 foursome of Luxeder, Benoit, Edit Krivca and Miller finished first in 8:36.6.
Woodland also got first-place finishes from Smith in the 100 (11.1), Luxeder in the 800 (2:07), Crowley in the triple jump (39-1) and Craig Starkey in the pole vault (10).
The boys also received second-place finishes from Miller in the 300 hurdles, Benoit in the 800, Luxeder in the 400 and Vinny Costanzo in the 1600. Nuss had a pair of third-place finishes in the 100 and 200 meters with Mardin taking third in the 400 meters.
The Hawks will be back on the track on April 25 when they host Derby and Waterbury Career.