Woodland carrying momentum into outdoor season

The Woodland boys and girls outdoor track teams will be led by a strong senior class. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland track and field teams hope to keep the momentum going from the indoor to the outdoor season.

The girls won their sixth straight NVL indoor title earlier this year, while the boys came in second. The two teams did it in different ways but both were successful.

The girls scored points in all but one event, while the boys scored in seven of the 15 events.

“We want to qualify as many as possible for the Class M meet and will attend several Invitationals to prepare us,” Woodland girls head coach Jeff Lownds said. “We view ourselves as a state program and want to continue to excel in the league and in the state. We are fortunate to have a good staff of coaches, so we are able to focus on different disciplines at practice each day.”

Lownds, who has 15 years at the helm of the girls’ program at Woodland, will be assisted by Courtney Ambrose and Mario Longo. They will have depth to work with.

The senior class features Samantha Plasky (sprints and pole vault), Erin Machado (mid distance), Stephanie McClean (throws), Gianna Polletta (jumps, sprints and relays), Alexa Hassan (throws), Jordan Williams (hurdles and relays), Gillian Hotchkiss (mid distance), and Hailey Boris (mid distance).

The juniors are Emilie Noreika (long distance and pole vault), Megan Sirowich (mid distance), Erika Michie (sprints, relays and hurdles), Kristen Persico (throws), Jessica Fox (long distance), Christina Hart (throws), Alli Cianciolo (jumps), Casey Donnelly (hurdles and jumps) and Julia Swiatek (pole vault and jumps).

Among the sophomores competing for time will be Stephanie Poynton and Kristina Poynton (jumps and sprints), Julia Accetura (sprints), Syd Grillo (sprints and relays), Karly Laliberte (sprints), Alyssa VanAlstyne (hurdles and jumps), Haley Wolfanger (mid distance), Alanna Drmic (sprints).

The Hawks may also have some freshmen who could contribute points. Jade Brennan (sprints), Sophia Vescera (sprints), Emma Slavin (long distance), Jill Brotherton (long distance), Calisa Costanzo (long distance) and Jasmine Michie (throws) will be in the mix.

The boys team, coached by Bill Ferrare, had a relatively smaller number of student-athletes in the winter and added to the team. The Hawks have personnel who can score in multiple events to make them a dangerous team.

Three members of the boys team brought home medals in the Class S indoor state meet in February.

Junior Tom Smith won the 55 meter dash at NVLs and took second at the state meet. Smith was also involved in the 4×200 relay and 1600 sprint medley. The 4×200 placed third overall, and the team also included Ben Nuss, Sean Mardin and Jack LaPerriere.

The sprint medley took third with the team of Nuss, Mardin and Cedric Benoit.

The 4×400 relay team, which won the event at the NVLs, placed fourth with Mardin, Mark Crowley, Benoit and Matt Luxeder. Woodland also received individual points from Luxeder, who took sixth in the 600 meters. Teammate Isiah Miller was 12th in the event.

Junior Craig Starkey, who won the pole vault at the NVLs, took sixth at the Class S.

“I look forward to the outdoor track season,” Ferrare said. “We had a great turnout from students for the boys outdoor track team. Our roster has doubled in size from indoor track, I feel we will be competitive within the NVL this spring. We had a competitive indoor track season and we look to keep that momentum rolling into the outdoor track season.”

The Hawks also feature seniors who will contribute, such as Matt Gianquinto, Colin Kennelly, Quincy Koch, Julio Quintero, Eric Reyes and Alex Rindos.

The junior class also includes Joe Kmetz, Jack LaPerriere, Matt Mills and Ben Nuss. Sophomores Edit Krivca, Maciej Lewicki, Matt Iannone and Ryan Swanson will also complete to be a part of the lineup.

There are also three freshmen — Cole Barrows, Stephen Persico and Devon Polletta — who are prepping to contribute.

With little time to practice outside due to the winter storm earlier this month, the Hawks and other teams in the NVL will have to be ready for the season.

The Hawks are scheduled to open the season April 4 against Watertown and Crosby in Watertown.

“The season starts next week,” Lownds said. “And we have to answer the bell and do our best.”