TORRINGTON — As members of the Naugatuck boys’ cross country team cantered along the Torrington High School course during Tuesday’s six-team meet, their eyes drifted toward their female teammates, bundled up in sweatshirts and sweatpants.
“They were like, ‘Hey, those are the new warmups. Those are nice,’” said Rosa Moriello, who had already won the girls’ race in a nonchalant 18 minutes, 11 seconds, still more than a minute faster than her closest pursuer. “I was like, ‘Yeah, but pay attention to the race.’”
The fellas listened—claiming three of the top four spots and beating Woodland, Sacred Heart and Holy Cross to complete a perfect, 11-0 regular season—but it was hard to not think about the sweats. Dark clouds spat at runners like an angry 3-year-old, while temperatures dipped into the 40s, with the wind chill.
Naugy sophomore Nick Moriello won the boys’ race in 16:38, followed by Woodland’s Tyler Murphy in 16:46 and fellow Greyhounds Jeff Dorosh in 16:50 and Eric DeSousa in 16:52. Woodland edged Holy Cross by a single point and also beat Torrington and Sacred Heart to finish its regular season 7-4.
On the girls’ side, the Hawks’ trio of Brittany Albright, Crystal Steinfeld and Melissa Kiley went three, four, six, finishing in 20:01, 20:13 and 20:43, respectively. That cluster of top finishers was enough to squeak by the Crusaders, 27-28, and also beat Naugatuck, Torrington and Sacred Heart to wrap up an 11-0 regular season, the Black and Gold’s second straight undefeated campaign. The Hounds finished 7-4 after the Woodland defeat and also losing to Cross.
Several Woodland girls ran their best times of the season, indicating to their coach that they might be peaking just in time to defend their NVL crown next Wednesday.
“I think so. I hope so,” Hawks coach Jeff Lownds said. “That’s what we want.”