Woodland girls set pace in NVL

Boys not far behind frontrunner

Woodland’s Mary Sardinskas, front, and Clara Drozdowski approach the finish line Oct. 1 at Seymour High School. Sardinskas placed second overall in 20 minutes, 19 seconds as Drozdowski took third with a time of 20 minutes, 30 seconds. The girls team is a perfect 10-0 in league play this season. –LUKE MARSHALL

Woodland’s Mary Sardinskas, front, and Clara Drozdowski approach the finish line Oct. 1 at Seymour High School. Sardinskas placed second overall in 20 minutes, 19 seconds as Drozdowski took third with a time of 20 minutes, 30 seconds. The girls team is a perfect 10-0 in league play this season. –LUKE MARSHALL

SEYMOUR — The Woodland girls cross country team has run to an undefeated record in Naugatuck Valley League competition, and the boys team isn’t far behind.

Hawks head coach Jeff Lownds and assistant coach Ross Cooper had their teams display more positive results in an Oct. 1 meet against Crosby, Naugatuck and Seymour.

“I’m very proud of both the boys and the girls teams,” Lownds said.  

The girls defeated all three opponents and improved to 10-0 in the NVL. The Hawks were paced by their team captain Mary Sardinskas, who placed second overall in 20 minutes, 19 seconds on the 3.02-mile Seymour course.

“She’s had a good season so far, and we expect her to continue,” Lownds said. “She’s worked hard and had a lot of success to help us get where we are.”

The Hawks had five other runners place in the top 10. Sophomore Clara Drozdowski (20:30) took third, junior Stephanie Kiley (20:54) finished fourth, sophomore Kelsey Mitchell (22:25) was sixth, sophomore Bianca Poehailos (22:26) took seventh and senior Carli Giusto (23:35) was 10th.

“If you look at the spread from one to five on our team, those are good times for a fast course like Seymour,” Lownds said.

The boys team features no seniors, but offers plenty of potential for the future. The Hawks defeated Crosby and Seymour on Tuesday, and lost to Naugy. They moved to 8-2 in the NVL.

Sophomore Jeff Giusto placed fifth overall and represented the Hawks’ best finish. Giusto finished the course in 17:57. Another Woodland sophomore, Matt Butterworth, was seventh in 18:35.

“The boys team has a great approach and they’re always supporting each other,” Lownds said. “They’re very aggressive and they leave it all out there.”

Woodland’s Jeff Giusto comes in to place fifth overall Oct. 1 at Seymour High School. Giusto represented the Hawks’ best finish of the meet with a time of 17:57. The boys team is 8-2 in the NVL this season. –LUKE MARSHALL

Woodland’s Jeff Giusto comes in to place fifth overall Oct. 1 at Seymour High School. Giusto represented the Hawks’ best finish of the meet with a time of 17:57. The boys team is 8-2 in the NVL this season. –LUKE MARSHALL

Sophomore Brian Sardinskas took eighth in 18:42, while junior Dean Conway (18:58) was 10th, sophomore Jimmy Jensen (19:04) was 11th, junior Zach Noreika (19:07) was 12th, freshman Matt Giaquinto (19:49) was 16th and freshman Paul Jones (19:56) was 17th.

Lownds expects times to improve with experience.

“Those aren’t bad times for young guys,” Lownds said. “You give away a lot to juniors and seniors in cross country.”

On Tuesday the Hawks travel to Torrington for a meet with the Red Raiders and Kennedy.

“The Torrington course is relatively flat with a couple of hills that will be a challenge,” Lownds said.  “We take one meet and one week at a time.”