Greyhounds set to compete at championship meet

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck indoor track teams are as ready as ready can be heading into the Naugatuck Valley League championship meet.

Several canceled meets due to weather and a recent bout with the flu have created a scenario that is less than desirable as far as preparation goes, but head coach Ralph Roper feels his teams will be ready to compete when the time comes.

That time is coming up fast for the Greyhounds, who will take on the rest of the league on Monday at the Hillhouse Athletic Complex in New Haven.

“At the end of the day we just have to do the best we can with what we have,” Roper said. “Come championship time, I would expect us to be ready to compete at the best of our ability.”

The best of their ability just might be good enough for Naugatuck to make a little noise, especially the boys. Aren Seeger is the main threat and has qualified for the states already in the 55 meters, 55 hurdles and the 300 meters.

Zach Koslosky has also qualified in the 55 hurdles and the pole vault. Ben Healy has qualified in the long jump and high jump, and Nick Airall qualified in the high jump.

On the girls side, Makayla Teixeira, Brianna Soubannarath and Alyssa Zarrella have qualified for states in the 55 hurdles and give the girls their best shot at a medal in the event.

Esmeldy Hernandez will run the 55 dash and the 300 for the girls with Brianna Lennon picking up the distance runs in the 1000 and 3200 meters. Letacianna Stoudmire will run the 300 meters, and Sara Tarmay and Luanna Santis will compete in the high jump.

Depth will be an issue for the Greyhounds at the championship meet.

“There are minimum standards to meet in some of the events and we are going to be short in some events,” Roper said. “I feel some of our relays can be competitive, but this may be the smallest group we’ve had in quite some time going into the NVL championship.”

The girls team will have Gina Conforti, Caitlyn Doris, Lauren Rupsis and Lennon in the 4×800. Loren Quarles, Santis, Brianna Haye and Rachel Huculak will run the 4×200. Julia Dudek, Zarrella, Brittney Soubannarath and Alexia Miranda will run the 4×400.

The boys team will run Koslosky, Derek Sampaio, Seeger and Paul Marsh in the 4×200, Airall, Sean Evardo, Marsh and Sampaio in the 4×400, and Connor Behuniak, Bryce Cegielski, Chris Nanadoum and Healy in the 4×800.

Ross Via is Naugatuck’s long distance threat in the 1000, 1600 and the 3200. Nick Tarmey and Ariel Cruz give Naugy some depth in the jumps, and Matt Pimpinelli will compete in the throws.

Dylan Golden (55 meters), Justin Carroll (55 meters), Reggie McGregor (300 meters), Mike Patton (300 meters), Bryan Rodrigues (600 meters), Jonny Volpe (600 meters) and Brendon Soubannarath (1000 meters) give the ‘Hounds a little bit of depth and the ability to put points on the board.

“We are looking for the girls to put up some respectable numbers,” Roper said. “We do have a little more potential on the boys side of bringing home some hardware.”

“I think we can hold our own with some of the athletes we have on the boys side,” Roper added. “We may not have the same depth on the girls side, but as a team we will be ready to compete.”