NEW HAVEN — Heading into the Naugatuck Valley League indoor track championship, Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper knew it would take a special kind of effort to emerge from a field of talented and competitive teams.
The Naugatuck boys finished as runner-ups with 56 points Monday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. Derby won the title with 96 points. Woodland took third with 47 points.
On the girls side, Naugatuck finished fifth with 40 points. Woodland won the title with 108 points. Watertown was the runner-up with 80 points.
“You can tell by the results that every point counted,” Roper said. “We loaded up on the relays and scored points in every race. There’s only one first place in every event. So in this sport it’s really more about doing your personal best.
“Five of our eight relays exceeded their seeding times. And out of 20 athletes, 13 of them hit personal best times and distances. That says a lot about what we brought to the meet.”
Aren Seeger led the way for the boys and was named the co-most outstanding sprinter/hurdler.
Seeger finished second in the 55 meter hurdles in 7.74, behind E.J. Williams of Sacred Heart who won the event in 7.52. They both broke the NVL record in the event.
Seeger ran to victory in the 300 meters in 36.49 just ahead of Williams, who was also named co-most outstanding sprinter/hurdler.
Ben Healy was second in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 10 inches and was ninth in the long jump at 18 feet, 10 inches.
The hopes of the Naugy girls rested on their 55 meter hurdles trio, and Roper was looking for a 1-2-3 finish in the event.
Makayla Teixeira raced to first place in 9.70, Brianna Soubannarath was second in 9.76, and Alyssa Zarrella finished fourth in 10.13.
“The girls did a great job,” Roper said. “Alyssa got hurt doing the pole vault but came back and still managed fourth, eight-tenths of a second behind the Woodland girl.”
Zach Koslosky finished third in the pole vault at 11 feet and fourth in the 55 meter hurdles in 8.74, dropping two seconds of his time.
Ross Via finished fourth in the 100 meters in 2:45.50, a seven-second drop in time, was third in the 1600 in 4:50.81 and seventh in the 3200 in 11:07.77.
Brainna Lennon dropped three seconds in the 1000 meters to finish eighth, and Lauren Rupsis also dropped three seconds to finish eighth in the 600 meters.
“We had some amazing performances especially from some of the athletes that didn’t score points,” Roper said. “Freshman Jonny Volpe dropped 13 seconds off his time in the 600. He is going to be a good one.
“We even had a baseball player, Matt Pimpinelli, who was out for track for the first time and started the season throwing 30 feet in the shot put and threw three inches better than his seeding time at 39 feet, three-and-a-half inches to finish seventh.”
The boys 4×200 team of Nick Airall, Koslosky, Derek Sampaio and Seeger raced to third place in 1:36.87.
The boys 4×400 team of Sampaio, Airall, Healy and Bryce Cegielski finished sixth.
The 4×800 relay team of Cegielski, Brendon Soubannarath, Chris Nanadoum and Connor Behuniak finished fifth, and the sprint medley team of Paul Marsh, Sean Evardo, Bryan Rodrigues and Cegielski finished seventh.
The relay squads accounted for nine points for the boys.
The girls 4×200 squad of Loren Quarles, Brianna Haye, Rachel Huculak and Julia Dudek took third in 1:56.88.
The girls 4×400 team of Dudek, Huculak, Haye and Zarrella finished fifth. The 4×800 team of Rupsis, Lennon, Brittney Soubannarath and Caitlyn Doris finished fifth, and the sprint medley team of Haye, Dudek, Huculak and Rupsis placed fifth.
The relay teams accounted for 12 points for the girls.