Hawks in position to vie for title  

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland girls track and field team is in good position to contend for a sixth straight outdoor Naugatuck Valley League championship.

The Hawks will get their chance to defend their title Tuesday at the NVL championships at Seymour High School.

At 13-1, with the one loss by four points, the Woodland girls expect to be in the hunt for another league title.

“We’ll be in the conversation,” Woodland girls head coach Jeff Lownds said. “We’ll do what we do best, compete at a high level and aim to get scorers in every event.”

Lownds pointed to the girls’ title two years ago, when they won the championship without winning an event.

The Hawks have the ability across the board to potentially do it again with a little bit of everything, from throwing and jumping events to sprints and distance.

Kristen Persico recently shattered a 10-year-old record in the javelin, tossing it 109 feet, 5 1/2 inches. Erika Michie (100 and 200 meters), Jade Brennan (400 meters), Julia Swiatek (pole vault), Megen Sirowich (long jump), Stephanie Poynton (triple jump) and Jasmine Michie (shot put), Alexandra Cianciolo (jumps and hurdles) and Emma Slavin (long distance) are among the athletes with the potential to get points.

On the boys side, the team has a mix of young and experienced athletes.

“We’re so proud of our boys team,” Lownds said. “We think the boys have what it takes to take it to the next level.”

Lownds said perhaps the best part of the boys team is that they love to compete, led by Matt Luxeder (distance and relays), Craig Starkey (pole vault) and Tom Smith (sprints and high jump).

Also adding depth is Charlie Schwarz (distance), Tom Bucciferro (long distance), Matt Iannone (long distance), Tom Smith (sprints and high jump), Joe Kmetz (throws), Brandon Filippone (throws), Jackson Henry (throws), Cole Barrows (pole vault) and Kelvin Esselfie (pole vault).

The boys have finished third at the NVLs each of the last three seasons.