NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck track and field teams head into the Naugatuck Valley League championship meet looking to make amends.
Last year, the boys finished fifth at the championships and the girls placed seventh.
“I think we have some athletes that have the potential to surprise some of the folks at the NVL championship,” head coach Ralph Roper said.
The Greyhounds will have their opportunity to shock some people Tuesday at the NVL championships at Seymour High School.
One athlete that won’t surprise anyone is senior Aren Seeger, who finished second at last year’s championship in three events (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 200 meters).
Naugy will also rely on junior Zach Koslosky, who placed third in the pole vault last year. This season, Koslosky has been consistent in the 200 and 400 meters as well.
Junior Ben Healy is the go-to guy in the long jump, triple jump and high jump. The ‘Hounds are also looking to a strong group of distance runners, led by seniors Ross and Elliot Via, to give them a leg up.
The Greyhounds do have some depth with Christian Nanadoum (mid distance), Matt Pimpinelli (throws), Austin Herb (distance), Charlie Marenghi, Bryce Cegielski and Brendon Soubannarath (distance, relays), and Christopher Akindura and Jon Volpe (sprints).
The boys finished the regular season 12-1-1 after beating Sacred and Watertown on Tuesday.
Healy won the long jump (20-1), high jump (5-10) and triple jump (41-3) for the Greyhounds. Zachary Koslosky won the 110 hurdles (16.2) and the pole vault (12-0).
The girls split the meet, beating Sacred Heart and falling to Watertown, and finished the regular season 7-7.
“As a team I feel we are hitting our stride,” Roper said. “As the season has progressed the coaching staff has been able to identify the talent we have that should make us competitive in all the events.”
The girls team has shown steady improvement and has the potential to make some noise at the championship meet.
Juniors Brianna Soubannarath (sprints) and Alyssa Zarrella (hurdles) can place high in their events, and it’s something that the Greyhounds are counting on.
“The girls team understands the expectations we have and they are becoming more and more competitive with each meet,” Roper said.
Roper also expects junior Evelyn Diaz (800), sophomore Rachel Huculak (200, 400) and sophomore Paige Cruz (sprints, relays) to be among the top scorers.
The girls have depth with Brianna Lennon (distance), Kimani Grey (high jump), Brianna Haye (sprints), Loren Quarles (sprints) and Lauren Rupsis (distance).
“They have an idea of what putting that best foot forward looks like and they are going out there and making it happen,” Roper added. “I don’t think the NVL is looking at Naugatuck to do much of anything. But we are deeper than we have been in the past and anything can happen on any given day.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the article in the May 18 print edition of the Citizen’s News to include results from Thursday’s meet.