Titles up for grab at NVL meet

BEACON FALLS — For seven straight winters, Woodland’s coaching staff has figured out ways to put their athletes in the right spots to win the Naugatuck Valley League indoor track girls championship.

Jeff Lownds and Bill Ferrare will try to do that once again for Monday’s league championship meet at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, where they say that both the girls and boys titles are up for grabs with no clear favorites.

“We’re in the conversation for both the boys and girls,” Lownds said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Overall, the coaches are pleased with the Hawks’ progress during the regular season. Woodland participated in seven meets — more than almost any other NVL program — and the coaches feel as though experience combined with rest has the athletes approaching their peak indoor form.

“They’ve stayed pretty healthy so far,” Ferrare said. “We try to give them breaks here and there.”

There’s been plenty of success on the girls side during the regular season, including two new school records. Jaden Young set the 1000-meter record with a time of 3 minutes, 13.56 seconds at the Elm City Coaches Invitational on Jan. 5, and Emma Slavin posted a new mark in the 1600 with a time of 5:40.30 at the Shoreline Coaches Invitational on Jan. 15.

Young has already qualified for the Class S championship meet in three events (1000, 1600, 3200), while Slavin (1600, 3200), Chloe Poulos (1000, 3200) and Jade Brennan (300, 600) have qualified in multiple events.

Jasmine Michie (shot put), Stephanie Poynton (long jump) and Hailey Bernier (pole vault) have also qualified in Class S, as have all four relay teams.

The boys have two individual state qualifiers so far: Edit Krivca in the 600 and Ryan Swanson in the 300. The 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams have also qualified.

Ferrare said that the addition of Krivca and Conrad Filippone to the team this winter has led to an improvement of the entire team.

“Getting Edit and Conrad out for the team this year has been a big plus for us,” Ferrare said.

More Hawks can still qualify for state competition with their performances at the NVL championships Monday. The Class S state championships are set for Feb. 7 in New Haven.

Lownds said he expects stiff competition at NVLs on the girls side from several teams, including Watertown and Seymour, and the same on the boys side, especially from three-time defending champion Derby.