NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck boys and girls outdoor track teams may not have all the pieces in place, but they have enough to be a contender in the Naugatuck Valley League this season.
“In the sprints we have some athletes who can do a nice job for us,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. “(Ben) Healy and (Zach) Koslosky are money-makers and are consistent performers. With the addition of a few others we have picked up, the boys and the girls teams have the opportunity to be on top of the podium this year.”
The boys will be led by seniors Koslosky, who won the pole vault at last year’s NVL championship, and Healy, who finished second in the long jump and third in the triple jump last season. Sophomore Chris Akindura returns after finishing in the top eight in the 100 and 200 dashes last season.
Seniors Austin Herb (distance), Doreon Chapman (sprints), Shane Carey (relays), Sean Evardo (relays) and Dylan Gloden (hurdles) give the ‘Hounds experience.
In the distance and mid-distance running events, Charley Marenghi, Brendon Soubannarath, Bryce Cegielski and Jon Volpe form a productive unit for the Greyhounds.
“On the boys side we do have some diamonds in the rough along with some go-to guys as well,” Roper said. “We have some athletes who are capable of putting a punch in our lineup in the middle distance especially.”
The girls team has athletes who were successful during the indoor season this winter. Junior Kylie Neretich finished second in the 55 hurdles, and freshman Allison Murphy took second in the 1000 meters.
The 4×200 relay team of Alyssa Zarella, Julia Dudek, Neretich and Liz Krooss took first place.
Seniors Evelyn Diaz (600, relays), Kimani Grey (jumps) and Brianna Soubannarath (pole vault) provide experience. Juniors Paige Cruz (sprints), Daniella Acevedo (jumps), Caitlin Doris (relays) and Lauren Rupsis (distance), along with sophomores Tori Lawson (relays) and Brittany Soubannarath (relays), give the girls team depth.
“We have some heavy hitters coming back,” Roper said. “This year’s team seems very promising, especially on the girls side. We had the opportunity to pick up a lot of athletes from the soccer team. If everyone stays healthy, I see us turning the corner and putting us in a position to compete in the league.”
Naugy is scheduled to open the season on Tuesday at home versus Torrington and Wolcott.