Hawks on solid footing

BEACON FALLS — A week after narrowly stumbling for its only blemish of the season, the Woodland boys cross country squad regained its footing last week in Torrington. The girls squad, meanwhile, still hasn’t slipped.

As the calendar turned to October, the Hawks held records of 9-0 on the girls side and 8-1 on the boys side as the Naugatuck Valley League cross country regular season hits the homestretch. Those records improved thanks to sweeps of Torrington, Crosby and Oxford on Sept. 24.

For the boys, sophomore Colin Slavin won another overall medal, finishing the three-mile circuit in 17 minutes, 21 seconds. Martin Swercewski, who’s been on his teammate’s heels all season, placed second in 17:38. Chase Young (third, 18:00), Eric Meade (fifth, 18:47) and Nick Santovasi (ninth, 19:26) gave Woodland five runners among the top 10. Elias Sturdevant and Brady Anderson also continued their strong seasons.

On the girls side, it was perhaps the Hawks’ most dominant effort of the season — they were just one spot away from a full sweep of the top 10 positions.

Jaden Young won the race in 19:41, followed by Chloe Poulos (19:49), Emma Slavin (19:56), Calisa Costanzo (20:18), Jill Brotherton (21:07) and Brooke Iannone (21:20). Oxford’s Kendra Grillo crashed the party by finishing seventh, but Woodland’s Kayla Drmic (eighth, 22:28), Kasey Beard (ninth, 23:30) and Kim Poulos (10th, 23:43) rounded out the top 10.

“We ran well at Torrington,” Woodland coach Jeff Lownds said. “Both teams improved their paces from the previous week.”

Regular-season records don’t mean anything toward the NVL championship this fall, but both squads will have a chance to clinch the Copper Division title if they defeat Seymour in an Oct. 8 meet at Hop Brook Park that will also include Naugatuck and Waterbury Career.

Woodland is set to host Wilby and Wolcott in a meet Tuesday. Following the regular-season finale in Naugatuck, Woodland will prepare to defend its league titles Oct. 16 at Veteran’s Park in Watertown.