Naugatuck track team competes at New Englands

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BY KEN MORSE
CITIZEN’S NEWS
The Naugatuck indoor track team faced a tough challenge at the Nationals held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston on March 8-9. The Greyhounds 4×200-meter relay team of Lauren Kropo, Lily Jason, Divine Kabongo and Keryn Thomas that finished fifth at the New England championship with a school record time of 1:45.72 was only .46 second off the pace at 1:46.18 at the national meet. They finished 36th.
“The competition at this level is intense,” said Naugy head coach Ralph Roper. “Just a half a second could mean 20 or 30 places in where you finish. But I think our kids came in with confidence having performed at the same track just a week prior in the New England championship. So there was a familiarity and it helped them to keep their focus.”
On the boys side Dan Anderson qualified to compete in the 60-meter hurdles and finished with a time of 8.55. The time to advance into the final heat was at 8.28.
The Naugatuck girls 4×200-meter relay of Lauren Kropo, Lily Jason, Divine Kabongo and Keryn Thomas competed in the national meet held on March 8-9 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.
Lauren Kropo ran the 60 meters and 200 meters for the girls and missed the finals in the 60 (7.67), running a 7.96 in the preliminaries. In the 200, the cut-off for the finals was at 24.54 and Kropo ran a 26.26.
“I don’t think it was a matter of this being the end of a long season,” said Roper. “We didn’t necessarily put up the best times the kids wanted to, but they still put up some very competitive times. When you are facing the best of the best in a national competition a second or two could be the difference of winning or finishing in 50th place.”
Roper continued: “We had a very successful indoor season once again. We repeated as NVL champions. We had individual Class L and state open champions and made some noise at the New England championship and qualified for Nationals. That’s a successful season in my book. I know the kids wanted to do so much better at the nationals, but it was a success because we came out of it healthy and with no injuries. With the outdoor season coming up in a few weeks that is huge to start out healthy.”