MIDDLETOWN — The Naugatuck boys and girls track teams had to overcome some challenges at the Class L state meet on Tuesday at Middletown High. The boys finished 15th out of the 23-team field with 14 points while the girls placed 20th out of 22 teams with seven points.
“It was a long night for us,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper admitted. “We had some challenges to overcome.”
Not only did the Greyhounds and everyone else face poor weather, but Naugy hadn’t practiced in several days.
“I guess you can say the weather may have affected our performance,” Roper said. “But we haven’t practiced since last Thursday with the prom and the Memorial Day weekend. Some schools didn’t have to deal with that kind of interruption in their schedule as they held their events earlier. But it’s something that all schools go though at one time or another and there are no good excuses.”
Collin Reilly finished third in the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 1.16 seconds to earn a spot in the State Open. Ritter will also advance to the girls State Open in the throwing events.
The boys showed well in the 100 with Mick Pernell finishing sixth (11.37 seconds) and Nate Buie seventh (11.53) to earn five team points for the ‘Hounds.
Pernell also ran the 200 and finished 16th in 23.71 seconds. Dan Schumacher placed 18th in the 3,200 in 10:11.98 and Patrick Alves took 18th place in the 300 hurdles in 45.59 seconds.
The 4-by-100 relay team of Alves, Pernell, Buie and Justin Jimenez finished sixth in 44.88 seconds to earn another three points for the Greyhounds. The foursome of Isaque Monteiro, Brian Reilly, Alves and Jimenez finished the 4-by-400 in ninth place.
“We usually get together for final preparations prior to the Class L meet,” Roper said. “We did try and prepare as much as we could but it’s tough to try and start it back up after being down for a couple of days. That could have been the reason why are times were well off of our seeded times.”
Roper pointed out that during this rebuilding season there have been some bright spots. He pointed to the development and success of Arianna Alvardo and Madison Beasley along with the fact that Naugatuck is strong with three throwers this season.
“Arianna and Madison had a lot of success this season and for the first time in a long time we’ve had depth in our throws with three capable throwers,” he said.
Christina Batista led the Greyhounds with a seventh-place finish in the javelin with a heave of 102 feet, 8 inches. Felicia Gullotta finished 12th in the discus and Ritter will represent the girls at the State Open after a toss of 104-1.
Alvardo finished 10th in the 100-meter preliminaries and placed 20th in the 200. Beasley was 17th in the 1,600 and 22nd in the 3,200.
The 4-by-100 foursome of Alvardo, Jendaya Bell, Heyi Cheng and Jasmine Grey finished 12th and the 4-by-400 team of Cheng, Grey, Carla Soares and Harmony Sturdivant placed 16th. Grey also finished 10th in the high jump.
“Our throwers had some challenges with the wet slippery surface and they couldn’t get good traction,” Roper said. “Our season didn’t end up as we had anticipated but we did see some good things that will help us to get better next season.”