Greyhounds have high hopes for NVLs

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By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News

NAUGATUCK — The Greyhounds head into their final regular season meet and the Naugatuck Valley League track and field championships with high hopes.

The boys continued their winning ways May 12 with victories over Seymour, 98-52, and Crosby, 130-19, to stay perfect at 10-0.

The girls split the meet, defeating Crosby, 119-21, and falling to Seymour, 83-66, to improve to 7-3.

The boys have set the pace in the NVL all season.

“The boys team has the incentive of defending their title from 2019,” Naugatuck coach Ralph Roper said. “Coach Bill Hanley has the girls very competitive this season, but it appears Woodland is the team to beat. Seymour and Torrington will be very competitive, and I think on any given day our girls can be competitive as well.”

“We just don’t have the same kind of depth as the boys team,” he continued. “I was talking with the Seymour coach and she said most of the girls are soccer players. We have some pretty good soccer players too, and if we can manage to bring a few more of those soccer players into the fold we can add to our depth.”

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Naugatuck is set to end the regular season May 18 against Kennedy and Oxford before the NVL championships May 22 at Torrington High.

The boys have been riding the wave of several athletes who have been consistent double-winners all season, including Cameron Jacobs, Jon Volpe, LeoAngel Lopez, Matt Nofri and Steven Herb.

In the meet against Crosby and Seymour, Jacobs won the 110 hurdles (17.36) and the 300 hurdles (43.69). Volpe took first in the 800 (2:00.94) and the 1600 (4:27.12). Lopez won the 400 (51.91), Nofri won the 3200 (10:37.03), Jayshawn Lindsay won the high jump (5-4) and Jason Spino took first in the pole vault (11-3).

The Greyhounds swept the relays.

The team of Justin Carroll, Taylor Trowers, Zach McCasland and Chance Conklin won the 4×800 (9:12.18). The 4×400 squad of Volpe, Trowers, Lindsay and Daniel Anderson raced to victory in 3:32.09, and the 4×100 foursome of Rodsir Vaughn, Lindsay, Jett Hall and Ayden Tripp took first in 45.64.

The girls have been led by All-State performer Allison Murphy as well as Lauren Sonski and Kaylee Jackson in the distance events, Ayana Williams in jumps and Alyssa Jones in throws.

Murphy won the 100 hurdles (17.62), 300 hurdles (48.61) and the 200 (27.97) against Seymour and Crosby. Jones took first in the discus (81-9).

The 4×800 team of Tori Lawson, Autumn Tansley, Jayda Costa and Rana Aljamal took first in 11:11.30, and the 4×400 squad of Jodie St. Paul, Julia Kropo, Lauren Sonski and Murphy raced to victory in 4:24.62.

Roper acknowledged the depth of the Woodland girls team will be tough to beat, but he expects to challenge the Hawks nonetheless.

“We do have some athletes on the girls’ side, and with a little bit of support from some of the younger kids we could give Woodland a run for their money,” he said.

Roper said the key is to keep everyone healthy heading into NVLs.

“The goal is to go into that meet with a full roster and put the kids in position to do their best in their particular event,” Roper said.

“We have a solid group of girls who have really excelled over the past few meets,” he added. “The boys have the extra incentive of defending their title, while on the girls side they have been gaining some traction and I feel they can make some noise at the NVLs.”