Greyhounds setting the pace

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The Naugatuck indoor track team is taking great strides this season under boys head coach Ralph Roper and girls head coach Bill Hanley.

The boys team has won back-to-back meets. The Greyhounds brought home the hardware from a successful first place finish in the 68th Lindy J. Remigino Invitational meet held at the Bacon Field House on the campus of Wesleyan University.

Naugatuck scored a team total of 54 points to take top honors for the first time in school history beating out a field of some of the premier programs in the state.

Brookfield finished second with 44 team points with Glastonbury placing third at 33 points, Hamden fourth with 25 points and Staples of Westport fifth with 24 points.

Amanze Williams was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the meet as he scored 26 points, earning two first place finishes and a third place finish in three events. Williams won the long jump with an effort of 21 feet, three inches and finished first in the triple jump at 46 feet, five inches. Williams also had a third place finish in the high jump at six feet.

“Amanze had an incredible day,” Roper said. “That was a tremendous accomplishment and his total points helped us to win this meet for the very first time.”

The Greyhounds also received a great effort from Muad Hrezi who went on to score 22 team points finishing 3rd in the 1600 meters at 4:24 and placing second in the 3200 at 9:57 setting a new school record.

“Muad had a very productive and eventful meet also,” Roper said. “He ended up with the second highest point total for the team and a school record in the process.”

The 4×800 relay team of Nick Moriello, Thomas Mashia, Jake Simons and Hrezi ran to a second place finish in 8:28, tying a school record.

Last week at the Southern Connecticut Conference Coaches Track and Field Invitational the Greyhounds made it two in a row with first place honors scoring a team total of 38 points.

Staples and Hillhouse tied for second with 30 team points, Xavier was third at 28 points and Notre Dame of Fairfield was fourth with 26 points in the field of 49 teams.

Williams had another banner performance being awarded the meets outstanding field performer. He set a new school record in the high jump with a second place finish at 6 feet, two inches and was second in the long jump at 21 feet, 11 inches both season best distances.

Hrezi ran to a first place finish in the 1000 meters with a time of 2:37.41 and had a fourth place showing in the 1600 at 4:30.35.

“Amanze had another outstanding meet and Maud ran a very strategic race in the 1000 meters,” Roper said.

“The team’s objective coming into the meet was to provide our athletes an opportunity to qualify for the states in their respective events. Quite a few athletes achieved that goal,” he added.

Jamaal Gee had a personal best performance in the 300 meters finishing fourth at 37.27 qualifying for the states in the process.

Nick Moriello qualified for the states in the 1000 meters with a finish of 2:44.19 and Thomas Mashia qualified with a personal best in the 600 1:28.83.

The 4×800 relay team got an outstanding performance out of its foursome of Jake Simons, Luis Carvalho, Collin Reilly and Michael Uva with a finish of 9:25.44.

“The girls team also did a nice job,” added Roper. “Several of the girls put up personal best times and qualified for the states, as well, which was the team goal coming into this meet.”

Shannon Hale had a personal best time on the 600 at 1:50.42 and another personal best in the 55 hurdles that qualified her for the states.

Melissa Labonte had a personal best in the long jump at 15 feet, one and a half inches that qualified her for the states.

Jocelyn Brantley qualified for the states in the 55 meter dash with a showing of 7.97 and the Lady Greyhounds had a good showing from athletes who are right on the brink of qualifying for the states.

Felicity Croce ran a season best in the 400 meter leg of the 4×400 relay. Becky Renzoni and Gabriella Moriello made significant improvements in the 1000 meter competition.

Georgette Nixon had personal best times in the 200 meter leg of the sprint medley and the 400 meter leg of the 4×400 relay. Freshman Jordyn Allen ran a personal best time on the 1600 meters and had a good first showing in the 3200 meters.

“We will continue our team goal of qualifying as many athletes as we can for the states,” said Roper. “Right now as a team we are starting to peak as we approach the NVL meet and the state meets coming up.”