MIDDLETOWN — The Naugatuck Greyhounds came within six points of capturing the Class L boys track state championship finishing second behind Windsor by a 78-72 margin.
The ‘Hounds “big three” had Naugatuck in the running throughout the meet as it came down to the final event.
Senior Amanze Williams struck gold twice winning the state title in the triple jump at 45 feet 9 inches and earning the state title in the long jump at 21 feet 9 inches. Williams finished 4th in the high jump with an effort of 6 feet 2 inches.
Senior speedster Jamaal Gee racked up some valuable points with 2nd place finishes in the 100 meter dash at 11.62 and the 200 meters at 23.05.
Junior long distance runner Muad Hrezi was the state champion in the 1600 with a winning time of 4:22.62 and placed 2nd in the 3200 getting out distanced in the final lap finishing with a time of 9:46.51.
“If you told me at the beginning of the season that we would hold the lead in the Class L state meet heading into the final event, I probably wouldn’t have believed it,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. “We did surprisingly well this season and our three big guys Amanze, Jamaal and Muad gave the team a lot of confidence going into all of our meets.”
Naugatuck needed a few more solid efforts to stay with state champion Windsor and they got those performances out of senior Dan Bronko who threw to a 4th place finish in the discus at 133 feet 8 inches and junior Colton Wagner who placed 3rd in the pole vault with an effort of 11 feet 6 inches.
The 4-by-100 relay squad of Tom O’Brien, Gee, Iman Farimani and Luis Carvalho placed 5th in a time of 45.00. Junior Nick Moriello ran to a 10th place finish in the 800 meters.
“It was a great way to culminate a very successful season for Naugatuck track,” Roper said. “We had a lot of young athletes really step up and improve their times and distances as the season went along.”
The Naugatuck girls had a few outstanding efforts at the Class L meet with freshman long distance runner Jordyn Allen racing to a 5th place showing in the 1600 with an effort of 5:27.92.
Sophomore thrower Brianna Ritter came within four inches of breaking the 100 foot mark that four other competitors reached. Ritter placed 5th with an outstanding throw in the discus at 99 feet 8 inches.
At the State Open Amanze Williams and Muad Hrezi assured themselves a spot in this weekends New England Championships to be held in Burlington, Vt.
Williams won the long jump title at the State Open with a distance of 23 feet 7 inches and placed 3rd in the triple jump at 46 feet 8 inches. Hrezi finished 3rd in the 3200 at 9:22.32.