Hawks continue strong pace  


BEACON FALLS — The Woodland track teams continued their strong starts to the season Tuesday in a quad meet hosted atop the Hawks’ blustery track and field.

The Woodland girls improved to 8-1 on the year by sweeping Derby, Waterbury Career, and Derby, while the Hawks boys improved to 7-2 with wins over WCA and Kaynor Tech. League-leading and undefeated Derby dealt Woodland a defeat.

Overall, the results continued to show the Hawks’ improvement throughout the first month of the season.

“We’re progressing nicely,” Woodland boys coach Bill Ferrare said. “Each meet we seem to get more and more athletes to qualify for NVLs and states. Both our boys and girls are off to great starts, so hopefully that continues.”

Erika Michie and Alexandra Cianciolo were the individual stars for Woodland on Tuesday. Michie won the 100 meters (12.7 seconds) and the 200 meters (26.7 seconds), while Cianciolo took the 100 hurdles (17.5 seconds) and the high jump (4 feet, 6 inches).

Michie was also part of the winning 4×400 relay team, which also included Jade Brennan, Karly Laliberte and Megen Sirowich and finished in 4:31.5.

Other individual winners for the Woodland girls included Brennan (400, 1:04), Jaden Young (800, 2:34), Emma Slavin (1,600, 5:56), Xiu Xiu Sammis-McCoy (javelin, 98-0), and Jasmine Michie (shot put, 33-8). Hailey Bernier and Julia Swiatek also shared the top height in pole vault (7-0).

Woodland’s tightest team result was a 108-42 win over Derby. The girls’ only dual-meet loss this season came in a 78-72 defeat against Watertown on April 11.

On the boys side, Woodland had just two individual winners in a meet that included a dominant Derby group. Maciej Lewicki won the 300 hurdles in 45.7 seconds, and Craig Starkey took the pole vault with a height of 11 feet, 6 inches.

One of Woodland’s top male athletes, sprinter Tom Smith, missed the meet with an injury to his midsection. The Red Raiders routed Woodland, 111-39, but the Hawks cleaned up against WCA (98-52) and Kaynor Tech (131-15).

Ferrare said that Woodland’s usual top athletes have been carrying the scoring load throughout the spring. He pointed out one particular newcomer as a particularly pleasant surprise.

“We have one gentleman, James Champagne, who came out for the first time and has been making lots of improvements in the long jump,” Ferrare said of the sophomore. “That’s nice to see.”

Ferrare and Woodland girls coach Jeff Lownds expect to see continued improvement throughout the next month of the regular season as the weather continues to improve.

“I definitely think the weather has an impact on how they perform,” Ferrare said. “Every team is in the same boat, but it’s just the sense of tight muscles. Our first meet of the season against Torrington, it was just so raw that no matter what you did, you just couldn’t get that chill out. It definitely has an impact. With the warmer weather, muscles are looser. Even just mentally, nobody’s happy (with bad weather).”

The Hawks will host another meet Tuesday against Sacred Heart and Kennedy at 3:30 p.m.