Hawks extend championship run

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Woodland girls win sixth straight NVL title, boys take second

Woodland’s Gianna Poletta anchors the girls 4×200 relay at the NVL indoor track and field championships in New Haven on Monday. The girls won the title for the sixth straight year. The boys finished second. –CHRISTOPHER MASSA/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

The Woodland girls and boys indoor track teams continued their successful tradition at the NVL championship meet Monday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

The girls won their sixth straight indoor title with 108 points, while Derby was second with 93. The boys came in second with 86 points, behind Derby with 98 points.

The teams took different routes on Monday. The girls scored points in all but one event, while the boys scored in seven of the 15 events.

“Our girls once again carried the Woodland banner very proudly,” Woodland girls head coach Jeff Lownds said.

Boosted by four event winners — Erikia Michie (55 dash), Jordan Williams (55 hurdles), Jade Brennan (300 meters) and the 4×400 relay team of  Brennan, Erin Machado, Gianna Polletta and Michie — the Hawks grabbed points in almost all the events.

“We just scrapped for points the rest of the night and wanted girls to finish in the top three,” Lownds added. “And the girls came through.”

Michie, who was named the most outstanding sprinter/hurdler, also placed second in the 300 meters, while Alli Cianciolo was third in the 55 hurdles. Emilie Noreika was third in the pole vault and Kristin Persico was third in the shot put.

The relay teams also scored key points. The Woodland girls finished second in the 4×200, third in the 4×800, and also came in third in the 1600 sprint relay.

The only event the girls didn’t score in was the 3200 meters.

“I knew it was going to be a close meet,” Lownds added. “We were up against some well-coached, good teams.”

Tom Smith (55 meter dash), Matt Luxeder (600 meters), Craig Starkey (pole vault) and the 4×400 relay team of Sean Mardin, Mark Crowley, Cedric Benoit, and Luxeder all won events for the boys.

Crowley finished second behind Starkey in the pole vault, and also took third in the high jump.

The boys also gained numerous points in the relay events without finishing first.

The 4×800 and 1600 sprint relay teams took second. The 4×800 team included Isiah Miller, Matt Giaquinto, Benoit and Luxeder, while the 1600 team featured Ben Nuss, Jack LaPerriere, Sean Mardin and Benoit.

The 4×200 team of Nuss, Mardin, LaPerriere and Smith also finished second.

“The kids did a great job,” Woodland boys head coach Bill Ferrare said. “We had many great performances by both teams.”

Ferrare, in his first year as boys coach at Woodland, along with throwing coach Courtney Ambrose assisted to have both teams ready to compete.

The boys will now prepare for the Class S state championship Feb. 11 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center. The girls will get ready for the Class M meet Feb. 9 at the center.