Hawks eye gold on the track

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The Woodland boys and girls track teams are in line to capture some gold medals at the Naugatuck Valley League championship later this month. –FILE PHOTO

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys track team is on the verge of clinching a Naugatuck Valley League championship.

A rain-delayed meet against Sacred Heart, Seymour, and Derby held the final three league opponents for the Hawks, who are 10-0.

“We figured it was within our reach,” coach Tim Shea said. “Every week, it’s a race to 76 points. Each week a new kid or a new event has stepped up for us. We have some challenges that we lay out to the kids, so we see what happens.”

The girls were 9-1 entering the same meet, with their only loss coming to Watertown last month.

Both squads competed in the Connecticut Elite Night Invitational last Friday at Litchfield High. It was the only night meet of the season for the Hawks.

“It was pretty cool,” Shea said. “Anytime you can run a track meet under the lights, it’s pretty exciting because it’s rare.”

Shea was particularly impressed by the boys relay teams. The 4-by-400 relay team ran its top time of the season with Eric Dietz, Marc Beaulieu, Nick LaPerriere, and Tim Madormo. The foursome dropped their best speed from 3:34 to 3:28.

“That’s a pretty good time for this time of year,” Shea said. “That took me by surprise. I didn’t think they were going to run quite that well.”

The 4-by-800 relay squad also ran well, helped by the season-best time of Andy Hale. The 4-by-100 relay team placed second behind Waterford.

In the 400 meters, Dietz and LaPerriere placed one-two, while Brett Fowler competed in the hurdles and Adam Baz raced in the 800.

Tayler Boncal, Ashley Michie, Jazmyn Menzies, and Bailee Graveline were among the Woodland girls to join the meet and were all competitive.

“We were quite pleased leaving there,” Shea said. “All in all, it was a good night. We hope to be able to do something like that again next year.”

After the final league meet of the season, the Hawks’ focus will shift to the league championship meet, which is May 22 at Woodland. Shea thinks both squads have plenty of gold medal contenders.

Madormo is undefeated in all hurdles races in the NVL and will also be a valuable asset to one of the sprint relay teams. Dietz (400), Jon Alarcon (200), Mike Lang (long and high jumps), Scott Lang (javelin), and the three relay teams are all expected to compete on the boys side.

The girls 4-by-100 relay team is undefeated in the NVL, while Boncal should be a strong contender in the 200 and 400. Ashley Riley (long jump) and Jiye Park (triple jump) should also be among the top jumpers in the field.