Hawks, ‘Hounds run strong at states


MANCHESTER — The Naugatuck and Woodland cross country teams made their presence felt at state competition.

The Naugatuck girls and boys squads competed in the Class L meet Oct. 25 at Wickham Park in Manchester.

The Naugatuck boys capped off their season finishing third overall in team time (1:29:23) and fourth overall when it comes to points (173) at the meet — a strong finish that made coach Bill Hanley proud.

“They ran exceptionally well at the meet. They have worked their tails off all season and we’ve faced adversity, but have battled all season and I couldn’t be happier with how they performed,” Hanley said.

Dan Schumacher finished sixth overall in 16:35, which led the Greyhounds and provided them with enough points to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in the standings. Schumacher qualified for the State Open on Friday.

Even though they didn’t win the event overall, Hanley knows his team laid it all on the line.

“They’ve made me proud all season and continue to make my life easier as a coach,” Hanley said.

The Naugatuck girls finished 15th in points (401) and 15th overall in time (2:00:41) out of the 20 teams that competed. Junior Courtney Morin finished with the best time for the Greyhounds at 21:44, 28th overall out of the 140 girls running.

“Every girl ran their heart out at the event and they made Naugatuck proud out there. They made me proud,” Hanley said.

Hanley knew his team would perform well this season, but the Greyhounds surpassed his expectations.

“We set realistic expectations going into the season and I think we exceeded them. There were some obstacles along the way, but I’m proud with how everyone performed on and off the track this year,” Hanley said.

The Woodland boys competed in the Class SS meet, while the girls ran in the Class M meet Oct. 25 in Manchester.

The girls finished seventh in points (170) and time (1:52:43) out of the 18 teams in the Class M meet. Head coach Jeff Lownds said he saw a lot to be proud of overall.

“I was very, very pleased with how the girls ran at the event. They pushed themselves, ran real well and that’s all I can really want as a coach,” Lownds said.

Kelsey Mitchell finished 14th overall with teammates Stephanie Kiley (32nd), Emilie Norieka (33rd) and Clara Drozdowski (35th) all close by in the standings.

In the Class SS meet, the boys performed better than even coach Lownds expected. The Hawks finished fifth in points and overall time (1:34:55) out of 22 teams.

Jeff Guisto finished 12th overall with a time of 17:29, a few seconds off of finishing in the top 10 out of 154 runners.

“Jeff really did a great job as captain for us this year and a lot of that showed on Saturday with how the rest of the team ran,” Lownds said.

Mitchell and Guisto qualified for the State Open and will look to represent the Hawks well.