The Hawks earned 23 points and were the highest-placing Naugatuck Valley League team at the meet. Bloomfield ran away with the meet by scoring 103 points, double the number of any other team at the competition.
“We knew going in that we had some good chances,” Woodland boys coach Tim Shea said. “We were shooting for top five but we weren’t disappointed. Being in the top six at states is pretty good.”
Mike Lang was the top individual for the Hawks. He finished second in the long jump with a season-best leap of 21 feet, 10 inches. That was 11 inches short of state champion Demario Gray of Bloomfield.
Lang also finished third in the long jump at Tuesday’s State Open with a mark of 21-7. That leap qualified him for the New England championships March 2 in Boston.
“All Mike gets to do now is just concentrate on jumping,” Shea said. “There are some things Coach (Adam) Schultz wants to do with him. He wants to be top six in New England and wants to qualify for the championships at nationals.”
Lang was a triple gold medalist at last month’s NVL championships, sweeping the jumps and helping the 4-by-400-meter relay team to a meet-ending win. Shea said the junior’s maturity has helped him excel at multiple events.
“The way the events are this year, they pretty much go on at the same time,” Shea said. “(At the State Open) they were calling for the 4-by-2 to get to the bullpen while they were still doing long jump. When he was younger he had trouble dealing with that, but he’s older and he’s a lot better now.”
Lang was also part of two relay teams that both finished inside the top six in Class S and scored points for Woodland. He ran the anchor leg of the 4-by-200 to help the Hawks finish second in 1 minute, 35.66 seconds, less than four-tenths of a second behind the winners from Bloomfield.
Seniors Nick LaPerriere, Anthony Scirpo and Scott Seigle ran the first three legs.
“We changed the order to LaPerriere open, then Scirpo,” Shea said. “The first two exchanges are crucial and tough. Nick’s our fastest so we figured the further out we could get, and if the other guys could hold it, usually good things happen. They did pretty well. If it were a little further of a race, (Lang) might have gotten the Bloomfield kid. We did all right.”
Lang also ran in the 4-by-400 relay with Andy Hale, Daemion Powell and Nick LaPerriere. That squad finished sixth in 3:43.44, 10 seconds behind the champions from North Branford.
The boys’ 4-by-800 team of Dean Conway, Nick Hebert, Ian Chamenko and Andy Hale also earned points for finishing fourth in 8:41.27
LaPerriere was the other scoring individual for Woodland, placing fifth in the 300 with a time of 37.55 seconds, a little more than a second behind winner Jared Delane of Northwest Catholic.
Other top individuals for the boys included Chamenko (eighth, 1,600), Kyle Beynor (11th, 600) and Brett Fowler (11th, 55 hurdles).
The Woodland girls didn’t earn any team points but still had several top-15 efforts.
Steph Dumond placed 11th and Jiye Park was 14th in the 55, Tayler Boncal finished 10th in the 300 and Steph Kiley placed 11th in the 3,200. Jazymn Menzies was the girls’ top field performer, taking 10th in the high jump.
The Hawks’ sprint medley team of Haleigh Resnick, Lisa Thrasher, Ava Capuano and Clara Drozdowski — an all-freshmen unit — placed 10th while the 4-by-200 squad of Park, Dumond, Megan Lynch and Boncal earned a 13th-place finish.