NEW HAVEN — The Woodland boys finished ninth in Class M while the girls were 23rd in Class S as the Hawks finished two of the best indoor track seasons in school history at this week’s state championships.
The boys scored 16 points in the meet and were the top Naugatuck Valley League team in the competition. Half of the Hawks’ points came from Nick LaPerriere’s second-place finish in the 300-meter dash. LaPerriere finished in 37.58 seconds, just behind Kwame Brown of Stratford, who ran it in 36.85 seconds.
“He ran a great race,” Woodland coach Tim Shea said. “It wasn’t a personal record, but it was good enough tonight. He wasn’t too happy with how he finished in that race at the NVLs [second place in 37.87 seconds], so he wanted to show more. He was ready to go.”
LaPerriere also ran in Woodland’s fourth-place 4-by-200 relay team, which also consisted of Mike Lang, Tim Madormo, and Anthony Scirpo. They finished in 1:36.76, about two seconds off Hillhouse’s winning performance, but still likely good enough to make the State Open.
“They were a little bummed with how they finished,” Shea said. “They weren’t as good as they were at the NVLs, when they qualified for the New Balance Indoor Nationals, but they still ran well.”
The Hawks’ 4-by-400 relay was just outside the points in seventh place, finishing in 3:42.15 with the group of Marc Beaulieu, Adam Baz, Brett Fowler, and LaPerriere.
The sprint medley team, though, picked up a point with a sixth-place finish in 3:53.23. Jon Alarcon, Connor Chura, Beaulieu, and Baz contributed to the strong performance.
Lang also earned a point with a high jump of 5 feet, 6 inches, good for a fifth-place tie. Lang was eighth in the long jump with a leap of 19-2.
Madormo placed fifth in the 55 hurdles with a time of 8.21 seconds, about a half-second slower than Hillhouse’s Danielle Lewis. Madormo qualified for the State Open with his performance.
Levi Fancher placed just outside the points in the shot put with a toss of 42-9.5, which placed him in seventh. Dave Lachance also qualified for the event and recorded a best of 35-3.5.
Alarcon ran in the preliminaries of the 55-meter dash and finished in 7.12 seconds but did not qualify for the finals. Nick Hebert was 19th in the 1,600 with a time of 4:52.37.
On the girls side, Woodland scored five points, one fewer than Seymour’s six for the best showing of NVL teams.
Tayler Boncal was the top individual performer, earning a point with a sixth-place finish in the 300-meter dash after a 42.87-second race. Her finish earned her a spot at the State Open.
The 4-by-400 relay team of Sydney Corneau, Alaina Neddermann, Jazmine Menzies, and Boncal placed fifth in 4:25.50 to earn two more points. The sprint medley squad of Jiye Park, Steph Dumond, Menzies, and Neddermann also placed fifth in 4:38.27 for the Hawks’ final two points.
Park also qualified for the 55-meter dash and finished in 7.97 seconds, but did not advance to the finals.
The relays, for both the boys and girls, were reliable as usual in gaining points for both squads.
“That’s where we can score points,” Shea said. “We always think we can score points in states at relays. We’ve always had it here. We take pride in it. It’s something that the kids look forward to being part of those teams. We thought we could have done better in some areas. But at the state meet, everyone is really good and working hard, so you get what you can.”
Overall, it was a season that the Hawks are proud of after a pair of NVL championships.
“We always set some pretty high goals for ourselves,” Shea said. “We’re not afraid to put it out there in front of the kids. We had a very successful indoor season. We had a pretty good group of seniors that did a great job this winter, and hopefully it will carry over to the outdoor season.”