Hawks race at states


Longtime Woodland track coach Jeff Lownds knows how difficult it is for a team to translate success at the Naugatuck Valley League championship meet to the state level.

So despite overall results that didn’t jump off the page — the Woodland boys finished 11th in Class S and the girls placed 22nd in Class M — last weekend at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, Lownds said the Hawks represented themselves well in state competition.

“We had some good performances from the girls and our boys gave a really good effort,” Lownds said. “It’s hard to score at the state level. You can have a kid place seventh in the mile, take 11 seconds off their best time and not even score (team points). It’s all relative.”

Woodland’s only State Open qualifier is sophomore Jasmine Michie, a sophomore who finished fourth in the Class M shot put with a throw of 35 feet, 1 inch. She’s seeded 12th for the State Open competition, which is set for Saturday in New Haven.

“That’s a really notable achievement,” Lownds said. “Jasmine works very hard, and she seems to be — like all the Michie girls, they’re all on an even keel. She’s able to take it all in and she doesn’t get rattled or frustrated. She had a bad throw in the state meet and then rallied with a good one to get into the finals. We’re very proud of her effort.”

Megen Sirowich placed eighth in the 600 meters, while Erika Michie finished ninth in the 55-meter dash. Jaden Young shaved nearly 7 seconds off her personal-best time to finished 11th in the 1,000 meters, and Emma Slavin knocked 2 seconds off her best time to place 10th in the mile run. Lownds also noted the effort of Ally Cianciolo, who earned three top-15 individual performances.

On the boys side, Matt Luxeder registered the Hawks’ top individual finish with a third-place showing in the 600. He also anchored the sprint medley relay team, which also included Ben Nuss, Matt Mills and Ryan Swanson, to a fourth-place finish in that event. Craig Starkey was sixth in the pole vault, and Ben Nuss placed seventh in the 55.

Lownds said the Hawks reflected on their indoor successes at a team meeting Tuesday and laid some groundwork for what it will take to continue that success into the outdoor season when practice begins next month.

“We had a nice end-of-season meeting (Tuesday),” Lownds said. “We told them that we’re very proud of them. We told them to take at least two or three weeks off and be non-athletic. There’s plenty of time to get ready (for the outdoor season). They need that downtime. We had a great indoor season. The kids really responded well at NVLs and states. We’re very proud of our athletes, and we’re looking forward to having a good outdoor season.”