Hawks ready to take on NVL


BEACON FALLS — Woodland’s indoor track coaches spent last weekend putting the finishing touches on their lineups for Monday’s Naugatuck Valley League championships at the Hillhouse Athletic Complex in New Haven.

The girls team enters the championship meet winners of six straight NVL titles and are looking to make it seven in a row. The boys are looking to make a run at their first title since 2012.

Girls coach Jeff Lownds, boys coach Bill Ferrare and assistant coach Mario Longo saw more progress within the program on Jan. 20 as Woodland competed in the Shoreline Coaches Invitational and won several events.

“We spent the weekend planning out the lineups and tried to put our athletes in the best position possible to succeed,” Lownds said. “We expect to make a solid effort.”

At the Shoreline meet, Jasmine Michie won the shot put (35-5) and Erika Michie took second in the 55 meter dash. In addition, Megen Sirowich improved in the 600 meters with a time of 1:47.29 and took seventh at the meet.

The coaches also were impressed by the result of the 4×400 relay squad. Jade Brennan, Erika Michie, Victoria Gugliotti and Karly Laliberte took seventh overall with a state-qualifying time.

Tom Smith won the 55 dash for the boys in 6.71 seconds, while teammate Ben Nuss was fourth in 6.84 seconds.

Coaches also point to Matt Luxeder, who lowered his time in the 600 meters. He also joined Smith, Nuss and Sean Mardin on the 1600 meter relay team, which won the event in 3:49.57.

The 4×400 relay team of Ryan Swanson, Mike Falcone, Mardin and Luxeder also had a solid performance, as did Craig Starkey in the pole vault.

Lownds said the boys team may not be as deep as other teams but is talented.

Both teams have been working on drills and practicing this week to stay in shape and keep their times down.

“There are a lot of teams in the NVL and a lot of good athletes,” Lownds said. “But our kids are ready to go.”