Hawks rely on relays


Woodland’s Mike Krakowski hurdles his way to second place in the 55 meter hurdles event during the NVL indoor track championships Feb. 9 in New Haven. PHOTO BY LARAINE WESCHLER
NEW HAVEN — The Woodland boys indoor track team brought home some of the hardware from the Naugatuck Valley League indoor track championship as three relay squads captured first place. The Hawks finished third with a total team score of 60 points as Watertown won the NVL title with a score of 91 and Naugatuck was second at 82 points.

The Woodland girls raced to a second-place finish and two fourth-place showings in the relays as the Hawks finished fifth as a team with 60 points. Holy Cross was crowned the NVL champ, just edging out Wolcott, 85-84, with Naugatuck at 70 taking third and Seymour at 68 finishing fourth.

The boys 4-by-200-meter relay squad of Mike Krakowski, Anthony Scirpo, Jacke Pinho and Craig Genz raced to victory in a time of 1 minute, 40 seconds.

In the 4-by-400 relay, the foursome of Marc Beaulieu, Adam Baz, Nick LaPerriere and Kyle Cranney came in with a winning time of 3:42.93, a full 3 seconds ahead of Holy Cross.

The sprint medley relay team of Scirpo, Pinho, LaPerriere and Cranney outdistanced the field by a full 6 seconds, finishing in 3:49.66 and coming within 2 seconds of the NVL record.

Woodland tried to make it a clean sweep in the relays but no one was catching the Holy Cross squad that set a new NVL record in the 4-by-800 relay. The Hawks finished third with Nick Hebert, Andrew Hale, Beaulieu and Baz finishing in 8:53.37.

“We take pride in our relays,” Woodland boys coach Tim Shea said. “We have been pretty successful in relays over the past three or four seasons. I knew going in that was our shot so we loaded up in those events and the kids did very well. We were hoping for a top-three finish at the NVLs. We put all our focus on our strong point, the relays, and it worked out for us.”

In the individual events the Hawks picked up valuable points as Krakowski raced to a second-place finish in the 55 hurdles in 8.83 seconds, a tenth of a second behind the winner. Brett Fowler placed seventh in 9.64 seconds.

In the pole vault Mitch White finished fourth at 9 feet, 6 inches and Michael Torselli placed fifth at 8 feet as the pair landed six points for Woodland.

Jon Fitzpatrick had a fourth-place finish in the high jump with a leap of 5-8 and Cranney raced to a fourth-place finish in the 1,000 meters in 2:42.52.

The Woodland boys finished 14th in the Class M state championships but several athletes qualified for State Open this weekend with another strong effort form the relay squads.

The sprint relay team of Pinho, Genz, Baz and Cranney raced to a third-place finish in 3:47.81. The 4-by-200 team of Krakowski, Pinho, Genz and LaPerriere came in with a fourth-place effort in 1:39.72.

“I felt as a team we did okay against the competition we faced at the states,” Shea said. “We did get to qualify for the state open and that what we were looking to do going into it.”

The Woodland girls, under coach Jeff Lownds, used a similar approach at the NVL meet as a total team effort put the Hawks in the running.

The 4-by-200 relay team of Arica Watford, Jiye Park, Taylor Boncal and Ashley Riley raced to a second-place finish in 1:56.68.

In the 4-by-800 the foursome of Miranda Moffat, Melissa Kiley, Hailey Filippone, and Rachel Lonchar came in fourth in 11:29.82.

Woodland was in a battle with Naugatuck in the sprint medley relay as the team of Watford, Park, Stephanie Dumond and Lonchar finished third in 4:59.86, just behind the Greyhounds.

The 4-by-400 team of Crystal Steinfeld, Lonchar, Dumond and Moffat finished seventh in a time of 4:51.47.

Woodland fared well in the individual events with Ashley Riley taking first place in the long jump at 16-3.25. Marissa Mills was fifth at 15-1.5 and Amanda Swingle eighth at 14-4.

Park raced to a second-place finish in the 55 in 7.91 seconds while Dumond came in fourth in 8.02 seconds.

In the 55 hurdles Mills took third with an effort of 9.85 seconds. Olivia Poryanda took fourth in the shot put at 28-5. Swingle tied for fourth in the high jump with teammate Kim Thrasher at 4-4.

Steinfeld raced to a fifth-place finish in the 1,000 in 3:27.71 and Boncal was seventh in the 300 in 45.84 seconds.

The girls finished 15th in the Class S championships. Ashley Riley placed third at the state meet in the long jump with an effort of 15-8 inches with Mills taking seventh at 15-1.

Boncal was tenth in the 300 in 44.16 seconds and the foursome of Park, Watford, Boncal and Dumond raced to a third-place finish in the 4-by-200 in 1:55.50.