By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News
Naugy girls run to fifth
TORRINGTON — The Greyhounds didn’t exactly sprint out of the gate at the NVL outdoor track and field championships May 22 at Torrington High School.
“I won’t kid you. I was sweating bullets at the beginning of the meet. We didn’t start out exactly the way I had envisioned,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. “In the 4×100 relay, the girl dropped the stick, and after a disqualification in the 100 hurdles our girl hesitated coming out of the block. But after that slow start, we kind of gained some momentum when some of the other kids began to step up.”
The boys stepped up in a big way. The Greyhounds won the championship with 134 points — 28 points ahead of runner-up Woodland — to defend their 2019 title.
The girls regrouped to finish fifth with 56 points. Woodland ran away with the title with 174 points.
“I told the kids after the first few hiccups that we may have lost the battle but we didn’t lose the war,” Roper said. “They were really down thinking they were disappointing me. But once we regained our focus, we started to turn things around.”
Jon Volpe won the 800 and set a new meet record in the event with a time of 1 minute, 55.94 seconds. He also finished second in the 1600 with a personal-best of 4:22.70.
Cameron Jacobs won the 300 hurdles (42.34) and placed second in the 110 hurdles (16.41).
“To come out here and get it done in the way we did, I couldn’t be more proud,” Jacobs said of the NVL team title. “I’m so happy that we all got it done today.”
“The team worked together, and we brought it home,” Volpe said.
Daniel Anderson was also solid in the hurdles. He finished third in the 110 (16.86) and fourth in the 300 (43.83).
“Some of our younger kids stepped up and we began to make our move,” Roper said “Since Day 1 I’ve said Anderson is going to be money in the bank. But where we really showed improvement was in our throws.”
Steven Herb took second in the javelin with a throw of 134 feet. Kevin Healy placed sixth in the shot put (38-04) and seventh in the discus (106-09). Julia Kropo placed fifth for the girls in the javelin (90-9.)
“Throwing coach Trey Taylor has helped our kids make a tremendous improvement,” Roper said. “We had seven kids finish in the top ten and that made a significant difference in our team points.”
The boys picked up points throughout the meet.
Jason Spino took second in pole vault (12), Matt Norfi finished third in the 1600 (4:37.01), Taylor Trowers placed third in the 400 (52.02) and fifth in the 200 (23.01), Rodsir Vaughn finished fourth in the 100 (11.62), and Ayden Tripp placed fourth in the triple jump (40-09).
The 4×400 relay team of Jacobs, Trowers, Volpe and JayShawn Lindsay won the event with a season-best time of 3:29.70. The 4×800 squad of Justin Carroll, Chance Conklin, Brendan Lyles and Zach McCasland beat its previous best time by 13 seconds to place third in 8:50.48.
Allison Murphy led the girls with two personal-best times in the hurdles. She won the 300 hurdles (48.11) and finished second (16.49) in the 100 hurdles en route to being named the top hurdler.
The 4×400 team of Kropo, Lauren Sonski, Leticia DoNascimento and Murphy finished second with a personal-best time of 4:11.87. The 4×800 foursome of Kaylee Jackson, Tori Lawson, Jayda Costa and Rana Aljamal put up a season-best time of 10:56.44 to finish fifth.
Kropo took third in the 400 (1:02.28), and Sonski finished fourth in the 1600 (5:40.78) and fifth in the 800 (2:28.20).
“At the end of the day we had some younger kids step up, but we relied on the seniors who went out and gave us strong performances, like Volpe, Tripp, Spino, Healy, Vaughn and Carroll along with Lawson on the girls’ side.”
The Greyhounds are set to compete in the Class L championships June 1 at Willow Brook Park in New Britain.
The Republican-American contributed to this article.