BY KEN MORSE
After finishing last season as the NVL runner-up, the Naugatuck cross country teams wanted more, a lot more. The boys went 12-1 and the girls were 11-2. This cross country team was like a powder keg ready to explode.
Ever since coach Kevin Schumann came on the scene and took the reins from coach Bill Hanley, the boys and girls teams have been wanting more.
In the Greyhounds’ season opener Sept. 12 at Hop Brook it also marked senior night as this will be the only home meet for Naugy. How did the Hounds respond? They were not taking any prisoners.
The Naugy boys took the top four places, scoring a 19-36 win over Torrington and then dropping the hammer on Crosby and Wilby by identical 15-50 margins. Junior Jason Costa, who won last year’s JV race at the NVL championship wanted to make a statement and he did, winning in a time of 18:48.
“You can’t go out and expect to win ever single race,” said Costa. “There is some pretty good competition in this league, but regardless you still have to go out there and compete and that’s what I did today.
“I think I went out at the right pace. Coach is always talking about three stages of a race. The first mile run it with your legs, the second mile run it with your head and the third mile run it with your heart. That’s what I did today.”
The Dalton brothers were not satisfied to finish in seventh or eight place last year. The dynamic duo hit the road over the summer, training up to 50 miles a week, and the results were simply astounding. Eddie Dalton finished second at 19:04 and Luke Dalton was third at 19:22.
“I couldn’t ask for a better partner to do the training with over the summer. It was fun,” said Luke Dalton. “It was hard work but that is what is going to get you there.
“We were really committed to doing this and seeing the results makes it all worthwhile. We didn’t want to finish in the middle of the pack anymore and the only way to do that was to work at it and that’s what we did,”
Seniors Zachary McCasland was fourth at 19:33 and Joe Cervone was ninth at 20:42. Torrington landed four straight finishes as well but they were fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth compared to Naugy.
In the girls race it was much of the same as sophomore Gwen Marenghi won handily with a time of 24:27, almost four minutes ahead of the nearest competitor. Susana Rego, another sophomore, finished second at 28:07.
“I didn’t have a lot of runners around to push me,” said Marenghi. “It just adds a little mental aspect when you have other runners around, so it was tough to maintain my pace, but I thought I got out to a good pace to start the race and that got me out in front of the pack.”
The Naugy girls easily got by Wilby, 15-50, and had a closer time with Crosby, winning by an 18-37 margin. Sophomores Jezaiah Ramos was fourth at 28:17 and Chloe Tome was fifth at 29:08 while freshman newcomer Callie Crosswait finished sixth at 32:28.
Naugatuck celebrated its seniors at the meet. For the girls team it was Virginia Pepin, and for the boys it was Zack McCasland, Angelo Bosch, Max Hammond, Joe Cervone and Luke Deitelbaum.
BY KEN MORSE