Naugatuck shows well at Nationals


The Naugatuck boys outdoor track team was well represented at the New Balance National Outdoor track championships in Greensboro, N.C. over the weekend.

The Greyhounds had an 800 meter sprint relay team and a 400 meter hurdle participant among the teams that came in from across the country to compete.

The weekend marked the third time Naugatuck has made the trip to the New Balance Nationals, Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. The team had a few relays and a couple solo runners compete at the event in 2007. In 2013, Muad Hrezi participated and got noticed by the University of North Carolina, Roper said.

“It’s a great opportunity for the athletes, but it is also a huge financial burden for the families,” Roper said. “There are a lot of resources needed and a lot of fundraisers to make this happen.”

Last Friday, the Naugatuck foursome of seniors Xavier Lewis, Andrew Dempsey and Rami Ammar and junior Aren Seeger raced in the 800 Sprint Medley Emerging Elite section 6. The team finished 23rd in a time of 1:36.72 out of 45 teams nationwide that competed.

Lewis and Dempsey ran the first 100 meter legs. Ammar handled the third leg of the 200 meter distance, and Seeger ran the final 400 meters.

“We didn’t run our best time,” Roper said. “A minor mishap occurred on the first hand off when a sticker came undone. But for the most part, under the circumstances against the very best in the country, I thought we did well.”

Seeger was ranked high in the Emerging Elite Section 5 400 hurdles and finished seventh on Sunday with a time of 55.10. The time was just 1.65 seconds out of first place.

Derby, Masuk and Immaculate were just a few of the other teams from Connecticut that made the trip to Nationals.

“A meet like this draws a lot of attention,” Roper said. “We work all year long to try and get these kids some exposure. I have already fielded questions from Boston College about Aren, and he’s only a junior and will no doubt be one of our leaders next season.”