Naugy girls take fourth, boys fifth at NVL meet

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Naugatuck’s Alyssa Zarella hands off the baton to teammate Julia Dudek during the 4×200 meter relay at the NVL indoor track championships in New Haven Jan. 28. -STEVEN VALENTI/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NEW HAVEN — The Naugatuck girls indoor track team almost doubled last year’s output, while the boys finished in the middle of the pack at the Naugatuck Valley League championships Jan. 28 at the Floyd Little Athletic Complex.

The girls posted 13 personal best times and scored 72.50 points to finish fourth. The boys, last year’s runner-up, had 10 best times at the meet and placed fifth with 45 points in a very competitive field.

“We had the opportunity to do better,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. “We were missing a good portion of our distance team, as they decided not to come out for the indoor season.”

“But I can’t complain about the effort that both teams put forward,” Roper added. “A lot of first-year kids stepped up, including Kylie (Neretich) and Allison (Murphy) with second-place finishes.”

Woodland won the girls championship, the Hawks’ eighth straight, with 99 points. Watertown won the boys title with 76 points.

Zach Kosolsky led the Naugy boys, winning the pole vault (12 feet, 6 inches) and placing second in the 55 meter hurdles (8.33 seconds).

Ben Healy came through with third-place finishes in the long jump (20-1/2) and high jump (5-8).

Bryce Cegielski finished fifth the 1000 meters (2 minutes, 58.38 seconds), Matt Nofri was fifth in the 1600 (5:09.29), and Jonny Volpe placed sixth in the 600 (1:32.35).

The 4×400 team of Cegielski, Healy, Volpe and Koslosky ran to third place (3:42.72), and the foursome of Sean Evardo, Cameron Jacobs, Volpe and Cegielski landed fourth in the 1600 medley relay.

“We knew what to expect from Zach (Koslosky) and Ben (Healy),” Roper said. “We gave away a lot of points when we didn’t have anyone in the 55 dash or the 300 meters. It also hurt us that we weren’t as strong in the distance as we should have been. But we had too many kids who decided to take the season off.”

It was the relay squads that pushed the Naugy girls toward the top of the pack.

Naugatuck’s Kylie Neretich, left, and Seymour’s Faith Rousseau compete in the 55 meter Hurdles during the NVL indoor track championships in New Haven Jan. 28. STEVEN VALENTI/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

The 4×200 team of Liz Krooss, Neretich, Alyssa Zarrella and Julia Dudek ran to first (1:55.68), and the foursome of Krooss, Zarella, Diaz and Murphy raced to a first (4:39.99) as well.

The 4×800 team of Diaz, Tori Lawson, Lauren Rupsis and Murphy took second (10:49.24), and the 4×400 squad of Krooss, Dudek, Lawson and Latacianna Stoudmire placed third (4:43.61).

In individual events, Kylie Neretich took second in the 55 meter (9.07), and Allison Murphy finished second in the 1000 meters (3:18.36).

Evelyn Diaz finished third in the 600 meters (1:49.37), and Brianna Soubannarath finished third in the pole vault (7-6) and fourth in the 55 meter hurdles (9.07).

In the high jump, Kimani Grey finished fourth (4-6) and Daniella Acevedo placed fifth (4-6). Riley Arellano placed sixth in the shot put (26-10).

“The kids we had are very coachable,” Roper said. “The girls relays were just text book. Kylie (Neretich) led off the 4×200 and ran with a purpose getting us out to the lead.”

The Greyhounds will compete at the Class L state championships Friday at the Floyd Little Athletic Complex. The State Open is set for Feb. 16.