Naugy runs down title

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Boy earns first championship since 2012, girls claim third place

Naugatuck’s Michael Popescu competes in the long jump at the NVL indoor track championship Feb. 17 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. The Naugy boys won the title. –LUKE MARSHALL
Naugatuck’s Michael Popescu competes in the long jump at the NVL indoor track championship Feb. 17 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. The Naugy boys won the title. –LUKE MARSHALL

NEW HAVEN — The NVL indoor track championship was finally held Tuesday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center on the campus of Hillhouse High School in New Haven.

The wait was worth it for the Naugatuck boys, who went the distance to win their first NVL title since 2012.

The Naugy boys piled it on scoring 111 team points well ahead of second-place Seymour, which finished with 71 points.

Naugy was led by senior Dan Schumacher, who won the grueling trifecta, taking first in the 1,000 meters (2:45.70), the 1,600 meters (4:45.46) and the 3,200 meters (10:02.66.) For his efforts, Schumacher won the meets outstanding performer, outstanding distance runner and outstanding senior awards.

Brian Reilly kept Naugatuck competitive in the sprints early in the meet with a second-place finish in the 300 meters and a fourth-place showing in the 600. Mark Zamani ran to a second-place finish in the 600, but Naugatuck trailed Seymour at that point by a slim 20-14 margin.

That’s when the Greyhounds lived up to their name and ran away with the meet.

Naugy captured first and second in the 1,000 with Schumacher winning and Brody Hale right behind with a 2:50.43 effort.

It was the Schumacher-Hale duo again winning first and second in the 1,600. Schumacher won the third leg of the trifecta winning the 3,200. Mark Zamani raced to a third-place finish and Hale placed fifth in the event. When the distance runs were over Naugy had outscored Seymour 54-2 to take a commanding 68-22 advantage and it never got closer after that.

“Over the years I’ve always encouraged my long distance threats to run the trifecta,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. “Dan did an outstanding job winning all three races and then topped it off taking home three awards as well. So happy for him and it’s well deserved with all the hard work he’s put into it.”

The ‘Hounds continued to pile on the points in the relays with the 1,600 sprint medley team of Yan Silva, Mike Campos, Marcus Ruff and Mark Zamani racing to a second-place finish. The 4-by-400 squad of Silva, Ruff, Mike Zamani and Mike Nanadoum took third and the 4-by-800 foursome of Silva, Mike Zamani, David Kerns and Ross Via finished fourth.

There was still a good portion of the meet to go, and that’s when Naugatuck pulled out some surprising finishes to close the deal.

Mike Popescu landed a long jump of 21 feet, 2.25 inches in his final attempt to win the event. Kevin Okifo took second in the pole vault at 9 feet, 6 inches and Will Paul heaved the shot put 41 feet, 6.75 inches to capture fourth place.

“Mike is a tennis player who came out for indoor track as a senior and leaps 3 feet beyond what he’s ever done to win the event,” Roper said. “He won the field award and just goes to show you that some of these kids who come out as seniors can really accomplish something.”

Naugatuck’s Carla Soares competes in the hurdles at the NVL indoor track championship Feb. 17 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. The girls finished third at the meet. –LUKE MARSHALL
Naugatuck’s Carla Soares competes in the hurdles at the NVL indoor track championship Feb. 17 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. The girls finished third at the meet. –LUKE MARSHALL

The Naugatuck girls were caught up in a three-team race to the finish. The girls finished third with 83 points as four-time league champion Woodland won the meet with 147 points.

The Naugy girls sprinted out in front of the field early on with Ariana Alvarado taking first place in the 55-meter dash at 7.75 and Jasmine Grey posting a time of 7.93 to take fourth place.

Heyi Cheng ran to a third-place finish in the 300 meters in 45.39 and Alvarado was fourth at 46.83. Harmony Sturdivant came in second in the 600 at 1:46.63 in a race that ended up being a photo-finish.

Naugy held a 32-18 lead over Woodland heading into the distance runs.

Lauren Stankiewicz was the highest finisher for the Greyhounds taking fourth in the 3,200. Carla Soares ran to a fourth-place finish in the 55 hurdles with Makayla Teixeira taking fifth.

Naugatuck went into the relays trailing Woodland by 22 team points.

“The distance runs are not our strong suit,” Roper said. “But I thought my girls really came out ready to compete and it turned into a three-team race between us Seymour and Woodland.”

Naugatuck was outstanding in the relays giving the team a shot heading down the stretch. The 4-by-200 team of Jill Orts, Alvarado, Soares and Kayla Magalhaes raced to victory in 1:56.31. The 4-by-400 foursome of Cheng, Grey, Soares and Orts and the 4-by-800 squad of Courtney Morin, Stankiewicz, Brianna Lennon and Melissa Goja both won second place. The 1,600 sprint medley team of Emily Drennan, Magalhaes, Orts and Morin finished third.

Trailing Woodland 100-74 the Greyhounds had a shot going down the stretch, but needed to post some big numbers in the field events. However, a lack of depth prevented Naugatuck from mounting a charge.

Jasmine Grey leaped to third in the high jump and Studivant finished fourth in the long jump. That was all the Greyhounds could do, but the third-place team finish had the coach quite pleased at the team’s performance.

“We battled and to be in it heading down the stretch is very encouraging,” Roper said. “Now we know what we need to work on to get stronger for the outdoor season. The biggest thing we need is to add depth. We need more athletes to come out for the team in the spring.”

NVL indoor track championships results

Boys

Team results: 1. Naugatuck, 111; 2. Seymour, 71; 3. Derby, 58; 4. Woodland, 51; 5. Holy Cross, 39; 6. Wolcott, 26; 7. Wilby, 24; 8. Watertown, 20; 9. Kennedy, Torrington, 18; 11. Crosby, 15; 12. Oxford, 12; 13. St. Paul Catholic, 2.

Individual results:

1,000: 1. Dan Schumacher, Naugatuck, 2:45.70; 2. Brody Hale, Naugatuck, 2:50.43; 3. Damir Poric, Derby, 2:50.82.

4×800: 1. Woodland (Norieka, Moffat, Giusto, Conway) 8:41.23; 2. Derby 8:42.28; 3. Watertown 9:17.90.

Long jump: 1. Mike Popescu, Naugatuck, 21-2.25; 2. Auston Fraser, Seymour, 20-5.5; 3. Stanley Little, Kennedy, 19-5.

600: 1. Austin Fraser, Seymour, 1:27.85; 2. Mark Zumani, Naugatuck, 1:28.65; 3. Adam

Pakalnis, Holy Cross, 1:29.77.

1,600: 1. Dan Schumacher, Naugatuck, 4:45.46; 2. Brody Hale, Naugatuck, 4:55.67; 3. Jeff Giusto, Woodland, 4:58.57.

1,600 sprint medley: 1. Seymour (Melms, Dos Santos, Maloney, Colwell) 3:51.86; Naugatuck 3:57.29; Holy Cross 4:02.62.

Pole vault: 1. Drew Chura, Woodland, 10-0; 2. Kevin Okifo, Naugatuck, 9-6; 3. Nicholas Wright, Wolcott, 9-6.

Shot put: 1. Donte Lee, Wilby, 47-1.5; 2. Kobe Covington, Torrington, 44-1; 3. Peterson Issac, Derby, 42-1.25.

55 dash: 1. Juwan Hall, Holy Cross, 6.48; 2. Stanley Little, Kennedy, 6.49; 3. Oscar Medina, Crosby, 6.73.

300: 1. Austin Fraser, Seymour, 36.77; 2. Dylan Feldmeier, Oxford, 37.59; 3. Oscar Medina, Crosby, 37.82.

3,200: 1. Dan Schumacher, Naugatuck, 10:02.66; 2. Damir Poric, Derby, 10:40.84; 3. Mark Zamani, Naugatuck, 10:52.96.

55 hurdles: 1. Tyquace Sandelin, Wilby, 8.61; 2. Nicholas Wright, Wolcott, 8.83; 3. Ben Garcia, Derby, 8.92.

4×200: 1. Seymour (Abate, Melms, Burns, Maloney) 1:37.28; 2. Watertown 1:38.57; 3. Woodland 1:40.41.

4×400: 1. Woodland (Bethin, Moffat, Yacavone, Conway) 3:45.16; 2. Derby 3:48.11; 3. Naugatuck 3:52.28.

High jump: 1. Peter D’Antona, Derby, 5-10; 2. Nicholas Wright, Wolcott, 5-9; 3. Paul Maloney, Seymour, 5-8.

Awards

Field: Mike Popescu, Naugatuck

Sprinter/hurdler: Austin Fraser, Seymour

Distance: Dan Schumacher, Naugatuck

MVP: Dan Schumacher, Naugatuck

Top senior: Dan Schumacher, Naugatuck

Girls

Team results: 1. Woodland, 147; 2. Seymour, 92; 3. Naugatuck, 83; 4. Watertown, 30; 5. Torrington, 24; 6. Oxford, 22; 7. Derby, 18; 8. Holy Cross, 13; 9. Wilby, Kennedy, 9; 11. Wolcott, 7; 12. St. Paul Catholic, 6; 13. Crosby, 5.

Individual results:

1,000: Clara Drozdowski, Woodland, 3:19.55; 2. Vicki Babson, Seymour, 3:25.57; 3. Kelsey Mitchell, Woodland, 3:26.20.

Pole vault: 1. Megan Lynch, Woodland, 8-0; 2. Gosia Fryc, Semour, 7-6; 3. Emma Poryanda, Woodland, 7-0.

Shot put: 1. Jesica Litwa, Seymour, 33-10.25; 2. Cassie Rossetti, Seymour, 3105.5; 3. Kiersten Sirowich, Seymour, 28-8.5.

4×200: 1. Naugatuck (Orts, Alvarado, Soarea, Magalhaes) 1:56.31; 2. Woodland, 1:57.71; 3. Seymour 1:58.51.

4×800: 1. Woodland (Drozdowski, Thrasher, Poryanda, Machado) 11:06.35; 2. Naugatuck 11:35.84; 3. Watertown 11:37.76.

600: 1. Lisa Thrasher, Woodland, 1:46.47; 2. Harmony Sturdivant, Naugatuck, 1:6.63; 3. Rachel Conway, Watertown, 1:46.89.

1,600: 1. Kiley Rodiriguez, Derby, 5:54.24; 2. Stephanie Kiley, Woodland, 6:06.71; 3. Gabrielle Vega, Torrington, 6:09.14.

1,600 sprint medley: 1. Seymour (Johnson, Lynch, Slotter, Babson) 4:48.05; 2. Woodland 4:49.78; 3. Naugatuck 4:55.42.

High jump: 1. Jazmyn Menzies, Woodland, 5-0; 2. Jill Murphy, Seymour, 5-0; 3. Jasmine Grey, Naugatuck, 4-10.

Long jump: 1. Jazmyn Menzies, Woodland, 16-5.25; 2. Lauren Ferry, Holy Cross, 16-1.5; 3. Jill Murphy, Seymour, 15-0.

55 dash: 1. Ariana Alvarado, Naugatuck, 7.75; 2. Shelby Williams, WIlby, 7.79; 3. Perla Cora, Kennedy.

300: 1. Savada Robinson, Oxford, 42.93; 2. Haleigh Resnick, Woodland, 45.27; 3. Heyi Cheng, Naugatuck, 45.39.

3,200: 1. Kelsey Mitchell, Woodland, 13:04.11; 2. Gabrielle Vega, Torrington, 14:04.47; 3. Stephanie Kiley, Woodland, 14:17.87.

55 hurdles: 1. Savada Robinson, Oxford, 9.08; 2. Maddie Lynch, Seymour, 9.64; 3. Christine Angrand, Woodland, 9.74.

4×400: 1. Woodland (Menzies, Thrasher, Drozdowski, Resnick) 4:22.67; 2. Naugatuck 4:30.32; 3. Seymour 4:32.03.

Awards

Field: Jazmyn Menzies, Woodland

Sprinter/hurdler: Savada Robinson, Oxford

Distance: Clara Drozdowski, Woodland

MVP: Jazmyn Menzies, Woodland

Top senior: Vicki Babson, Seymour