Naugy, Woodland girls finish third and fourth at NVLs

Woodland’s Mary Sardinskas (146) and Naugatuck’s Jordyn Allen (46) look to separate themselves from the pack at the start of the NVL cross country championships Tuesday afternoon in Watertown. Allen was the Greyhounds’ top finisher and finished fifth overall with a time of 20:40. Sardinskas led the way for the Hawks. She came in third overall with a time of 20:16. –LUKE MARSHALL

WATERTOWN — Drama filled Tuesday’s Naugatuck Valley League girls cross country championship meet at Veterans Park in Watertown as Wolcott edged Watertown for the Eagles’ third straight title.

Naugatuck placed third and finished tops among Copper Division teams while Woodland placed fourth in the hotly contested championship meet.

Watertown’s Zoe Kelly, last year’s runner-up, finished the 3.05-mile course first in 19 minutes, 52 seconds. Seymour’s Julia Maturo was second in 20:08 and Woodland’s Mary Sardinskas finished third in 20:16.

Wolcott’s 55 team points were just better than Watertown’s 57. Naugatuck’s 90 points were good for third while Woodland’s 105 points placed the Hawks in fourth.

Jordyn Allen was the Greyhounds’ top finisher, racing to a fifth-place showing in 20:40.

“Wolcott has such a tremendous program,” Naugatuck coach Bill Hanley said. “We ended up where I expected we would be. Jordyn ran a great race and earned All-NVL for her effort. Watertown is also a strong team and the girls race ended up being a lot closer than I expected.”

Naugatuck did place three runners in the top 20 of 72 runners with Allen in fifth, Samantha Hilse finishing 15th in 21:08 and Lindsey Thoren placing 17th in 21:11.

The Hawks received an outstanding performance from Sardinskas, and her third-place effort earned her All-NVL honors. Clara Drozdowski also broke into the top 15, finishing 11th in 21:01.

“Mary was outstanding and Clara is only a freshman and earned All-Brass Division,” Woodland coach Jeff Lownds said. “We only have one senior, Miranda Moffat, so the future of Woodland cross country is in good shape.”

Woodland’s fourth-place finish was right about where Lownds projected.

“The girls had three losses during the season,” he said. “Technically that would have put us in fourth place in the championship meet and that’s where we ended up.”

Naugatuck secured third place with a strong grouping of runners who broke into the top 30. Courtney Morin finished 27th in 22:02, Harmony Sturdivant was 28th in 22:11 and Madison Beasley was 29th in 22:12. Heyi Cheng also finished 43rd in 23:36.

The Hawks’ young runners put up excellent times with Kailyn Accetura placing 26th in 21:59 and Kelsey Mitchell finishing 31st in 22:20. Miranda Moffat finished 37th in 23:07 and Angeline Rosato placed 49th in 24:12.

Naugatuck and Woodland will prepare for their state championship meets Oct. 27.