Outstanding performances the norm

Woodland’s Erika Michie races in the 100 meters during a meet with Holy Cross and Oxford Tuesday at Holy Cross High School. Michie won the event. – JIM SHANNON/REPUBLICAN AMERICAN

BEACON FALLS — A 10-year-old javelin throw no longer tops the Woodland girls track and field record book.

Last week in a meet against Sacred Heart and Kennedy, Hawks senior Kristen Persico hurled the javelin 109 feet, 5 1/2 inches to set the school record. She broke the mark previously held by Rachel Spiwak from 2008.

“Kristen Persico has had a fabulous senior season,” said Woodland girls coach Jeff Lownds, who noted that she has already qualified for all three throwing events at the Class M state meet.

Persico is just one of several outstanding performers for the Hawks, especially on the girls side. The Woodland girls improved to 11-1 in the regular season with wins over Holy Cross and Oxford on Tuesday. The Woodland boys split with the Crusaders and the Wolverines to move to 8-4 on the year.

Individual event winners for the Hawks girls included Persico (javelin and discus), Erika Michie (100 and 200 meters), Jade Brennan (400 meters), Julia Swiatek (pole vault), Megen Sirowich (long jump), Stephanie Poynton (triple jump) and Jasmine Michie (shot put).

Lownds pointed to the performance of Sirowich, who has been a consistent mid-distance runner but recently added a new event to her portfolio.

“Megen Sirowich has just begun long jump over the last four meets and won (Tuesday),” Lownds said.

Lownds also praised the efforts of top scorers Alexandra Cianciolo (jumps and hurdles), Casey Donnelly (hurdles), Hailey Bernier (pole vault), Xiu Xiu Sammis-McCoy (throws), Christina Hart (throws) and Emma Slavin (long distance).

Individual event winners for the Woodland boys included Matt Luxeder (800 meters), Stephen Persico (javelin) and Craig Starkey (pole vault). Luxeder also anchored two winning relay teams, the 4×800 (with Charlie Schwarz, Michael Falcone and Edit Krivca) and the 4×400 (with Krivca, Falcone and Ryan Swanson).

Woodland’s Craig Starkey tries to clear 13 feet, 1 inch in an attempt to break the Woodland school record in the pole vault after already winning the event during a meet with Holy Cross and Oxford Tuesday at Holy Cross High School. While close on all three attempts, Starkey was not able to break the record. -JIM SHANNON/REPUBLICAN AMERICAN

In addition to his strong effort Tuesday, Luxeder was recently honored as Woodland’s CIAC Boys Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Schwarz is an under-the-radar runner who may not rack up countless individual victories, but he’s gained Lownds’ notice for the way he earns points in his events.

“Charlie Schwarz has been a distance workhorse for us, running in the 1,600, 4×800, 800 and 3,200 on different occasions,” Lownds said.

Lownds also noted the efforts of Tom Bucciferro (long distance), Matt Iannone (long distance), Tom Smith (sprints and high jump), Joe Kmetz (throws), Brandon Filippone (throws), Jackson Henry (throws), Cole Barrows (pole vault) and Kelvin Esselfie (pole vault).

Starkey recently notched his career-best mark in the pole vault at 12 feet, 6 inches. Also in the field, Lownds recognized some newcomers to the jumping events.

“A pleasant surprise has been with our long jump, triple jump and high jump athletes,” Lownds said. “Brian Shea, Conrad Filippone and James Champagne are new to these events and are scoring in all of our meets.”

Woodland will host a final regular-season meet Tuesday against Wilby, St. Paul and Platt Tech, before preparing for the Naugatuck Valley League championships May 22 at Seymour.