Ready to run

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NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck boys and girls cross country teams are positioning themselves for a run at an NVL title.

The boys still have not dropped a meet as they stand at 11-0. The boys picked up their latest wins Tuesday over Torrington (17-46), Watertown (25-36) and WCA (15-50).

Naugatuck’s Grady Beasley not only placed first but set a personal best time with 16:02. His teammate Mark Zamani came in right behind him at 16:29. Once again, Naugy showed their depth with four players coming in the top five and eight coming in the top 15.

“We’re fortunate to have our next five,” coach Bill Hanley said. “Brandon (Thomas), Luis (Garces), Dave (Kerns), Ross (Via), and Elliot (Via) finish within a minute of each other. Joe Dempsey and Mike Zamani not far off them.”

Dominance like this has been consistent all season, as results like Tuesday came in last week’s meet, as well, when Naugy defeated Derby, Wolcott, and St. Paul. Mark Zamani finished with a time of 17:11 while Beasley finished with 18:02. Like Tuesday, four of the top five finishers were Greyhounds.

The girls currently sit at 6-5. While the girls have had minor struggles this season, they continue to stay above .500.  In Tuesday’s meet, they were defeated by Torrington (22-33) and an unbeaten Watertown (15-46), but they were able to pick up the win against WCA (20-35).

Lauren Stankiewicz finished ninth with a time of 21:59 while Courtney Morin finished 11th in 23:15. Brianna Lennon did not finish too far behind with a time of 23:28.

The girls are continuing to improve throughout the season, as they are getting better times every week. In last week’s meet, they defeated St. Paul and Wolcott. Three Greyhounds finished in the top 10, including Morin, Stankiewicz, and Cindy Stirk.

Hanley appreciates the girls’ desire to continue to develop.

“I’m pleased with their consistent improvement,” Hanley said. “This week’s team time was 2:00.21, down from 2:01.06 last week.”

The Greyhounds have one final meet Oct. 13 versus Kennedy, Seymour and Woodland before the NVL championships on Oct. 21.

Both teams have a run for the NVL title in sight as they are continuing to get better every week.  However, Hanley expressed his concern of the colder weather as the autumn weather has approached Connecticut quite quickly.

“Cooler temperatures are more breathing-friendly but less muscle-friendly,” Hanley explained.  “Staying healthy and avoiding injury are key to having a successful season. Proper clothing and proper warm-up are essential.”