By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News
WATERTOWN — At the Naugatuck Valley League cross country championship meet, the Woodland boys did what they’ve been doing all season long — finish in a pack.
The Hawks placed three runners in the top 10 and six in the top 20 on Oct. 20 at Veterans Park to win the boys’ championship with 36 points. Naugatuck finished runner-up with 73 points
Colin Slavin won the race in 17:00 to lead Woodland.
Slavin, who was named the boys most outstanding runner, had Ansonia senior Christian Malave with him for the first mile and a quarter.
“I really try to make a move on this diagonal part here (1.3-1.4 miles in) to try and separate,” Slavin said.
Slavin made his move, then threw some surges in to wrap up his win.
Woodland’s Nick Lachapelle finished second (17:12), Sam Ambrosio was seventh (18:01), Gabriel Diamante was 14th (18:46), Eric Meade placed 15th (19:09) and Kayo Niebrzydowski was 18th (19:23).
“One of our top boys, Chase Young, went down with an ankle injury,” Woodland coach Jeff Lownds told the Republican-American. “So it’s a real testament to the other six boys to pick up the slack.”
Derby won the girls race with 44 points, while Woodland finished runner-up with 56 points.
Woodland senior Chloe Poulos won the girls race in 19:24, more than two minutes faster than Seymour junior P.J. Dauphinais, who claimed second in 21:29.
“What can I say about Chloe Poulos,” Lownds said. “She’s phenomenal. The boys and the girls had great seasons. I’m a very lucky guy to coach these two very good teams.”
The race didn’t go at the pace Poulos needed to challenge the record of 18:27.7 run by Wolcott’s Kathryn Rodrigues in 2019, but she was still pleased with the effort. Poulos was named the girls most outstanding runner.
“I was ready to run a fast time. I wanted the meet record,” Poulos told the Republican-American. “I fell short of that, but I’m fine with how I ran. I’m still happy.”
Poulos will continue her running career at Division I Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y.
Woodland’s Kim Poulos finished 10th (22:34), Faye Carnemolla was 11th (22:39), Lily Miko was 15th (22:55), Kate Foley placed 19th (23:47), Kayla Drmic placed 21st (23:52) and Madison Aucoin finished 37th (25:45).
“We ran real well today. The boys finished in a pack, as they have all season. Colin really did a great job,” Lownds said. “The girls ran a good race as well, and Chloe put in another great effort. We just didn’t have enough to catch Derby.”
Slavin, Lachapelle and Ambrosio earned All-NVL honors. Diamante, Meade and Niebrzydowski earned All-Copper.
Chloe Polous earned All-NVL honors. Kim Poulos, Carnemolla and Miko made the All-Copper team.
Next up for the Hawks is the Class M state meet Oct. 30 at Wickham Park in Manchester.
The Republican-American contributed to this article.