Hawks break state, school records
NEW BRITAIN — The Woodland boys 4-by-400-meter relay team smashed the Class M state record by more than two seconds to help lead the Hawks to a second-place finish at Tuesday’s state championships at Willowbrook Park.
Sophomore Mike Lang also won the long jump to take all-state honors. The boys finished with 64.75 points — the highest total in school history at a state meet — and tied the 2009 team’s record for top performance at the state championships.
The Woodland girls finished 15th at the same meet, finishing as the second-highest scoring team from the Naugatuck Valley League.
The boys 4-by-400 squad was the favorite and far surpassed its seeded time of 3:25.65. Nick LaPerriere, Jon Alarcon, Tim Madormo, and Eric Dietz finished in 3:21.48, beating the state record by an astounding 2.39 seconds and winning the race by nearly 6 ½ seconds over Bloomfield, which won the team championship.
The previous Class M record was 3:23.87, set by Prince Tech in 2005.
“We were pretty excited going in with them,” Woodland boys coach Tim Shea said. “We had pretty high expectations. We thought we could go around 3:20. I still believe we can go faster than we did. I honestly think they can go under 3:20. They were so far out in front today, they weren’t being pushed.”
The group also blew away the school record set by the 2009 Class M state championship-winning relay squad of Tyler Murphy, Chris Savvidou, Brandon Fowler, and Zak Favoccia. That foursome finished in 3:27.03 at the class meet.
“We didn’t think that we would get to this record after our last 4-by-400 group,” Shea said. “They were a pretty good group, but this one’s even better.”
Lang, a sophomore, won the long jump by more than four inches with a leap of 21 feet, 11.75 inches. That was 3 ½ inches better than his previous best jump of the season.
He also tied for seventh in the high jump with a mark of 5-8.
“We only had him do two events today,” Shea said. “We took him out of the 4-by-100 today to let him concentrate on the two jumps. He’s getting farther and farther in the long jump. Hopefully he can get to 22 feet there. He was a bit bummed in the high jump, but that shows the type of competitor he is.”
LaPerriere and Dietz finished second and third in the 400, with LaPerriere setting a school record of 49.92 seconds in the process. Both qualified for the State Open.
Madormo placed third in both the 110 and 300 hurdles, also qualifying for the Open in both events.
The boys 4-by-800 relay of Andy Hale, Marc Beaulieu, Adam Baz, and Dietz was fourth while Scott Lang just missed defending his javelin title by finishing second. Both Lang and the relay qualified for the State Open.
On the girls side, Jiye Park set a school record in the triple jump, finishing third with a leap of 35-3, about five inches short of the winning mark. Park’s bound bested her season high by nearly a foot.
Tayler Boncal finished second by less than a second in the 400, clocking in at 1:00.33. Both Boncal and Park will compete at Monday’s State Open.
“We have a pretty good crew going to the State Open,” Shea said.
The strong performances at Tuesday’s Class M meet came right after Woodland’s prom weekend, but Shea said all the athletes were ready to work after enjoying the occasion.
“We were a little nervous because it was prom weekend, but we were hoping that the kids would be able to refocus in time for the meet,” Shea said. “They came to practice on Sunday ready to go. Every week we’ve been putting challenges in front of them, so we’ll see what’s next.”