Woodland cross country teams finish in top 10 in class

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BY KEN MORSE
CITIZEN’S NEWS
Woodland finished in the top 10 of the Class SS state cross country meet on Oct. 29 at Wickham Park in Manchester, concluding another success season for coach Jeff Lownds in his 21st year at the helm.
The Hawks surprised all 24 teams competing in the girls race, landing a fourth place finish behind state champion Haddam-Killingworth. The Cougars had four of their five runners in the top five.
“I’m very proud of our boys and girls teams this season,” said Lownds. “We certainly had our obstacles to overcome between injuries, illness, rainouts and busses being cancelled, but when you look back at how this team overcame all the adversities, and by the amount of hardware we took home at the NVL meet, I would have to say it was a success.”
Faye Carnemolla was the top Woodland finisher, placing 12th at 22:36. She was followed by Leah Zainc in 28th, Lily Miko in 30th, Kate Foley in 33rd and Payton Kane in 34th. The Hawks finished just ahead of Holy Cross with the Crusaders taking fifth place. Seymour had two runners in the top 10 but didn’t have five runners to finish in the team standings.
Carnemolla earned All-NVL honors this season with Zainc, Miko and Kane earning All-Copper division along with team captain Foley. On the boys side Nate Trumbley and Kayo Niebrzydowski were team captains.
The Woodland boys finished in the top 10 with an impressive ninth place finish. Sam Ambrocio finished in 16th place in a time of 18:20. Gabe Diamante placed 36th, Kayo Niebrzydowski was 60th, Andrew Orlowski was 80th and Robert Gugliotti finished 85th.
Griswold won the boys Class SS title with Suffield finishing as runner-up. Ambrocio was named All-NVL, with Diamante and Niebrzydowski taking All-Copper honors this season. The Hawks will only lose Foley, Niebrzydowski, Trumbley and Ervin Owusu to graduation.
“There is strength in numbers,” said Lownds. “We didn’t have the kind of numbers we have been use to but the numbers we had were solid and they really supported one another well. We have a strong group coming back losing only four seniors. My assistant coach Chris Misuraca is a very positive influence on the kids. We finished fourth last year with the girls in Class SS with Chloe Polous winning the race for us, so that goes to show you just what this group of girls was able to accomplish this season after a third place showing at the NVL meet.”