Woodland runners wrap up regular season


The Woodland boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams wrapped up their regular seasons in a joint meet with Wolcott and Seymour Tuesday.

The Woodland girls split their decision, losing to Wolcott, 36-21, but beating Seymour, 36-21. The Woodland boys dropped both of their decisions, falling to Wolcott, 32-23, and to Seymour, 29-27.

The results leave the girls with a 10-3 record (10-4 on the boys’ side).

Coach Jeff Lownds expressed his satisfaction about the overall records but said the Hawks can strive to do better, and will look to do so come the postseason.

“As far as our program goes, 10-3 and 10-4, for us, is considered an average year,” Lownds said. “We want to do better than that.”

The Woodland runners feature one of the smallest teams in the Naugatuck Valley League, with only ten runners on each the girls’ and boys’ squads. The Hawks do not let their limited size hold them back from achieving success.

“Overall, our season has been very good for such a small team,” Lownds said. “Other teams have more JV runners then I have on my whole team. Ten runners on each team gets difficult sometimes, but we have been strong.”

The winner of the girls’ race was Wolcott’s Kate Forte, who posted a time of 20 minutes, 17 seconds. The first Woodland runner across the line was Crystal Steinfeld, who came in second with a time of 21:32. Coming in right behind Steinfeld, in third place, was Woodland’s Julia Bickford at 21:46.

Other Woodland girls that finished near the top of the pack were seventh-place finisher Melissa Kiley at 22:52; eighth-place finisher Tina DiUrno at 23:01; and fourteenth-place finisher Miranda Moffat at 24:33.

Steinfeld, the Hawks’ senior captain, is a third-year runner searching to regain spots on the NVL and all-state team, which she claimed last season.

The winner of the boys’ race was Seymour’s Kevin Walkey with a time of 17:10. The first boys’ runner across the line for the Hawks was Kyle Cranney, who came in fifth with a time of 18:08. Behind him, in sixth, was Ryan Mariotti at 18:19.

Other Woodland boys that placed well were Joe Reynolds in tenth with a time of 19:09; Ian Chemenko in thirteenth with a time of 19:36; and John Fitzpatrick at 20:08 in sixteenth place.

Cranney finished tenth in the state Class M last year and was an All-NVL selection. He and his teammates hope to place high in the NVL Championships at Naugatuck next week and the CIAC Class-M and Open Championships later this month.

Lownds reflected on the season, attributing the hard work of his runners to the successes of the program.

“I’m very proud of the efforts my team makes,” Lownds said. “We come and we work hard every day in practice and we come and give it everything we have in the meets. The boys and girls that I have that run for me put their whole heart and soul into this.”