Greyhounds tie for third at NVLs
BEACON FALLS — Everything was on the line at Tuesday’s Naugatuck Valley League girls championship track meet. Woodland took it all.
The Hawks edged Watertown, 150-136.5, to claim the meet title, the NVL Brass Division title and the league championship under a hot sun on their home track.
Usually the conference title is determined during the regular season, but Woodland and Watertown tied in their dual meet. That left the winner of Tuesday’s meet as the champ, and for the first time, everything went to the Hawks.
“We beat a very good team today,” said Woodland girls coach Jeff Lownds, whose team won its first-ever NVL outdoor title. “Our girls dedicated themselves to winning this championship.”
Naugatuck and Holy Cross tied for third place with 77 points but the day was all about the Hawks and Indians.
Only one Woodland girl, Sydney Corneau, won an individual event (300-meter hurdles) but the Hawks swept the three relays and relied on depth through the rest of the events to propel them past last year’s champion.
The 4-by-800, 4-by-100 and 4-by-400 relay teams all won to give the Hawks 30 crucial points. Miranda Moffat, Emma Poryanda, Ava Capuano and Clara Drozdowski won the 4-by-800 in 10 minutes, 14.09 seconds to give Woodland the day’s first event before Jiye Park, Steph Dumond, Ashley Michie and Tayler Boncal took the 4-by-100 in 50.9 seconds.
“Those relays are the first two events and those helped set the tone for us,” Lownds said. “They showed we were going to have a good day for ourselves.”
Woodland’s best relay showing came at the end of the meet, when the 4-by-400 squad of Boncal, Capuano, Lisa Thrasher and Jazmyn Menzies set a school record by finishing in 4:13.25 to seal the championship.
Corneau won the Hawks’ only other gold medal, winning the 300 hurdles in 49.53 seconds. She’s only run that event for part of this season, but the team needed to fill a gap in the event and started training her a few weeks ago.
“I couldn’t be happier for Syd,” said Lownds, who added Corneau has competed in eight different events in her three years on the team. “We knew she had some speed and Syd will embrace a challenge. She’s earned so many points for us over the years in so many different areas. It’s a marvelous accomplishment for her.”
The Hawks’ depth took over from there. Michie, Dumond and Jess Rodrigues took the Nos. 3 through 5 spots in the 100 while Michie and Rodrigues went Nos. 3 and 6 in the 200. Boncal, Menzies and Thrasher were all inside the top six in the 400.
Woodland also had multiple point-scorers in the 3,200 (Mary Sardinskas and Clara Drozdowski), high jump (Menzies and Becca Moscato), long jump (Rodrigues, Corneau and Audra Blewitt), triple jump (Park and Blewitt) and discus (Erika Tyrrell and Abbey Rosato).
“It’s great to have champions but it’s more important in a championship meet to have more depth,” Lownds said. “The more kids that can score for you, that’s what made the difference for us.”
Naugatuck’s throwers provided the team’s biggest highlight of the day. Brianna Ritter and Felicia Gullotta went 1-2 in the discus, with Ritter’s heave of 101 feet, 9 inches easily outdistancing the field. Ritter was also third in the shot put while Christina Batista was second in the javelin.
“Our throwers on the girls side had a good day,” Naugatuck coach Ralph Roper said. “Those girls have really been stepping up their game. We have a couple seniors (Ritter and Gullotta) that have come into their own the past few seasons, and the way (Batista) throws, she’s getting better and better.”
Harmony Sturdivant placed third in the long jump and also earned points in the 400, but she had her day end early with a nagging injury.
“She did a nice job today,” Roper said. “We had to pull her out of the other events with her groin issue.”
Carla Soares placed fifth in both hurdles races and Madison Beasley was fourth in the two long-distance races. Ariana Alvarado and Jasmine Grey both gained points in the 200.