Woodland girls extend title run, boys take third

Woodland’s Emelie Noreika easily clears the bar in the pole vault during the NVL track and field championships May 23 at Seymour High School. –LUKE MARSHALL

SEYMOUR — The Woodland girls got stronger as the day went on Tuesday at Seymour High School and pulled away from the field to win their fifth straight NVL outdoor track and field championship.

“We had a good day,” Woodland girls coach Jeff Lownds said. “We scored in most events, and that is how you get it done. We are not a deep team, but we had them in the right places, and the kids did a great job.”

The girls tallied 121.50 points to runner-up Watertown’s 105.25.

The Woodland boys were in the thick of the competition, but the day belonged to Seymour. The Hawks finished third for the third year in a row with 76.50 points. Seymour ran away with the boys’ title with 142 points.

The Woodland girls got off to a slow start, then the Hawks began to collect valuable points with two and three athletes scoring in events.

“We didn’t start out well and if we go flat things won’t break our way,” said Lownds during the meet. “But it’s a long meet and we just have to see what happens. At the end we just hope we have enough.”

Woodland had more than enough, especially from Erika Michie, who raced to victory in the 100 (12.62) and 200 (26.15).

The Hawks began to turn things in their favor in the 100 hurdles with Jordan Williams taking third (16.89) followed by teammates Alexandra Cianciolo in seventh and Casey Donnelly in eighth.

Each team is allowed three athletes per event with the top-eight finishers scoring. Emma Slavin took fifth and Calisa Costanza finished eighth in the 3200. In the long jump, Gina Polletta took fourth and Stephanie Poynton placed eighth.

Woodland’s Edit Krivca stays just ahead of Derby’s Tracey Gallishaw in the 4×800 relay during the NVL track and field championships May 23 at Seymour High School. –LUKE MARSHALL

Emilie Noreika won the pole vault (8-6) with Samantha Plasky finishing third. Stephanie McLean took second place in the discus (93-01) with Kristen Persico placing eighth.

In half of the 18 events, the girls had two or more scorers.

Stephanie Poynton and her sister, Kristina, placed sixth and eighth, respectively, in the triple jump to continue the trend. Persico was fifth in the javelin and Xiu Xiu Sammis-McCoy finished sixth.

Jade Brennan won the 400 (100.02) and finished fourth in the 200. Jasmine Michie was third in the shot put (31-11).

Megan Sirowich was fourth in the 800, Slavin finished eighth in the 1600, and Emily Cipriano took eighth in the high jump.

“There are a lot of go-to athletes on this team that we can depend on, not only me,” Erika Michie said. “We feel the pressure coming in here as the defending champions, but we have good coaching and we have the ability to score in every event.”

The girls 4×400 relay team of Brennan, Polletta, Sirowich and Karli Laliberte raced to second in 4:20.40. The 4×800 foursome of Gillian Hotchkiss, Erin Machado, Sydney Grillo and Sirowich took fifth, with the 4×100 team of Stephanie Poynton, Laliberte, Julia Accetura and Sophia Vescera finishing seventh.

On the boys’ side, the 4×800 foursome of Isiah Miller, Edit Krivca, Cedric Benoit and Matt Luxeder dropped 20 seconds off their best time to take first in 8:07.44.

“I certainly didn’t expect us to drop that much off our time,” Luxeder said. “We have excellent coaching and we have a lot of motivation and drive to get the job done.”

The 4×400 relay squad also ran to gold with Miller, Mark Crowley, Benoit and Luxeder racing to victory in 3:27.61. The 4×100 team of Sean Mardin Ben Nuss, Ryan Swanson and Tom Smith finished second in 44.04 as the relay teams scored 28 points for the Hawks.

Woodland’s Kristina Poynton competes in the long jump during the NVL track and field championships May 23 at Seymour High School. –LUKE MARSHALL

“Our boys relays have been the strength of the team all season long,” Lownds said. “Our 4×8 team came within two seconds of the meet record.”

The Woodland boys also got first-place finishes out of Smith in the 100 meters (10.87) and Craig Starkey in the pole vault at (12-0). Luxeder was second in the 400 meters at 51.63 and Beniot finished second in the 800 in 2:02.08.

“I was going into the race a little nervous,” said Smith about his victory in the 100 meters. “There are a lot of good athletes here with similar times. It’s tough as you are facing the best of the best. It’s really all about getting in the right mind set and giving it everything you got and try and block all the rest of it out.”

Woodland also picked up points in the pole vault from Crowley and Julio Quintero, who finished fifth and eighth, respectively.

Crowley also finished seventh in the high jump, and Nuss had a seventh place finish in the 200. Quincy Koch landing a seventh place showing in the 300 hurdles. Marcej Lewicki took eighth in the 110 hurdles, and Jack LaPerriere finished eighth in the triple jump to score for Woodland.

The Hawks will now prepare for the Class M state meet on May 30.

The Republican-American contributed to this article.