Woodland girls race to 6th in Class S


NEW HAVEN — The Woodland girls indoor track team put together its best showing in Class S, finishing sixth among 27 teams Feb. 14 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center.

The Hawks, winners of nine straight Naugatuck Valley League indoor titles, tallied 26 points. Bloomfield won the championship with 83 points.

The Hawks’ other top-ten showings at states were eighth-place finishes in 2019 and 2004.

“We are very fortunate to have athletes who believe in each other and believe in themselves,” Woodland girls head coach Jeff Lownds said. “It filters down from our seniors to the rest of the team.”

Jaden Young and Jasmine Michie led the way for the Hawks. Young placed second in the 1000 meters (3:03.58) and Michie took second in the shot put (38-02). Both athletes advanced to the State Open Feb. 22.

“Jaden and Jasmine are very dedicated athletes,” Lownds said. “They always come into it with a positive attitude and support one another. But the reason for the success is they put the work in. There are no short cuts to success.”

The 4×400 relay team of Young, Jade Brennan, Sara Alessio and Rebecca Benoit also qualified for the State Open after placing third (4:21.65) at the Class S meet.

Young placed fifth in the 1000 (3:04.54) at the State Open. Michie finished seventh (37-07.5) in the shot put.

Woodland had several other girls finish in the top ten of events at the Class S meet. Emma Slavin placed fifth (5:23.03) in the 1600. Chloe Poulos took seventh (5:29.87) in the 1600 and eighth in the 3200 (12:22.77). Brennan placed sixth in the 600 (1:46.65) and Hailey Bernier finished sixth in pole vault (8-0).

“We have a great staff to help them achieve that success, with Billy Ferrare putting a young boys team together, Mario Longo our distance coach, Deb Flaherty our jumping coach and Mike Sirowich our throwing coach,” Lownds said. “We are very fortunate to have a dedicated staff like this to help these kids do well.”

The Woodland boys team, which had just four upperclassmen, had six athletes qualify for the Class M meet Feb. 15. The Hawks finished with no points out of the field of 30 teams. Tolland won the championship with 61 points.

Colin Slavin (27th, 1600) Eric Meade (24th, 55 hurdles), and the 4×200 relay team of Sean Swanson, Ervin Owusu, Alex Farr and Luca Cambra represented the Hawks at the meet.