By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News
Woodland boys finish as runner-up
TORRINGTON — The Woodland girls are back on top of the NVL track world.
The Hawks won the outdoor track and field championships May 22 at Torrington High, two years after their streak of six straight outdoor titles was snapped.
“The key for us was we kept improving throughout the season,” girls head coach Jeff Lownds said. “Our times got lower, our jumps and throws went farther and higher. And it all came together at the championship meet, and we got some monster performances.”
The girls tallied 174 points to easily outdistance runner-up Watertown (116 points.)
The boys, under head coach Bill Ferrare, finished runner-up with 106 points. Naugatuck won the championship with 134 points.
Jaden Young broke the meet record in the 800 with a time of 2 minutes, 17.08 seconds, and placed second in the 3200 (13:04.13).
“It’s been a goal of mine. I’ve had my eyes on the NVL record for the 800 for a while now, so I’ve really been putting in the work,” said Young who was the meet’s most outstanding female performer and scholar-athlete. “I figured today I would just go for it, try my best.”
Sarah Cooley won the shot put (30 feet, 2 inches) and the discus (89-07). She also took second in the javelin (98-06). Chloe Poulos won the 3200 (12:33.50), took second in the 1600 (5:17.02) and placed third in the 800 (2:25).
“It just goes to show you what kind of athletes we have,” Lownds said. “Jaden broke the meet record in the 800, Cooley scored 28 points alone in throwing and Chloe Poulos went 1-2-3 in her events.”
Isabella Bianchini placed second in the pole vault (7-0), Rebecca Benoit finished second in the 200 (27.03) and Paige Letourneau placed third in the 200 (27.15).
The girls won two relays and finished second in the other to help the Hawks separate from the field.
The 4×400 foursome of Kim Poulos, Benoit, Letourneau and Young finished first (4:10.39). The 4×800 team of Ireland Starziski, Kim Poulos, Kate Foley and Daniella Celotto ran to victory in 10:32.29 — 13 seconds ahead of second-place Oxford. The 4×100 squad of Sara Alessio, Benoit, Katy More and Letourneau took second (51.38.)
Other top five performances for the girls included Celotto (third, 1600; fourth, 800), Starziski (third, 3200), Emma Swanson (third, discus), Alessio (fourth, long jump), Kim Poulos (fifth, 400), Isabela Mejias (fifth, high jump) and Faith Herren (fifth, discus).
“Our boys also had some big performances as well,” Lownds said. “You don’t finish as runner-up without having some strong performances.”
Eric Meade won the 110 hurdles (15.29), finished third in the high jump (5-10) and placed fifth in the triple jump (39-04).
Colin Slavin finished second in the 3200 (10:40.23) and fourth in the 1600 (4:40.28) — both personal-best times. Chase Young took third in the 800 (2:09.59).
The 4×800 team of Nathaniel Smith, Jack Schwarz, Chase Young and Martin Swercewski finished first (8:40.51), and the 4×400 squad of Smith, Nathan Swercewski, Alex Farr and Conrad Filippone finished second (3:34.61).
Other top five performers for the Hawks were Nick LaChappelle (third, 3200), Sam Ambrosio (fourth, 3200), Nathan Swercewski (fourth, 400), Sean Swanson (fourth, javelin) and Noah Scott (fourth, pole vault).
The Hawks are set to compete in the Class M championships June 2 at Willow Brook Park in New Britain.
The Republican-American contributed to this article.