Woodland girls take second, boys eighth at NVL meet

Woodland’s Jaden Young, right, and Naugatuck’s Allison Murphy take off at the start of the 200 meters during the NVL track championships May 21 at Torrington High School. –KEN MORSE

TORRINGTON — The streak couldn’t last forever.

After six straight Naugatuck Valley League outdoor track championships, the Woodland girls finally fell just short of the league title last Tuesday at Torrington High.

The Hawks finished with 100 points, second-best to Watertown’s 115. Woodland had just enough to edge Seymour (96 points) for the runner-up spot.

The Woodland boys finished eighth with 41.5 points, well short of Naugatuck’s championship total of 116 points.

Despite the Hawks’ long title streak on the girls side finally being snapped, longtime coach Jeff Lownds maintained there was no glaring reason for anybody to hang their heads.

“We had a really good day,” Lownds said. “The sun was just shining on Watertown a little more. How can you be upset when you go into a 15-team meet and score 100 points? You can’t be upset. It just wasn’t our day.”

Woodland won three events on the girls side. The 4×800-meter relay team of Kim Poulos, Emma Slavin, Jade Brennan and Jaden Young finished in 10 minutes, 9.35 seconds — 25 seconds better than its seeded time and 11 seconds ahead of second-place Naugatuck.

Kristina Poynton won the triple jump with a leap of 34 feet, 2 inches — 10 inches better than her seed and 1 inch further than second-place Kelsey DeJesus of Watertown. Jasmine Michie dominated the field in the shot put, breaking her own school record with a mark of 36-10, nearly 6 feet better than anyone else in the field.

Jaden Young also broke her own school record in the 800 with a time of 2:25.40, good enough for third. She also finished third in the 3200.

Other individual point-scorers for the Hawks included Brennan (fifth in the 400), Chloe Poulos (fourth in the 1600, sixth in the 800, sixth in the 3200), Slavin (second in the 3200, fifth in the 1600), Emily Cipriano (fourth in the high jump), Hailey Bernier (second in the pole vault), Poynton (fifth in the long jump), Julia Accetura (eighth in the 400), and Faith Herren (seventh in the discus and javelin).

“We put a lot of weight on our distance girls, and they did a great job,” Lownds said.

Woodland’s Nathaniel Smith during the NVL track championships May 21 at Torrington High School. –KEN MORSE

The 4×400 team of Brennan, Sara Alessio, Karly Laliberte and Erica Poehailos placed fourth, while the 4×100 group of Alessio, Katy Moore, Laliberte and Accetura beat their ninth-place seed with a fifth-place finish.

Woodland’s only champion on the boys side was Stephen Persico, who threw 150 feet to win the javelin in a runaway. The Hawks had two other scorers in that event, as Dave Michaud was third and Ryan Swanson was sixth. Persico was also fourth in the discus and 10th in the shot put.

“It took a lot of hard work throughout the year,” Persico said. “I learned from my coaches. I went out there and did my best.”

Lownds was particularly proud of the throwing efforts on the boys and girls sides. In addition to Persico and Michie winning gold medals, he was pleased with the growth of Michaud and Herren.

“Stephen has had a really great year,” Lownds said. “We’re very proud of him. Dave Michaud came up big for us in javelin, and he got better and better each week. Faith Herren, a freshman girl, scored in disc and jav. That’s all a tribute to Mike (Sirowich, the Hawks’ throwing coach) and how well he works with the throwers.”

Other scorers for the boys included Edit Krivca (sixth in the 400), Colin Slavin (seventh in the 3200), and Cole Barrows (fourth in the pole vault). The 4×400 team of Krivca, Mike Falcone, Conrad Filippone and Ryan Swanson and the 4×800 unit of Charlie Schwarz, Falcone, George Hughes and Matt Iannone both finished fifth.

All six of Woodland’s relay teams, as well as about a dozen individuals, qualified for the Class M state championships, which were May 28 at Willow Brook Park in New Britain.

“It’s been a very good season for Woodland outdoor track,” Lownds said.