Woodland, Naugy stand out at state open indoor track meet


The Woodland and Naugatuck indoor track teams went up against the best of the best in Connecticut at the state open on Feb. 18 at New Haven’s Floyd Little Athletic Center. The Hawks came into the fray after much success at the Class S championships with the boys landing a third place finish and the girls claiming seventh.
“We had another good year finishing as runner-up in the NVL for both the boys and the girls teams,” said Woodland coach Jeff Lownds. “That was evident by how well we did at the Class S meet and in the state open.”
The top finisher for Woodland was Sarah Cooley. The Class S champion in the shot put threw a distance of 36 feet, 2 inches at the state open to place third overall. That qualified the senior thrower for the New England championships.
The only other top 10 finisher was the boys 1,600-meter sprint medley relay with Ervin Owusu, Jaylen Goodall, Sam Ambrocio and Alex Farr taking seventh at 3:43.14.
The Hawks also had strong efforts from Dani Celotto in the 1,600 meters (13th, 5:32.63); Kian Sirowich in the pole vault (14th, 11 feet); and Faye Carnemolla in the 1,000 (15th, 3:18.15).
The Naugy boys and girls garnered sixth place finishes as a team at the Class L championship, then did well enough in the state open to move on to the New England championship at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston on Saturday.
“We had a huge turnout,” said Naugy head coach Ralph Roper. “We went in with four solid relay teams. We would have had a fifth relay but I scratched the sprint relay team because that’s not contested at the New England (meet). At the end of the day we wanted to keep our focus on giving us the best chance to move on to the New England championship.”
The Greyhounds did have a few athletes compete at individual events. Lauren Kropo raced to a fourth place finish in the 300 at 41.27. Jayden Bartelle was sixth in the high jump (6-0) and Jaesah Perry finished 13th in the high jump (4-10).
Three of the four relay teams broke Greyhound records and all four relays will move on to compete at the New England championships. The girls 4×200 squad of Divine Kabongo, Kropo, Lauren Sonski and Lily Jason set a new mark at 1:47.88 and landed a fourth place finish. The same foursome finished sixth in the 4×400 at 4:10.15.
The boys 4×400 team of Dan Anderson, Shayne Hasipi, Zach McCasland and Brendan Lyles finished fifth with a new record of 3:32.84, and the foursome of Hasipi, McCasland, Lyles and Jason Costa set a new mark of 8:21.93 in the 4×800 to place fifth.
“In any event the kids are getting better as the season progresses,” added Roper. “Currently we have five relay teams that have qualified for the Nationals. More than likely we are just going to focus on the relays, two each for the boys and girls. We will have our senior high jumper Jayden Bartelle compete as well.
“We will have a good solid week to get some training in before the New England championship. The following week will be the Nationals on March 9, and then the following week spring track starts. That’s the way we roll. No rest for the weary.”