Young Hawks making strides

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The Woodland indoor track team is making steady progress this season as boys head coach Tim Shea and girls head coach Jeff Lownds continue the rebuilding process.

The Hawks graduated a bulk of last year’s production, and have been building up a young team this season.

Despite their youth, Woodland made a fine showing at the recent Southern Connecticut Conference coaches Track and Field Invitational.

Next up for the Hawks will be the Yale Classic Invitational and the Haddam-Killingsworth Invitational at the Hillhouse Field house in New Haven.

“We graduated a lot of production from last year, especially in the field events,” Shea said. “We are still working on rebuilding that area of the team but we are very young and it takes time to get the routines down.”

The harsh winter has slowed the process a bit.

“Of course the recent weather hasn’t helped. We have canceled practices due to school cancellations and hopefully once we get back to a more consistent practice schedule we will start to see even more improvement,” Shea said.

The boys team had a good showing at the SCC Invitational behind the running of its relay squads.

The 1600 sprint medley relay squad of Anthony Scirpo, Jacob Pinho, Nick LaPerriere and Kyle Cranney raced to a third place finish in 3:51.02.

The 4×400 relay team of Marc Beaulieu, LaPerriere, Adam Baz and Cranney placed 8th with an effort of 3:44.27.

The 4×200 relay team of Jon Alarcon, Scirpo, Pinho and Craig Genz qualified for the finals with a finish of 1:40.58.

The 4×800 squad of Matt Moutinho, Nick Hebert, Ian Chamenko and Andrew Hale raced to a finish of 9:14.17.

“We have been very successful in the past few years with our relay teams and that is continuing to be our strength this year,” Shea said.

The Hawks also got an outstanding performance from Mitch White who nailed a 10 foot, six inch effort to finish 4th in the pole vault.

“Mitch had a great competition in the pole vault and he is picking up the slack in the field events for us,” Shea said.

The Hawks boys team also got strong performances from Baz who finished the 600 meters in a time of 1:31.70, and from Genz who raced to a 38.42 finish in the 300 meters.

“All in all, I didn’t think we did too bad,” Shea said. “This is really the first time we have been on the track in almost three weeks with the postponements we have been experiencing. Hopefully the weather will begin to cooperate and we can start to get ready for the NVL meet that will be coming up real soon.”

The Lady Hawks also put up a strong effort at the SCC Invitational with the 4×200 relay team of Arica Watford, Jiye Park, Amber Tolboe and Ashley Riley racing to a 2:01.06 finish.

The 4×800 relay foursome of Miranda Moffat, Melissa Kiley, Hailey Filippone and Rachel Lonchar finished with a time of 11:16.71.

The sprint medley relay squad of Watford, Park, Kiernan DeBiase and Crystal Steinfeld put up a time of 4:57.31.

The Lady Hawks also got outstanding performances from Taylor Boncal who qualified for the finals in the 300 meters with an effort of 44.96, and from Marissa Mills, who qualified for the finals in the long jump with a leap of 14 feet.

As the season progresses, Shea is looking to shake things up with an eye on getting as many Hawks as possible in the states.

“This weekend we are planning to break it up a little bit to see what we have in preparation for the NVL meet,” Shea said. “The thing about the cancellations is it’s not like other sports where they are rescheduled. Once a meet is canceled you don’t get that opportunity back. So, we need to get the most out what is left in the season and get as many athletes as we can qualified for the states.”