TORRINGTON – When Naugatuck track coach Ralph Roper “peeled back the onion” he wasn’t surprised to find a Naugatuck Valley League title for his boys’ team.
“That is what you hope a good team will do,” Roper said after Naugatuck added the postseason crown to a jewel of a 12-0 regular season in the NVL finals at Torrington on Saturday. “We had some missteps in some of the events. You can’t let small things become big things. When I peeled back the onion today, I saw that some of our athletes who hadn’t done as well in the season were legitimate contenders.”
Naugatuck (134) used its depth by placing 31 times in the top eight to earn points. That helped override five first-place finishes by Seymour (106). Derby (102) was third.
Woodland (171), paced by Sarah Cooley’s wins in the shot put (30-2) and the discus (89-7), captured five firsts overall to garner the girls’ championship. Watertown (116) was second. Seymour (108) was third.
Wolcott’s Nicolas Bendtsen broke a 45-year-old record according to Roker when he ran a 4:09.96 in the 1600-meter run. “It was an outstanding day for him,” Roker said of the senior. “I think he also broke the NVL record in the 32 (hundred).” Bendtsen ran a 9:23.91 to cross the line 1:16-plus seconds in front of the second-place finisher.
Naugatuck took three firsts. It placed four athletes in the second, third and fourth positions.
Derby Boys 4×100 of Kanye Bailey, Zyair Wali, Branden McLean, and Bryan McLean are your 2021 NVL Champions pic.twitter.com/IF6WXfJohd
— DerbyCTTrackXC (@DerbyCTTrack) May 22, 2021
Jonathan Volpe was first in the 800-meter run and added a second-place finish in the 1600. Cameron Jacobs captured the 300-meter hurdles in 42.34. He led off the winning 4×400 relay team (3:29.70) followed by Taylor Trowers, JayShawn Lindsay and Volpe.
Seymour’s Joshua Lanzieri dominated the sprinting events and added the long jump title. He won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11:10 to edge out Derby’s Branden McLean (11:20). Lanzieri added gold in the 200-meter dash, where he crossed in 22.36 to nip both Rafael Mahario from Holy Cross (22.41) and McLean (22.52). His long jump of 22-11 was meet best.
Mahario won the high jump at 6-2 feet.
Seymour’s Timothy Buzik took the discus at 146-1. Adam Violano throw of 143-4 was first in the javelin.
Derby’s Zerion Montgomery took first in the triple jump (44-5). Kanye Bailey, Zyair Wali, Branden McLean and Bryan McLean were first in the 4×100 relay (43.68).
Oxford’s Samuel Wolf placed first in the pole vault (12-6).
Taj Thomas from Kennedy won the 400-meter run in 50.47.
Woodland’s Eric Meade was first in the 110-meter hurdles (16.29). Nathaniel Smith, Jack Schwarz, Chase Young and Martin Swercewski took home first in the 4×800 relay with a time of 8:40.51.
Wolcott’s Lucas Gagnon was the champion in the shot put at 44.3 feet.
In winning its girls’ title, Woodland saw Jaden Young place first in the 800-meter run (2:17.08). Chloe Poulos won the 3200-meter run in 12:33.50. Kim Poulos, Rebecca Benoit, Paige Letourneau and Young took the 4×400 relay (4:10.39). Winning the 4×800 (10:32.29) were Ireland Starziski, Kim Poulos, Kate Foley and Daniella Celotto.
Watertown’s Ariana Polletta took gold in the long jump (16-8.25) and the triple jump (34-7). Allie Mazzarella was first in the javelin (98-10). Autumn Bacik was first in the pole vault (8-0).
Seymour’s Katharine Bruno was the 100-meter dash champion in 12.59. Zoie Kempf won the 1600-meter run in 5:10.55. Nikol daCruz, Sophia Motyl, Kempf and Bruno were first in the 4×100 relay (50.87).
Naugatuck’s Allison Murphy took gold in the 300-meter hurdles (48.11).
Alyssa Herb from Holy Cross won the high jump (4-10).
Jasmine Ogando from Kennedy took first in the 100-meter hurdles (16.42).
Raquel Rosa from Holy Cross was a double winner, taking the title in the 200-meter dash (26.09) and the 400-meter run (58.84).
2021 Naugatuck Valley League Track Championships
at Torrington High