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Gold escaped the Green Wave, yet New Milford High School boys' and girls' track teams did themselves proud recently at the South-West Conference championship meet.

Senior Hugh Sichel in the 3,200 meters and junior Allie Noteware in the javelin earned runnerup finishes to show the way for their respective squads in competition May 29 at Bunnell High School in Stratford.

The meet had been postponed from two days earlier, a reality that weighed heavily especially on the NMHS girls' hopes in Stratford.

Numerous Green Wave girls, among them several expected to challenge for SWC gold medals, opted to skip the league meet to attend their senior class night activities.

Those senior girls who stayed committed to the team and their underclass teammates nevertheless managed to earn fifth place in the team competition with 47 points, a total that would likely have been much higher had coach Joe Tarantello's team enjoyed its full complement of talent.

Weston won the title with 77.5 points, followed by Newtown with 77 and Oxford with 74 in the 15-school field.

Anong the girls' highlights:

The 4 x 800-meter relay rallied from fifth place in the final two legs to grab second place, and the 4 x 400 quartet added third place; Noteware and Olivia Seegers placed 2-6 in the javelin; Mia Nahom and Saige Grazia placed 3-5 in the 1,600; Helen Bayers, Hannah Tower and Brigit Humphreys were 3-4-5 in the 800; and Kristi Osborne earned seventh in the discus.

Coach Ryan Fitzsimmons' boys' team, with most of its senior contingent dedicated to the task at hand, received notable points from its field crew to complement a strong running squad en route to fourth place in the team race with 66 points.

Host Bunnell romped to the SWC title with 128 points, followed by Weston with 83.5 and New Fairfield with 75 in a 13-school field.

Sichel's second-place run in the 3,200 was ably backed by 3-4 finishes from Jay Humphreys and Greg Hansel to give the Green Wave a large share of its points.

Sichel also placed third in the 1,600, followed by senior classmate Zack Guptil, and the latter grabbed fourth in the 800 meters as both athletes capped distinguished SWC track careers in style.

Other high points for the NMHS boys:

Billy Som and Alan Villon delivered a 3-5 performance in the pole vault; Richard Grudzwick finished third in the 400 meters; Ryan Grenier was fifth in the 200; and Som took a break from his pole vaulting adventures to earn fifth in the 300-meter hurdles.

The Green Wave's 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relays added respective fourth- and seventh-place points.

Both Green Wave teams were set to send their best athletes this week to state class competition. Top qualifiers will compete next week in the State Open meet.

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