NEW HAVEN -- When they look back at the Darien High School girls indoor track program's first State Open team championship, it will be remembered as truly a team effort.
"This 2013 title is a testament to the girls who competed at their peak tonight and to the parents who cancelled vacation plans so the kids could be here," said Darien's veteran head coach Steve Norris. "We won the FCIAC team crown. Then we won the Class L title. That got the parents' attention. This was a once in a lifetime chance and the girls cashed it in."
Indeed. Darien finished the evening at Hillhouse High School's Floyd Little Athletic Center with 66.33 points. Host Hillhouse won the last of the 15 events -- the 4 x 400 meter relay -- to close at 57 points for the runner-up slot.
Bloomfield (30) was third followed by NFA (25), Ridgefield (24.33), Amity (16) and Staples (7th, 15).
For the Darien girls the key to victory was winning the first event. The Blue Wave won the 4 x 200 relay in 1:45.11 just ahead of Greenwich (1:45.43).
"It wasn't just the 10 points," Norris explained. "It was the way we did it. We put our fastest girls in the opening two legs because we wanted the lead. We knew how crowded the relays get and we wanted all the other teams hitting and falling over each other.
"That relay victory was a stepping stone. It set the tone for the rest of the meet," Norris continued. "The girls knew what they had done all year. The early lead made them think `Why would we not win tonight?' They didn't see anything to faze them along the way."
Darien did damage in the field events.
Leah Hotchkiss of Darien took second in the high jump.
The Darien girls surged again taking third in the sprint medley relay behind Open champion Ridgefield (4:19.41).
Catherine Lacy then won the long jump (18-feet-2.50) for the Blue Wave. McMahon's Boyd was sixth.