Capturing two Class L titles over a six-month span would seem to be enough for any group of Connecticut high school athletes, no matter which corner of the Nutmeg state you choose to look.
Well, glance behind the scenes of the 2014 Darien boys track team, and you will find no such satisfaction.
The Blue Wave, fresh off of top finishes in both cross country and indoor track this 2013-14 school year, is taking full aim at a third title in outdoor track this spring. Last Thursday, Darien took a productive first step towards the season's finish line by topping Wilton in an away dual meet that kicked off its 2014 campaign.
"We want another championship," said Darien coach Tyson Kaczmarek,. "Three in one year would be amazing."
Propelled by a top finish in the first 4x100 relay of the season, the Blue Wave rode its strong core of distance runners to best the hosting Warriors, who made a late charge during the day's final races. Over in the field events, senior captain Spencer McKeough recorded a new personal best in the discus throw, only months removed from setting the school shot put record in indoor competition. However McKeough, one of the more experienced members of the team, was not the only Wave athlete to enjoy a stellar afternoon.
"Spencer had a great day is discus. And then Shelby Grant, who had never run track before, won three events for us," Kaczmarek said. "It was a really good day."
Numerous other Darien runners raced well in their first-ever high school meet, but All-American captains Nick Lombardo and Alex Ostberg project to steal most of the headlines going forward. Lombardo, one of the best high, long and triple jumpers in the state, will also compete in the 100 and 200-meter dashes for Darien. Despite a hurt knee, the senior ran a solid final leg of the team's 4x100 relay against Wilton.
Meanwhile, Ostberg, a junior distance runner, sat out of many events due to illness. Marshall Huffman, Peter Kreuch and Brian Davey all picked up the slack in most of the middle and long distance races, as they carry momentum from excellent individual showings in the indoor season. Young sophomore Armstrong Noonan earned All-New England accolades for his 1600-meter time over the winter and highlights the tremendous depth on this year's Blue Wave squad.
"We're definitely ahead of where I thought we'd be," Kaczmarek said. "I felt (the meet results) really exceeded my expectations."
Although, no team is without its faults. Currently, Darien is working to develop talent in pole vault, where the team must throw a number of newcomers right into official competition.
"We've got some guys vaulting, but we're not great," Kaczmarek said. "Every team's got a weak spot, and in this case, these guys are just trying it out for the first time."
The Blue Wave will return to the track on Monday, April 21 at home against Fairfield Ludlowe and Bassick.