Darien boys cross country team captures Wickham Invite
On Saturday, the Darien boys cross country team captured the title at the prestigious Wickham Invite by winning the most difficult race of the day, the Championship Race, with 102 points. In the win, No. 5 Darien defeated five of the top 10 teams in the state (No. 2 Xavier, No. 3 Amity, No. 6 Simsbury, No. 7 Staples and No. 10 New Milford). The Blue Wave won the meet for the second straight year.
Alex Ostberg placed fourth in 16:48 over the challenging 3.1 mile course. Marshall Huffman was 19th in 17:38 and Colten Appleby was 22nd in 17:42. They were followed by Ben Olsen in 25th in 17:44 and Brian Davey in 38th in 18:01, Peter Kreuch in 47th in 18:10 and Jack Sparkman in 82nd 19:01.
"It was an awesome day. We shocked some teams for the second year in a row. People did not think we could win the race, but we were motivated being the defending champions," coach Tyson Kaczmarek said. "This is meet that is nice to win, but have to keep it in perspective. Winning it doesn't help us win anything else like Class L. In the grand scheme it is meaningless. We have to perform when it matters at the championship race. However, it was a good test for us."
On Tuesday, Darien suffered its first loss of the season, 29-26 versus Danbury. The team picked up wins over Norwalk (15-50) and Trumbull (15-48). The Blue Wave finished the regular season at 16-1 (Central did not show for the dual meet on Sept. 18. It is either a forfeit or Darien races them at FCIACs and scores it from those results. Either way, the team will finish 17-1). The two wins allowed Darien to capture the FCIAC Eastern Division Championship.
In a very close race with the Hatters, Darien fell short. Danbury is ranked No. 1 in the state while Darien is No. 5. Ostberg was second for the Blue Wave in 13:24 over the 2.5-mile course. Marshall Huffman finished fourth in 13:33 and Colten Appleby sixth in 13:38. Ben Olsen was seventh in 13:43 and Peter Kreuch was 10th in 13:49. Brian Davey placed 12th in 14:03 and Jack Sparkman and Arthur Cassidy were 20th and 21st respectively in 14:25.
Danbury's 1-3-5-8-9 finish was just too much for the Blue Wave.
"They are ranked first in the state for a reason," Kaczmarek, said. "They are a strong, well-disciplined team. They raced very well today. We knew what we were getting into. I'm very proud of how the boys raced. They ran their tails off and we just came up short. However, we took a lot of good out of the meet today."
The loss snapped Darien's 47 consecutive dual meets winning streak dating back to 2010 when it last lost to Danbury at the same venue, Tarrywile Park. Over the past six seasons, Darien is 98-5 in the FCIAC with the five losses being to Danbury.