Darien boys track team finishes sixth at FCIAC Championship
The Staples High School boys indoor track team won the FCIAC Team Championship, snapping a string of five consecutive league titles by the Danbury High boys.
It was the first FCIAC team crown for Staples and venerable coach Laddie Lawrence since the 2005-06 campaign.
"It's nice to take this title home for a change," Lawrence laughed. "The boys worked so hard. We rely on some guys big. And we have the support staff, too. Depth is the key to this group."
Staples concluded the proceedings with 107 points ahead of runner-up Danbury 70. Greenwich (52) was third with New Canaan (43) fourth, Trumbull (28) fifth and Norwalk (25).
"Staples finished runner-up to us four times. So this is payback," Danbury coach Rob Murray said. "We're happy with second place. Our boys fought hard but Staples is a disciplined, well-coaching group."
The central figure in Staples' triumph was junior Henry Wynne, who ran to FCIAC championship gold in the 1,000 meters, 1,600 and added a gutty second place finish in the 3,200.
"Henry was wonderful," Lawrence said. "The points he got in the 3200 were gutty."
Staples pulled away for good Thursday when Dean Hefnaway (13-feet-6) and Matt Mula finished 1-2 in the pole vault.
"I'm happy as a senior to win at FCIACs. This was my second straight vault at 13-6," Hefnaway said. "Now I'll shoot for 14 feet at the state meets."
In the boys 4 x 200 meter relay, the Greenwich quartet of Marcus Motill, Elijah Dume, Nick Pulitano and Ryan Kelly were crowned FCIAC champs in 1:32.24. It was a Greenwich High school record time. McMahon (1:35.18) was second followed by Danbury (1:36.52) and Staples (1:36.70).
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"We're not surprised by the win," said Motill, a senior. "I'm proud of the way the relay team came together to set a school record."
"We felt good coming in," said Kelly, also a senior. "Since our relay won at the Yale Invitational, we felt we could put up a special time. I'm glad we ran to our potential."
Motill and Kelly weren't done, finishing 1-2 in the 600 meters. Motill (1:23.28) won by .07. Trumbull's Malcolm Connor (1:24.84) was third.
In the 4 x 800 meter relay, the new Ridgefield High foursome of Billy Arnold, Blake Liebling, McCall Keller and Connor Findlay took first place in 8:27.10, nipping runnerup Staples (8:27.67). Danbury (8:29.65) was third.
"With our new coach this year, he told us that we could win this relay," said Keller, a junior. "My job on the third leg was just to keep us close. Our anchor guy (Connor) Findlay really brought it home for us. We're excited about our chances in the state meets."
In the 1000 meters, Staples' Wynne was crowned FCIAC champion in 2:31.66. Warde's Harry Warnick was second in 2:32.89 followed by Jack White of Ludlowe (2:34.73).
"It's always exciting to be an FCIAC champion," Wynne said. "I'm happy with my time. All the training I did paid off. I'm looking forward to states no matter what event I run in."
Wynne made it an evening to cherish by capturing gold in the 1600 meters in 4:26.98 as well. Danbury's Thomas Moore (4:29.33) was runnerup with Staples' Nikolaj Kulia (4:33.19) third.
"I was surprised by the time. It was a personal best by a full second," said Hill, a junior. "All the work and the support of my teammates and the push from coach Murray made this happen. I'm looking forward to the challenge in the state meets."
In the shot put, New Canaan's Rami Hanadan was crowned FCIAC champ with a throw of 49-feet-7.75. Darien's Will Lochtefeld (44-2.25) was second with Greenwich's Robert Gelcius (43-9.5) third.
In the 300, Trumbull's Keith Bond won in 35.95 followed by Greenwich's Kelly (35.99) and Danbury's Chiaravalle (36.25).