On May 24, the boys and girls varsity track teams competed in the FCIAC championships at Danbury High School. The girls placed 3rd while the boys took 2nd in a tough meet with especially fierce competition.
“Going into the meet I believed that the only teams that were capable of beating us were Danbury and Darien. One thing about this venue in particular is that every team is talented, and at this stage, it is really about having the ability to compete above and beyond your comfort level,” said girls head coach Jesse McCray.
With Danbury and Darien taking first and second, McCray’s prediction proved correct. In addition, the boys’ team lost only to Danbury in securing their second place finish.
“While we were hoping that Danbury might falter, we were thinking that we would be the runner up and we should have been second,” boys’ coach Laddie Lawrence said. However, he explained that Danbury has a much larger talent pool because they have a school of over 1,000 people more than Staples.
One highlight for both teams was winning the 4X800 relay. The boys relay team consisted of Sean Gallagher ’11, Jack Roche ’11, Walker Marsh ’13, and Jeff Caffery ’11. On the girls’ side, the team of Georgia Kursten ’13, Alex Popkin ’12, Kristen Weiler ’11, and Ingrid Johnson ’11, “shattered” the school record with a time of 9:31. All four girls got a personal best time in their leg of the race, leading to a victory in the first race.
“We were all extremely happy after finishing the race because of all the hard work and effort we’ve put in and all of the hard training we’ve done over the past few weeks. It really paid off,” said Popkin.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls. All of our relays ran personal bests,” said coach McCray.
Other highlight makers included Lexie Schacne ’12, who won the pole vault competition. For the boys, Raphael Ray ’11 won the 400-meter dash and Henry Wynne ’13 won the 1600 meters.
“I knew we had all been working hard these past few months, but I had no idea how the race would turn out. I am so proud of how hard everyone ran because it really paid off,” Popkin said.
Many participants also scored in unexpected places, which surprised both Lawrence and the players themselves. Danny Marriot ’11 placed in the discus, Max Hoberman ’12 placed in the triple jump, Todd Lubin ’11 placed in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles, and Ben Aldrich came in third in the 3200 meter race.
“In the indoor season, Danbury was first in the state, while we were second, and I think it could be the same this outdoor season,” Lawrence said.
“I feel good about where we are at for the Class LL Championship and we have an understanding of what is at stake. Hopefully the performances in our league championship have given us that confidence,” McCray said.