Winter sports charge into States

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Will Dumke, Staff Writer

The boys’ and girls’ indoor track teams head to New Englands tomorrow, wrapping up a fruitful season for winter sports. More than a dozen athletes competed in the CIAC State Open Championships over break, and a number broke school and meet records along the way.

Although all teams worked hard this season, indoor track, girls’ gymnastics, and the ski team qualified for post-season competition.

Hannah DeBalsi ’16 led the pack for the girls’ indoor track Team as usual, winning first in the 3200 meters and setting a meet record; DeBalsi also came in second in the 1600 meter, setting a school record. Erica Hefnawy ’15 also set a school record coming in fourth in the 1000 meter, and Tyler Scanlin ’14 won the 600 meter. The girls’ team came in second overall.

All runners who came in sixth or better are now headed to New Englands.

Co-Captain Peter Elkind ’14 came in fifth in the 1000 meter, and T.J. Bravo ’15 sixth in the long jump while Bobby Jacowleff ’14 was seventh in the 60 meter hurdles.  The boys’ team came in eighth overall.

Finally, the girls’ team came in second in the sprint medley relay. The boys came in third in the 4×800 and fourth in the sprint medley.

The boys’ team felt a little unsatisfied finishing in eighth place, according to Elkind.

“While a few events did not go our way this time around, I am still immensely proud of all of our individual and relay performances and am looking forward to only doing better come the New England Championships,” Elkind said.

Another winning team was gymnastics, which competed in its FCIAC championship on Saturday, Feb. 15. Placing fifth in the event, senior captain Anna Violette ’14 said, “We could’ve done much better, but we messed up our last event.” This finish did not bring Violette down as she said, “it’s an honor to go to States and be able to compete with these girls who are as good, if not better, than us.”

Other teams may not have experienced the same success, but athletes said they battled hard. Senior basketball captain David Katz ’14 said the team had worked hard in practice and in games but that sometimes there were lapses where the players dug themselves into holes very quickly, meaning they had to play from behind.

But the team continued to play tough, he said, with a lot of help. “I couldn’t ask for a better coaching staff. Coach Devine knows what our goals are and what has to be done, and he does everything he can that is in his control to lead us in the right direction.”

Maybe it’s the rush from the Olympics, for the Staples ski team is looking to have a very good chance in its State championship. Captain Mike Gifford ’14 said, “Out of our four races so far, we’ve placed first for both varsity and junior varsity in three of them and second in just one.”

The team has high hopes for a medal this year, as Captain Timmy LaHiff ’14 said, “if everyone can put down some solid times, I think we have a shot.”

For the teams with games still coming, the temperature remains cold but the competition is heating up.