Danbury boys and girls aim for indoor track titles today
Published 1:00 am, Friday, February 20, 2009
That's at least if you believe the seedings.
Based on qualifying times and the pre-meet seedings, Weaver High of Hartford is expected to come out on top by nine points over the Hatters at the State Open championship meet, which gets underway at noon today at the New Haven Athletic Center.
But Danbury coach Rob Murray knows better.
"There's a reason why they run the races," Murray said. "Meets never run exactly as they are seeded. All the seeds are based off the performances at the class meets and the State Open offers a completely different dynamic."
It's one the Hatters, the two-time defending State Open champs, are certainly familiar with as they try to keep alive their hopes of winning the FCIAC, Class LL and State Open titles in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track for the third consecutive scholastic year.
It's a feat the Hatters have deemed the Triple Crown.
"It's been a pretty normal week for us," Murray said. "It's championship season. The guys know what's on the line and they've performed consistently in the big meets. There is a standard that's been set and they all want to live up to it."
And the Hatters, coming off their third straight Class LL title last weekend, are confident in their numbers.
While Weaver may be predicted to register more points, Danbury actually has more athletes competing.
Ten Hatters qualified for the State Open and Weaver, the Class L state champion, got just six athletes into the State Open.
"It's going to be extremely close," Murray said. "It's going to be a one- or two-point meet."
The difference for Danbury will likely come down to the relays.
The Hatters' 4x800, 4x400 and sprint medley relay teams are all seeded in the top three or higher and Danbury's 4x200 relay team comes in seeded eighth.
Weaver, meanwhile, doesn't have a 4x800 team that will score points, but is seeded first in the 4x400 relay, second in the 4x200 and fourth in the sprint medley relay.
Weaver is also anchored by Daundre Barnaby, who is seeded first in the 300-meter and second in the 600-meter.
The Hatters actually may be the biggest fan Saturday of Ridgefield's Austin Von Olhsen, who is the top seed in the 55 meters and the second seed in the 300 meters. A Von Olhsen upset of Barnaby in the 300 would provide Danbury a huge boost.
"This is why close meets are so much fun," Murray said. "You find yourself watching every event, even ones you don't have any kids in."
But the Hatters have the talent to take care of business themselves.
Joey and Danny Bubniak finished first and third in the 1,000-meter at the Class LL meet and are both seeded in the top 10 heading into the State Open.
Joey Bubniak and Chris Pristouris are both in the 1,600 and Robert Guider is seeded third in the shot put.
Danbury also has Kevin Russell in the 3,200, but he will have to compete with New Milford's Craig Hunt and New Fairfield's John Raneri, who are seeded third and fifth, respectively.
But when the dust settles, Danbury's Daryl Baptiste could determine the meet.
The senior was the state champ in the long jump last year with a jump over 23 feet.
This year, Baptiste has been battling a hamstring injury since football season and has been slow to recover.
He is seeded 13th in the long jump today and is third in the high jump.
"He has the ability to swing the meet by himself," Murray said. "He's done a great job working to get back. Right now he's healthy, but it's a timing thing. It takes time to get it back, but he's got a state championship jump in him."
GIRLS TITLE UP FOR GRABS: Last week, the Danbury girls squad won coach Melissa Nadeau her first Class LL title.
Today starting at noon, they'll try to get Nadeau her first State Open crown at New Haven Athletic Center.
To do it, Danbury will again need top efforts from twins Teyanna and Charisma Green in the 55 meters and from the sisters and Maya Walton in the 300 meters.
The Greens took the top two spots in the 55 and the 300 at the Class LL meet and Walton was third in the 300, which swung the meet in the Hatters' favor.
The Hatters will also look for big efforts out of their relays -- especially the top-ranked 4x200 relay team -- and Tamara Lynch and Nyoshee Lowry in the 55-meter hurdles.
Immaculate could walk away with two individual titles as teammates Katie Collins and Moira Kenny will battle each other for the crown in both the 1,600 and 3,200.
Contact Dan Farrand at
or at (203) 731-3379.