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Danbury chases New England track titles

News-Times, News-Times
Published 1:00 am, Friday, March 2, 2007
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DANBURY -- The Danbury boys indoor track team has already written a masterpiece this season.

Now they are looking at adding on a powerful footnote.

Early in February when the Danbury High boys indoor track team was running away with the boys FCIAC championship, Hatters coach Rob Murray described the event as the second chapter in a four chapter book.

Now, after closing the book with championships at the Class LL and State Open, Danbury turns the page to another adventure -- The 20th Annual Interscholastic New England Indoor Track Field Championships.

"This is the index to our book," said Murray. "The reason I say that is because the team championship season has ended. They don't declare a team champion because there is not enough team representation to have a fair competition."

"It is a change for us," added Murray. "We focus all season on team championships but this gives the individual athletes a chance to win, set an individual record, set a team record, make an all-time best performance, possibly get named all-New England."

Danbury will send 14 boys to the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, Massachusetts for the competition. The group will set another mark in track and field excellence for the Hatters.

"It might be the most we have ever sent and if not it is right about there," said Murray, who has been the head coach since 2000 and a part of the program since 1993. "Well probably have the most kids participating from one school."

Parker Boudreau, who won the 1000-meter championship at the FCIAC, Class LL, and Open has one of the best times in the region. Hatter shot put specialist Brian LeBlanc, who took first at the FCIAC and State Open meets, has the longest recorded throw in New England.

Additionally, Danbury will send out Class LL champion Michael Lorick in the 55-meter dash and FCIAC champion Justin Chiravalle in the 55-meter hurdles. Matt Terry, sixth in the Open, will run in the 3200-meter, and then Danbury will have entries in three relays -- the 4x800, 4x400 and 4x200.

The Danbury girls team will send out five, including junior Shelby Walton who ran a 7.20 in the 55-meter to easily win the Open championship. Walton will also race with the 4x200 relay team with

Nyri Boyd, Deborah Dorcemus, and Charisma Green.

"The kids are very dedicated and they enjoy the sport," said Danbury girls coach Kevin Wilcox. "They take this very seriously and want to be the best. They work hard in the weight room and promote the sport in the school .We get the best and brightest that we can get."

While Danbury has the numbers, Brookfield may have one of the best chances at having a dual medalist in senior Lauren Tanz.

With jumps over 18-feet, Tanz took home first place at the Open, Class M and SWC in the long jump. However, her specialty may be the 55 hurdles where she swept the state postseason races by at least .2 seconds.

"This is her year and she has worked hard for four years," said Brookfield coach Ed Butt. "She works primarily on the technical part of the hurdles with Courtney Allen, our hurdle coach. I think it is four years of working together that has paid off."

For Tanz, after an injury-filled season last year, it is one last chance at an indoor New England title. For John Schalkham, who finished sixth in the Open in the 55 hurdles, it will also be a chance to represent Brookfield.

Rounding out the greater Danbury participation will be two distance runners, Heather Stephens , of Ridgefield, and Dan DeCrescenzo, of New Milford.

Stephens, who won three events at the FCIAC meet and two events at the Class LL meet, took home first in the 3200-meter at the Open in her lone event. Meanwhile, DeCrescenzo placed third in the 3200-meter event at both the Class L and Open.