Hatters win New England title
Published 7:00 pm, Friday, November 7, 2008
The Danbury High boys cross country team, ranked third in the Northeast and 16th in the country by the The Harrier, captured its third straight New England championship Saturday with 129 points.
"We're happy with everything," said Danbury coach Rob Murray. "The group of seniors has come together and worked strong as a team. The strength comes from being a good team. We reloaded and the team really responded. I'm really proud of them."
Amity finished second with 137 points and Hanover (N.H.) was third with 143.
Tucker Schaefer was the top Hatter finisher, crossing the finish line in 16:06 in 12th place. Kevin Russell followed in 16:25 (33rd place) and Levi Wallace (46th) was the third teammate to finish in 16:30. Brothers Joseph (73rd, 16:48) and Daniel Bubniak (86th, 16:54) rounded out the top five scorers for the Hatters.
"We weren't sure how we ran coming through the chute," said Murray, in his eighth year coaching the Hatters. "It was really exciting when they counted down the teams and they announced that we won. The guys were thrilled."
The Hatters once again pulled off a tremendous feat in the postseason by wining FCIAC, Class LL, State Open and New England championships.
"We felt pressure but made it positive pressure," said Murray. "We felt like everyone was chasing us. It was good to hold the fort and prove we are worthy of being champions."
The Danbury area was well represented in both the boys and girls meets.
Joel Barlow senior Mike Levene was the top local finisher in the boys race with a fourth-place effort in 15:51. New Fairfield junior John Raneri was ninth in 16:02. Mark Feigen of East Greenwich, R.I., won the boys race in 15:47.
Immaculate High senior Moira Kenny was the top area female finisher with a fourth-place effort in 18:33. Abbey Leonardi of Kennebunk, Maine, won the girls race in 18:12.
New Fairifled freshman Allison Thoms finished 37th (19:34), Ridgefield junior Katherine Howley took 41st (19:37) and Pomperaug senior Jeanne Theleen was 48th (19:45).