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Lady Wrecker harriers go 3-1, Staples boys sweep opener

Updated 2:55 am, Friday, September 16, 2011

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  • Staples' Caroline Smith reaches out to help up Greenwich's Katherine Bernstein after running in girls cross country action at Staples High in Westport, Conn. on Tuesday September 14, 2011. Photo: Christian Abraham / Connecticut Post
    Staples' Caroline Smith reaches out to help up Greenwich's Katherine Bernstein after running in girls cross country action at Staples High in Westport, Conn. on Tuesday September 14, 2011. Photo: Christian Abraham

 

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The Staples girls cross country team came close to sweeping its season-opening meet Wednesday at Staples Stadium.

Staples was perfect against New Canaan, McMahon and St. Joseph with 15-50 (lower score wins in cross country) victories but was npped by Greenwich, 26-29.

Meanwhile, the Staples boys cross-country convincingly swept the quint-meet.

The girls, fell short of duplicating the boys. This was especially tough for Lady Wreckers coach Kristin Simonsen, because based on her calculations, Staples was ahead of Greenwich by three points midway through the race.

In the end, the Lady Cardinals burst ahead and prevented the Lady Wreckers from sweeping the meet.

"It was frustrating because we were ahead midway through the race," Simonsen said.

Sophomore Caroline Koenig (17:59.35) was Staples' top runner and took second overall. Koenig went out fast and had the lead. Greenwich won and took third and fourth as well to build itself a lead.

"It was tough to go out fast in a hot day like today," Simonsen said. "Caroline is hungry and wants to win."

The Lady Wreckers took fifth, sixth and seventh behind senior tri-captain Caroline Smith (19:10.30), freshman Paige Murray (19:17.68) and senior tri-captain Alex Popkin (19:37.34).

Junior Georgia Kursten has excelled in the 800 meters in track but is a first-time cross-country runner. Kursten (20.33.82) joined the team after playing soccer the previous two years and placed 11th overall.

"Georgia has the potential to do well," Simonsen said. "She has to believe in herself and listen to her captains because they have experience."

Sophomore Kellen Smithson (20:40.01) was 13th overall.

"We were looking good but we need more experience," Simonsen said.

Boys start perfectly

The Staples boys defeated all four opponents convincingly, beating St. Joseph, 15-49, New Canaan and Greenwich by identical 18-44 scores, and Brien McMahon, 18-45.

"I was very pleased with the results," Wreckers coach Laddie Lawrence said. "Obviously, the summer running paid off for us. They ran all the miles we asked them to run over the summer, and it showed in the meet."

Junior Henry Wynne led Staples by finishing first overall with a time of 16:55.47 and senior tri-captain Mikolas Kulis (17:16.94) took second. The Wreckers ran well as pack, which enabled them to finish sixth behind junior Marcus Russi (18:24.97), senior tri-captain Dean Hefnawy (18.27.66), junior Patrick Nolan (18:34.34) and Sam Cohen (18:41.73) through ninth to solidify their victory. Junior Brad Payne (19:05.39) placed 13th.