Running for the final time in his illustrious career at Staples, Henry Wynne accomplished something he'd never done before in outdoor track.
He became a national champion.
Competing in the mile run at New Balance National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, Wynne breezed past the finish with a winning time of 4:07.84. He edged Jack Keelan of LaGrange Park, Ill., who clocked in at 4:08.73 to place second.
Wynne, who will attend the University of Virginia in the fall, also won the mile for Indoor Nationals in March with a time of 4:08.15.
"I was pleased he was able to accelerate once he got on the home stretch," Staples coach Laddie Lawrence said on Monday. "He basically ran a very controlled race. He didn't have to overextend himself."
Staples freshman Hannah DeBalsi also starred at Nationals, placing third in the girls two-mile run on Saturday in 10:16.20. Only Wesley Frazier of Raleigh, N.C. (10:07.35) and Annie Heffernan of Cincinnati (10:13.58) were faster.
DeBalsi shattered the Connecticut girls two-mile state record (10:41.74, set in 1999) and broke the national freshman two-mile mark (10:19.0, 1976).
Staples girls coach Jesse McCray said he knew a strong finish was in line for DeBalsi when she won the two-mile at New Englands on June 8.. Her time of 10:10.26 would've placed her fourth in the county.
"I've never seen a freshman who's been so focused," McCray said, adding, "From what we've seen of her, she's pretty much off the charts."
Wynne also spearheaded a third-place finish in the 4x800 meter relay when teamed with Peter Elkind, Patrick Nolan and Walker Marsh. The quartet was timed at 7:42.11, behind Raber of Indiana (7:39.77) and Kellenberg Memorial of New lenberg Memorial of New York (7:41.96).
Although the relay broke the school record by close to eight seconds, Lawrence -- watching the race from his home computer in Connecticut because he was sick -- believed the Wreckers could've timed even faster.
"I was a little disappointed we got into trouble early. I thought we might have gone a little faster, but we got boxed in on that first leg," he said.
The Wreckers also took third in the girls distance medley as Tyler Scanlin, Erica Hefnawy, DeBalsi and Emily Troelstra clocked in at 11:53.61. West Springfield of Virginia took first (11:51.46), while Warwick Valley of New York followed (11:53.33).
DeBalsi ran what McCray called an "off-the-charts" anchor leg, covering a mile in 4:48.
"She ran a lot of people down," McCray said. "They were around six or seventh place. She had by far the fastest of all the anchor legs."
In the girls 4x1 mile relay, Staples placed 32nd in 22:58.69.
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