Wreckers capture FCIAC title
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That's describes the Staples boys indoor track team after winning its first FCIAC title since 2005. Staples scored 107 points Thursday to claim the title, easily outdistancing second-place Danbury (70) in the 15-team field at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. Greenwich (52) was third.
"We're better than we were the last two years," Wreckers coach Laddie Lawrence said. "We have a lot depth, and we're more spread out in that we have a lot of kids who can do different events."
Junior distance runner Henry Wynne led Staples by scoring 28 points. Wynne won two events and took second in a third event.
Versatility helped the Wreckers as they did well in running and jumping, starting with Wynne. He took his first win in the 1,000 meters with a time of 2:31.66, easily outdistancing his personal rival, Harry Warnick (2:32.89), who placed second.
"The race was fast-paced like I thought it would be, and I tried to run it like any other race," Wynne said. "I took it out, and when someone tried to pass me, I picked it up."
Junior Patrick Nolan (2:41.03) scored a point for the Wreckers and placed sixth in the 1,000.
"I didn't have much of a break between the 1,000 and 1,600, so I paced off of Tom, and with a couple of laps left, I picked it up."
When the 3,200 meters began, Staples had the meet clinched, thus, Wynne was conserving himself. He took second (9:42.98), beating Warncik (9:44.27), but falling short to Ridgefield's Ben O'Regan (9:40.4).
"I just ran the race as fast as I could and run for second," Wynne said. "I was tired and didn't want to kill myself."
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Senior Dean Hefnaway is a microcosm of the Wreckers' well-roundedness by scoring in the pole vault, which he won (13-6), and as a sprinter.
"Staying focused and concentrating on what's important," Hefnaway said. "I don't worry about the small things. I just reset and my training gets me up."
Hefnaway also ran the second leg for the FCIAC champions 4x400 meter relay team (3:30.34) and the third leg for the fifth-place sprint medley relay team (3:55.21).
Senior Giles Bonner and junior Jackson Yang ran the first two legs of the sprint medley relay and Nolan ran the anchor leg.
"We have a solid order and my strategy as the leadoff leg is to get us to first place, and by our third leg, we had a solid lead," Hoberman said.
Heil said, "Max ran a great leadoff leg, Dean worked hard and got it to Walker and Walker ran hard. I had three great runners before me."
Hoberman (20-5.5) and McConnell (19-2) were three-six in the long jump, and McConnell and junior Ethan Bradeen (5-8) were tied for fifth in the high jump.
Heil took second in the 55-meter dash (6.79) and fifth in the 300-meter dash (36.57).
Junior David Hoffman was third in the 55 (6.82) and Marsh was fifth in the 600 meters (1:25.76).
Staples grabbed second in the 4x800 meter relay (8:27.67) with junior Brad Payne, senior captain Kyle Hoberman, Nolan and Kulis. The 4x200 meter relay team (1:36.70) of Hoffman, Bonner, Max Hoberman and senior captain Zach Mitchell took fourth.
"It definitely feels great, being a senior, and to know that our hard work paid off," Max Hoberman said. "It especially feels good to beat Danbury by a wide margin. We're a well-rounded team. Greenwich only has sprinters and we have everything."
Heil said, "It's a great feeling and it's awesome we can score points against great competition in Greenwich and Danbury. We have depth and a great lineup where we can get the points from."
The Wreckers are FCIAC champions but their work isn't over. They will go for the Class LL title tomorrow in New Haven. Amity, Norwich Free Academy, Xavier, Windsor, Glastonbury and Danbury will try to derail Staples.
"It's [winning FCIACs] not as big as the state meet but it's important," Lawrence said. "I'm confident we'll be one of the top teams. I hope we're No. 1, but so do the other teams."