FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Staples’ Henry Wynne and Danbury’s boys went into Thursday’s Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championships as favorites. Both posted convincing victories in a record-setting day at Waveny Park in New Canaan.
Wynne finished first in 15:23 to win the individual crown for the second straight year. Danbury won the team crown with 53 points, the Hatters’ eighth straight league crown and 13th title in the last 14 years. Staples, which finished second Thursday with 68 points, won the league title in 2004. The Wreckers are the only team since 1999 to beat the Hatters in the league meet.
Staples finished second with 68 points, followed by Darien with 72. Ridgefield (81) and Fairfield Warde (150) rounded out the Top 5.
Ridgefield’s Trevor Hopper took second in 15:44, followed by Wilton sophomore Spencer Brown in 15:58. Danbury’s Nick Carlsen (16:13) and Ridgefield’s Kristian Sogaard (16:17) were the others in the Top 5.
Wynne, who has not lost a race this season, ran unchallenged most of the race. He improved his time by 14 seconds over last year, when he won by holding off Fairfield Warde’s Harry Warnick in the final strides by one second. Wynne broke his own course record, and set a new meet record. The previous best finish was 15:28 set by Fairfield's Ren Provy in 1998.
“I was definitely going for the course record,’’ Wynne said. “I had been thinking about it all day in school and visualized it. I thought if I hit my splits I could do it.”
Danbury's Top 5 were bunched in the first 17 runners. Mickey Kozak finished sixth, followed by Patrick Healey (10th) James Quintanilla (16th) and Zachary Stemple (17th). Ryan Fox was 18th for Danbury, and Ryan Ansel was 22nd.
“It’s great to have the connection to the past that worked hard and to keep that going,’’ Carlsen said.
Staples surprised Darien for second. Patrick Nolan finished eighth, while Oliver Hickson (14th) and Samuel Cohen (15th) also earned all-league honors. “We ran very well,’’ coach Laddie Lawrence said. “We needed Henry to do what he normally does and tighten up on him. For the most part we did that.”
Darien, ranked third in the latest state poll, hoped to give the Hatters a run for their money. Danbury won by four points last year, and Darien lost by three to the Hatters during the dual meet season last week. But the Blue Wave’s No. 1 runner Alex Ostberg, bothered by a calf strain, finished 11th. Marshall Huffman finished seventh and Colten Appleby was ninth to lead the Blue Wave.