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Darien Girls Indoor Track Team Wins First State Open Crown

The Darien High School girls indoor track and field team won the State Open title Tuesday in New Haven.
The Darien High School girls indoor track and field team won the State Open title Tuesday in New Haven. Photo Credit: Tom Renner

DARIEN, Conn. – Darien High School’s girls team won the first indoor track and field state championship in school history with a dominating performance at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

The Blue Wave finished with 66.33 points, followed by Hillhouse with 57. The victory capped the indoor triple crown for Darien, which also won the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and Class L championships in the past few weeks.

“It’s amazing that we were able to do it for the first time,’’ said junior Catherine Lacy, who won the long jump and ran on the winning 4 x 200 relay team. “It’s a great feeling that we were able to do it with this group. We were missing a few people, but everybody did what they had to do.”

Lacy and the Blue Wave set the tone in the 4 x 200 relay, the opening race of the meet. She teamed with Anna Sulger, Madeleine Schneider and Dillon Schoen to bring the baton home in 1:45.11. That was their fastest time of the season.

“That got us off to a great start,’’ Lacy said. “We set the school record in that earlier this year and it’s been a good race for us. To get off to a start like that just got everybody pumped up. It gave us a big lift.”

Lacy’s long jump win was the only first-place finish for the Blue Wave. She soared 18 feet, 2 ½ inches. “Everyone was doing so well, I just really wanted to put one out there,’’ she said.

Schoen finished second in the 600, while Sulger finished third in the 600 and fourth in the 300. Grace Loh added a fourth in the 1,000, and the sprint medley took fourth with Schneider, Brittany Henry, Schoen and Loh.

Darien piled up points in the field events, which proved to be the difference. Leah Hotchkiss was second in the high jump. Schneider (second) and Jessica Thornbury (fourth) picked up points in the pole vault.

That was enough to get longtime coach Steve Norris his first Open title. Darien won the three straight class titles from 2008 to 2010, but the highest it ever finished in the Open was fifth.

“I think it’s a testament to the girls and their families,’’ Norris said. “Some of these parents canceled travel plans and ate the cost of airline tickets so that we could have our team here. This is a special group.”

The meet had been postponed from Saturday due to the blizzard earlier this month. The storm set back all of the class meets and left a tight window to fit in all of the meets. Darien raced Friday in the Class L meet, but it had enough left to bounce back Tuesday.

“We’re so glad we’re able to win this for him,’’ Lacy said. “He’s so patient with us. I know he’s wanted to win one of these for a long time. We’re glad we were able to give it to him.”

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