The Danbury- Staples boys rivalry began at the beginning of the Clinton administration in the winter of 1993 when the two teams tied for the FCIAC indoor title. It was Staples fifth consecutive title and Danbury’s first indoor track championship. Fast forward twenty-six years later and the two teams have won all but two indoor titles and you have return to 1984 to a time when one of the two teams didn’t take home at least a runner up trophy.
On Thursday night at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, Danbury simply dominated the meet and outscored the Wreckers 112-55 with Brien McMahon taking 3rd with 48 points, Fairfield Ludlowe, six points behind and last year’s runner up Ridgefield in 5th with 37 points.
Photo of Danbury Boys Championship Team courtesy of Danbury Coach Rob Murray
The Hatters have found a formula that has worked so well for them over the years. First develop a strong core of relay runners. Next, find one or two superior athletes who can win a couple of events and then if you can’t win an event, get multiple scorers to add more points to your total.
Out of a possible 40 points, Danbury scored 34 points in the four relays. They started off the meet being edged by Greenwich in the 4 x 200m. Lance Large, Chris Wint, Ryan Raybuck, and Zane Nye teamed up to run a time of 1:33.80, with the Hatters only .02 seconds behind the Cardinals.
In the second event of the night, Danbury took another silver medal, this time behind the Fairfield Ludlow team of Kabir Chavan, Nicholas Rullo, Ethan Lovallo and Colin Agostisi who ran 8:24.30 with the Hatters about four seconds back in 8:28.49.
Staples took the 1600m Sprint Medley relay with the team of Aiden Rose, Casey McGeehan, George Lepska and Henry Haas running 3:46.85 with Danbury taking 2nd, again less than a second behind in 3:47.59.
One of Danbury’s three first place finishes were in their signature event, the 4 x 400m. They have won the event the past four years and set the meet record last year. Sophomore Gabriel Kwarteng and seniors Ryan Caldwell, Malachi Lorick and Malcolm Going combined to run 3:34.65 with Darien taking second in 3:36.78.
Danbury went 1-2 in the 1000m and 1600m races with Going and Jacob Hefele taking the top two spots in 1000m and then flipping places in the longer event. Going, who has already run the 3rd fastest 600m time in the nation of 1:20.77 at the Yale Invitational, used his superior speed to just sit in the pack in both races and taking off on the last lap to earn 18 points for the team.
Danbury also scored multiple places in the 55m, 55HH and the 300m to pile on even more points and clinch their 6th straight title.
“Every athlete really out performed what I expected” said Danbury boys coach Rob Murray. “We made mistakes last week at the divisional meet and I think that helped us focus this week. We just need to stay humble and focused.”
Jumping Events Worth the Price of Admission
Brien McMahon’s Justin Forde has developed into one of the best overall jumpers in the nation. He was only an inch and a half off his PR in the long jump but broke Isaac Floyd of Greenwich’s meet record with a 23’4-inch jump. Later he came back to take 2nd in the high jump to his arch rival Chet Ellis of Staples. Ellis cleared 6’6 on his 3rd attempt, while Forde opted to pass his jumps at that height in order to rest his legs. But after Forde’s three misses at 6’6, Ellis was able to defend his title and his own meet record.
Fairfield Ludlow swept the girls and boys vault with Laurel Blackman clearing 9’6 and Jackson Hemphill getting over 13’2. Both were school records. Two years ago, Ludlow had no vaulters and it had been 10 years since they had last scored in the event. Hemphill, who has recently committed to vault at Tufts University, sought out The Running Academy Pole Vault clinics to improve on his freshman PR of 8’6. Other vaulters from his team followed, including Blackman and now they are the dominate vaulters in the FCIAC.
Hemphill has become like another coach on the team and said “I’ve had an incredible experience working with all the vaulters through the process and creating a really strong and enthusiastic group of vaulters over the years.”
Senior Kyle Nagy took 3rd for Ludlowe, clearing 11’6 and Hemphill’s younger brother Bennett qualified for the event as a freshman and made 9’6 which ties his personal record.
New Sprinters Emerge as Champions
Forde wasn’t the only star of the day for 3rd place Brien McMahon. Junior Korey Morton improved his time in the 55m by .17 seconds in one day and set a new meet record of 6.47 in the process. Morton, the son of former Red Sox pitcher Kevin Morton, now owns the fastest time in Connecticut this season. He also ran a leg of the 3rd place 4x200m relay and took 4th in the high jump clearing six feet.
Ridgefield’s Simon Jupp was a double winner coming from behind in the 600m run, finishing in 1:27.92 and later took the 300m dash in 36.15
Myles Hall of St. Joseph was 5th last year in the 55m Hurdles at the FCIAC meet and took his first conference title with a new PR of 7.89 which is currently the 6th fastest time in Connecticut.
The 3200m was a battle between FCIAC cross country champion Andrew Malling of New Canaan and Kabir Chavan of Fairfield Ludlowe. Malling took it out hard the first few laps and quickly gained a large lead over the pack with only Chavan attempting to stay close. Both went through the 1600m together in 4:42 with the Ludlowe runner just sitting behind New Canaan’s cross-country star. With 150m to go, Chavan struck quickly and moved into the lead finishing in 9:37.77, the 4th fastest time in the state this season. Malling also set a PR with his 9:42.67, which cracked into Connecticut’s top ten.
Finally, New Canaan senior Jack Conley, who won FCIAC and Class LL Shot Put as a sophomore and then took 2nd in both meets as a junior, returned to the winner’s circle throwing 49-8.25.
Rankings and personal records noted above are based on performance lists compiled at Athletic.net.
The complete meet results are available for the FCIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships on the Results page sponsored by soundRUNNER Scholastic with stores in Branford, Fairfield, Glastonbury and Old Saybrook. The meet was held at Floyd Little Athletic Center New Haven CT on Thursday January 31, 2019.
NOTE: MySportsResults.com publishes the results received/posted from meet directors and timing companies. If you don't see your results or if you think that the results are incorrect then ask your local coach to contact the meet director to send us the corrected meet results. Do not send an email to MySportsResults asking to correct the posted results.