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Staples Boys Run to State Open Crown

WESTPORT, Conn. – The Staples High School boys track team returned to the top of the state mountain Saturday, winning the State Open championship at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

Henry Wynne won the 1,000 and ran legs on two winning relays to lead the Wreckers to 47 team points. Hillhouse finished second with 34, and Greenwich was third with 31.

It was the first State Open title since 1991 for the Wreckers, who finished runner-up to Danbury last year.

“We had a few more points than we projected,’’ Staples coach Laddie Lawrence said. “We thought if everything broke right, we might get in the low 50s, or we could have been the high 30s. They did a great job. It was a total team effort.”

Wynne broke a school record that had stood since 1989 in the 1,000, running 2:29.56 to eclipse the standard set by Tom Sheeran. Staples also won the 4 x 400 relay with Max Hoberman, Walker Marsh, Wynne and Jon Heil. The sprint medley was victorious with Zach Mitchell, David Hoffman, Dean Hefnawy and Wynne.

“It’s amazing,’’ Wynne said. “When we started the season we weren’t thinking about winning the State Open championship. To have all the hard work that we’ve put in this winter pay off with the championship is amazing.”

Staples finished fourth in the 4 x 200 relay with Heil, Hoffman, Hoberman and Mitchell. The 4 x 800 took fourth with Patrick Nolan, Kyle Hoberman, Mikolaj Kulis and Marsh.

Hefnawy added a second in the pole vault with a leap of 14 feet, 0 inches, and Kulis was sixth in the 3,200.

Rather than individual achievements, Staples loaded its relays with its deep lineup of middle distance runners. Staples picked up 28 points in relays.

“When you have depth with middle distance, it helps you a lot in indoor track,’’ Lawrence said. “You’re able to build some strong relay teams.”

Wynne was the team’s centerpiece, and he responded with a brilliant afternoon. His win in the 1,000 jump-started the Wreckers early, after Greenwich won the 4 x 200 in the first race of the day.

“I knew that was a big race,’’ Wynne said. “Winning that race seemed to give us a big lift.”

Hefnawy added the second in the pole vault, and the Wreckers were on their way. Staples led by two points going into the final race and won the 4 x 400 relay easily. Staples also won the event last year. Heil is the only member from the 2011 lineup on this year’s team.

Staples swept the postseason, winning the league and Class LL titles. On Saturday, the Wreckers added the one piece that had been absent for a long time. "We thought we had a chance,'' Wynne said. "But you never know what can happen. We knew we had to run well."

Complete results from the State Open are available online .

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