WESTPORT, Conn. – If there’s such a thing as a perfect game in track and field, Staples recorded it Friday night at the New England Track and Field championships.
The 4 x 400 relay won the event for the third straight year and set a school record. Henry Wynne added a school record in winning the 1,000 meters. And the 4 x 200 relay took down a long-standing school record in finishing sixth.
“Going into New England, I didn’t have a school record in anything,” said senior captain Max Hoberman, who ran on both relays. “Now I have two records and a New England championship. Knowing the Staples tradition and the other runners that came through here, it’s just an amazing feeling.”
Hoberman ran on the 4 x 400 relay with Walker Marsh, Wynne and Jon Heil. They finished in 3:23.62 breaking by about 1.5 seconds the school mark set last year. Heil is the only returning member from that team. Nearly every runner ran personal best splits, including a 50.1 by Hoberman and a 50.2 anchor leg by Heil.
Hoberman passed the baton to Marsh with a lead, and the race was close when Marsh handed to Wynne. A runner briefly passed Wynne, who responded and opened up a nice-sized gap for Heil. “Henry got mad that the kid tried to pass him and that was it,’’ Hoberman said. “He got it to Heil and the lead just grew.”
Danbury finished second in 3:26.18 and Acton-Boxboro of Massachusetts took third. Staples entered the meet seeded fourth.
The 4 x 400 relay was the meet’s final track event, but the 4 x 200 relay and Wynne had big races beforehand.
Heil, David Hoffman, Hoberman and Zach Mitchell ran 1:32.83 to take sixth. Hoberman said the school record had stood since 1988, and the Wreckers were seeded 14th. “We’ve been close to getting it, but it was an unbeatable task,’’ Hoberman said. “We wanted it and we knew we could get it if everything went right. Coming down the final straightaway we thought we had it and we nipped it by two one-hundredths of a second.”
Wynne’s win in the 1,000 also emboldened the Wreckers as he re-wrote the school record he had set at the State Open. He won in 2:28.3, nearly two seconds better than runner-up Thomas Lupoli of Sheehan-Wallingford.
Mik Kulis finished 18th in the two-mile and the 4 x 800 team of Kulis, Kyle Hoberman, Patrick Nolan and Marsh finished 12th in 8:21.56.
Staples is now ranked 21st in the nation in the 4 x 400, 25th in the sprint medley (which was not run in New England) and Wynne is ninth in the 1,000. Times are tracked by a national website.
Staples won the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, Class LL and State Open championships. The Wreckers had a scintillating night in New England. Now they have the National Scholastic Championships beginning Friday at The Armory in New York. “We’d like to do well in New York,” Hoberman said. “But even if we didn’t, we wouldn’t look back. It’s incredible to think about what this team has accomplished this year.”