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Staples Runners Win State Open Titles

Staples' Henry Wynne, left, and Peter Elkind race in the 1,000 Tuesday at the State Open in New Haven.
Staples' Henry Wynne, left, and Peter Elkind race in the 1,000 Tuesday at the State Open in New Haven. Photo Credit: Tom Renner

WESTPORT, Conn. – Staples High School’s Henry Wynne and Hannah DeBalsi had terrific individual performances but the boys' team came up short in its bid for a second straight title Tuesday in the State Open indoor track and field championships.

Wynne won the 1,600 meters and 1,000 for Staples, extending his unbeaten streak in individual races this school year. DeBalsi won the girls' 3,200 in the meet at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

The boys' team finished third with 40 points, behind Bloomfield (61) and Danbury (53.5). Staples, which won the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and Class LL titles, was seeking to win the indoor track triple crown for the second straight year.

“We would’ve liked to have gone 3-for-3 again,’’ coach Laddie Lawrence said. “But two out of three is better than one out of three.”

Wynne, a senior bound for the University of Virginia, was amazing again. He won the 1,000 in 2:31:32 and the 1,600 in 4:17:18. Wynne won the 1,000 last year, and ran on two winning relay teams. In the past two years, in Class LL and Open competition, he has won 10 gold medals in individual races and relays. Last fall, he finished unbeaten during the cross country season. His 1,000 time Tuesday was his best of the season.

DeBalsi, a freshman, won the 3,200 in 11:00.37 and led from start to finish. Her time was nearly 16 seconds than her winning effort in the Class LL meet. DeBalsi crushed the field in the 3,200 just three days earlier, setting a school and meet record in running 10:44.57.

Alex Lochoff took third in the pole vault and Walker Marsh was third in the 600. Peter Elkind picked up a sixth in the 1,000. In relays, Staples was fourth in the sprint medley, fifth in the 4 x 800 and sixth in the 4 x 400.

“Bloomfield and Danbury ran great,’’ Lawrence said. “We were missing some key people because of vacation. But I think even if we had everybody, we still would’ve had a hard time beating them.”

Tyler Scanlin finished fourth in the 600 for the girls' team. Erica Hefnaway (1,000) and Bridget van Dorsten (high jump) finished seventh and just missed picking up team points. For van Dorsten, the jump tied her personal best. The girls' 4 x 200 relay took sixth, as did the 4 x 400 relay.

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