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Staples Senior Shatters 27-Year Record

The state Class LL record in the boys 400 meters stood for 27 years. It took less than 48 seconds for Staples senior Raphael Ray to rewrite it.

Ray won the event Tuesday at the Class LL track and field outdoor championships at Willowbrook Park in New Britain in a blistering 47.99. The old mark was 48.49, set in 1984 by Thorb Towles of Notre Dame. Ray won easily, beating East Hartford's Jamal Fruster, who ran 49.25. Ray's time ranks third in the Northeast, which includes Pennsylvania and Maryland, according to, which monitors high school track and field results.

Staples boys finished fourth with 54 points, while the girls finished ninth with 26.

Staples also won the 4 x 400 relay in 3:20.64. That also eclipsed a meet record, bettering the time of 3:21.46 set in 2008 by Manchester. Sean Gallagher, Jonathan Heil, Max Hoberman and Walker Marsh comprised the winning relay.

Sophomore Henry Wynne finished second in the 1,600, running 4:22.28. Alex Levine of Danbury won the event in 4:21.01.

Staples was also third in the 4 x 800 relay. Dean Hefnawy (pole vault) also took third. Other Staples athletes who picked up points include Hoberman (fifth, triple jump), Heil (fifth, 400), Wynne (seventh, 800) and Ben Aldrich (fifth, 3,200).

For the girls, Ingrid Johnson took third in the 400 in 59.79 and Lexie Schachne soared to second in the pole vault, clearing 11 feet, 6 inches. Other highlights for Staples included Courtney Mullen (eighth, 400), the 4 x 400 relay (fourth) and the 4 x 800 relay (third).

Danbury's girls and Manchester's boys won the team titles. The top athletes will compete in the State Open on June at Willowbrook Park. Complete results are available on

What do you think about Raphael Ray's record in the 400? Start the discussion below!

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