— Will Aldam (@AldamWill) October 2, 2020
DANBURY — It was opening day for the Staples and Danbury cross country teams as the FCIAC rivals competed officially for the first time since Staples won last year’s league championship.
Staples swept the 4K meet, taking team wins for boys and girls, while boasting both individual winners as well at Tarywile Park.
Senior Jonathan Lorenz finished first for the boys with a time of 13:31, one second ahead of senior teammate Dillon Harding.
“One of those guys on any given day can beat the other one,” Staples coach Laddie Lawrence said. “We would like to be best in the league if there is a championship. Ridgefield looks really good right now; we all participated in a virtual 3,200-meter time trial and they’re loaded. We’re lacking some of the big up-front strength we had before but maybe one of these kids will develop into that.”
For Lorenz, a team captain, it was an ideal finish in his first meet since spring sports were shut down in March.
“I’m feeling pretty good. It’s been a long road,” Lorenz said. “We didn’t have a meet for six or seven months, and to come back and get the team win was a great feeling. We’ve been working really hard and for us to get to come out here and compete, it makes it all worth it.”
— Will Aldam (@AldamWill) October 2, 2020
Staples junior Josie Dolan clocked in first individually for the girls with a time of 16:49, the only runner to finish in under 17 minutes.
“The mindset was to stay with my fellow runner, Tatum (Havemann) and to work together and push each other up the hill because it’s a pretty difficult course,” Dolan said. “We were just looking to be strong as a team and come together to beat Danbury.”
Junior Tatum Havemann (17:17) and Nicole Holmes (17:23) finished second and third as Staples had seven top-10 finishers.
“Danbury is always one of our biggest competitors,” Staples assistant coach Tom Harding said. “Every year it changes. You’re not quite sure who teams have left and more importantly, what somebody did over the summer to get better and freshmen coming in. Ridgefield is another one of our biggest competitors and they did just that. There is a kid or two that trained really hard over the summer and has excelled, so now we got trouble there, but our guys did the same thing.”
Lorenz and Harding are among those Wreckers boys runners that will need to continue their success if Staples is presented with the opportunity to defend its FCIAC title, while Dolan and Havemann will be crucial for the girls.
“Jonathan and Dillon trained all summer with pretty high intensity and mileage,” Harding said. “Josie and Tatum worked too, even though Tatum’s specialty is half-mile and the 1,000-meter; she hates running distance but she can do it.”
Though the outcome was not ideal for a consistently competitive Danbury team, there were still silver linings.
“We put on a uniform today, it’s a win,” Danbury girls coach Marsha Turek said. “We were really excited to be on our own course and just kind of test what we have right now. It was kind of an off year in a lot of ways but there were a lot of small victories today within our team. I’m very pleased with our results. The nice thing about running is it’s not just the win and the loss; there can be individual victories even in defeat.”
Staples will be put to the test against Ridgefield at home Tuesday in its second of five scheduled meets this season.
“I’m really excited for the team mostly because our girls have been training very hard the entire summer to stay in shape,” Dolan said. “During quarantine we stayed really united in that we were all on the same training plan, so I’m super proud that we came out today and showed off our talent.”
Boys: Staples 16, Danbury 46; (at Danbury): 1. Jonathan Lorenz (S) 13:31; 2. Dillon Harding (S) 13:32; 3. Zachary Taubman (S) 13:41; 4. Alex Harrington (S) 13:58; 5. Gabriel Kwarteng (D) 13:58; 6. Rory Tarsy (S) 13:58; 7. George Lepska (S) 14:04; 8. Ryan Scappaticci (D) 14:04; 9. Jalen St. Fort (S) 14:06; 10. Max Sod (S) 14:08.
Girls: Staples 19, Danbury 42; (at Danbury): 1. Josie Dolan (S) 16:49; 2. Tatum Havemann (S) 17:17; 3. Nicole Holmes (S) 17:23; 4. Paz Moran (D) 17:45; 5. Annarita Lynch (D) 17:46; 6. Lyah Muktavaram (S) 18:09; 7. Anastasia Thumser (S) 18:17; 8. Emily Goldstein (S) 18:32; 9. Caleigh Coughlin (S) 18:45; 10. Maya Gawley (D) 19:04.
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