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Johnston sixth, Wave fourth at state open

Wave makes cut for New England meet in Maine

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Darien, with open fourth place trophy above, moves on to New Englands on Saturday.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

UPDATED Wednesday, Nov. 7 — The Darien girls cross country team finished fourth at the state open meet at Wickham Park in Manchester on Friday.
Darien scored 217 points.

“The last time we were fourth was 1987,” said long-time Wave coach Steve Norris. “This is as good of a team we’ve had, pretty much ever.”

Ridgefield was first with 83, second Avon scoring 149 and third Glastonbury with 160.

Wilton came in fifth with 228 at the meet run by more than 20 schools.

Leading the Wave was sophomore Anne Johnston in sixth in 19:31.

Senior Grace Loh was next for Darien in 24th in 20:12.

First was NFA’s Brianna Lenehan in 19:09.

Senior Sarah Colon came in 34th in 20:24, senior Ellen Bauer 115th in 21:48, senior Katie Farren 127th in 22:01, senior Claire Walker 145th in 22:26.

The Wave, with Johnston and Loh making the individual cut, move on to the New England meet to be run at the Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland, Maine on Nov. 10.

This is historic for DHS.

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Grace Loh (left) came in 24th and Anne Johnston (right) sixth at the open meet, coached by Steve Norris (second from left) and assistant Raquel Welch.

“The team back in ’86 won the state open and that was basically the same team that finished fourth a year later,” Norris said. “But it’s taken us a while to get to that elite level.”

For a little more good Wave history, and not so distant, Caroline McDonough, now a Columbia standout, was second at the open four years ago.

“Five of the six who ran are seniors and they’ve been around,” said Norris. “Four of them have run cross country for four years now, and they all do track.”

Johnston and Loh ran consistenly, and for them, that’s pretty consistenly good.

“They ran basically, the same solid effort that they had run the week before in the Class L meet,” Norris said. “They got the places they should have gotten.”

Colon was on

Colon climbed into a new found top gear.

“Our third runner Sarah Colon ran much better than she did the week before,” Norris said. “She ran the best she’s ever run.”

Plus, it wasn’t so easy for Colon to come up to high speed either.

“It was a question, because we hadn’t had any school,” said Norris. “She told me, ‘12 hours of sleep, no school,’ she felt rested. That was the  difference.

“It was those three that saw us through there.”

And Colon’s had her best year yet as well, adding the regional meet to the mix. Darien has not gone to New Englands since that banner 1987.

“We haven’t had a team there for that long,” Norris added.

McDonough was the last to go.

Thirty teams go to the New England meet.

Darien is likely to put people in the top 25, which qualifies for All-NE.
“We hope to beat half the teams up there,” Norris said.

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Darien Times Sports Editor since 2000

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