Darien boys track team shooting for state championship
The Darien boys indoor track and field team has won four state championships under coach Tyson Kaczmarek, including the Class L crown last year with a 26-point victory over Windsor.
Blessed with another deep and talented roster led by distance runners Alex Ostberg and Armstrong Noonan and jumper Nick Lombardo, the Blue Wave could be in a position to take the fifth. That certainly is the team's goal this winter.
"We are a very talented team," said Kaczmarek, who is entering his 11th season in charge of Darien's program. "We have an opportunity to have a very special team this year. We don't want to miss out on that opportunity."
Darien, which tied for third in the FCIAC championship and 17th in the State Open meet last year, also appears to be an overwhelming favorite to repeat as FCIAC East champions.
One of the top runners in New England, Ostberg, a junior, is coming off two straight monster seasons in which he earned All-New England honors and qualified for nationals in cross country and outdoor track. He also is a three-time all-FCIAC pick in cross country.
Noonan, a sophomore, also was an all-New England pick during the fall cross country season and placed fourth at the New Balance Indoor Nationals freshmen 1-mile last year.
Lombardo, one of Darien's six senior captains, is the defending Class L state champion in the high jump. He earned All-New England in the event last year, leaping 6-6, and also does the long jump.
Fellow senior captain Cameron Smith backs Lombardo in the high jump and cleared 6-2 last season as a personal best.
Experience is another strength for the Blue Wave, who return eight seniors and two juniors in addition to a slew of newcomers. The other captains are Brian Davey, Marshall Huffman, Spencer McKeough and Peter Kreuch.
According to Kaczmarek, Davey is ready for a big indoor season. He is the Blue Wave's top middle distance runner, an area where Darien has improved, and earned all-state honors last year in the sprint medley and 1,000.
Huffman, who boasts an excellent work ethic, is a two-time all-state selection in cross country andwill be looking to contribute in the longer distance races.
McKeough is the defending FCIAC indoor shot put champion. He holds the school record in the event
and placed seventh in the State Open indoor meet last year. This season, McKeough will be looking to
eclipse the elusive 50-foot mark.
Kreuch is a developing middle distance runner who will add significant depth while senior James
Farrington enjoyed a breakthrough season last year and is expected to contribute at a high level this year.
Alex Gunya, the other returning senior, has raw talent for sprinting and could be strong by the end of the year, according to Kaczmarek.
Cooper Drippe, the other returning junior, earned all-state honors during the indoor season last year and is another talented sprinter.
"We have all the makings to have a great team," Kaczmarek said. "We have a ton of guys who cancontribute at a variety of levels. We will be pleasantly surprised by all of the performances this year. Iknow it. We continue to have a deep team. If we can add a few more varsity level guys, this team can be quite dangerous come championship time."
The list of newcomers include seniors Matt Coe, Mickey Conroy, Alex Rayhill, Jack Sparkman and RyanYuen, juniors Robby Arrix, Carter Ashcraft, Arthur Cassidy, Mikey Farren, Timmy Grozier, Mike O'Malley, Sebastian Rivero and Brendan Triano and sophomores Santosh Krishnan, Jack Murray and Spencer Nichols.