Darien boys track and field rolls into FCIAC championships
After going 7-2 on the regular season, including a 7-0 record in the FCIAC East division, the Darien boys track and field team is headed to the FCIAC championships on Monday, May 21, at Southern Connecticut State University.
Head coach Tyson Kaczmarek said the team should be very competitive at the FCIACs, where it will likely face tough competition from Danbury, Ridgefield and Staples, as well as Trumbull and Fairfield Warde.
Kaczmarek, however, is optimistic that the Wave can hold its own.
“We should be in the top five if all goes well,” he said.
The Wave has been buoyed this season by success in the field, which Kaczmarek expects will continue at FCIACs.
“Javelin, shot put, pole vault for sure — those are our best events,” he said. “We’ve got guys qualifying for states — three guys in discus, four guys in pole vault, two guys in shot put, a guy in high jump, a guy in javelin — and we’re even deeper at the FCIAC level in the field.”
The team’s regular season record is a big improvement over last season, when they went 3-6, ultimately finishing seventh in the FCIACs and 12th in the Class L state championship.
Particularly notable this season were big wins in the season opener against Warde, where the Wave won 80-70 in a very close meet, and a win last week against Ludlowe 87-63.
“That win was huge for us,” Kaczmarek said. “We had a ton of personal records qualifying for the FCIACs, qualifying for states. It was awesome, we had a really good meet.”
The team suffered two losses, to non-division schools Danbury and Ridgefield.
“We experimented with guys in places because the divisional title is only determined by your divisional record,” Kaczmarek said. “So we didn’t put any emphasis on those meets.”
At the FCIAC championships, athletes to watch for include Austin Hagander, who continues to excel in javelin.
“He’s one of the top guys in the FCIAC,” Kaczmarek said.
Also expected to perform well are Kayin Chisholm, Henry Vossler and Kieran Daly in pole vault, and Mike Neary and Bobby Keeney in shot put.
Kaczmarek said that Alex Dehmel, who is competing in the 400, and Ryan Eppley, a high jumper, should also do well at the championship.
Other Wave qualifiers for the FCIAC championships include Jack Holly, Griffin Ott, Oliver Knight, Alex Klarer, Kenneth Klarer, Pierce LeClerc, Ryan Sullivan, Cameron Raia, John Fallon and Aiden Hills.
The Wave wraps up its regular season after fielding a record number of athletes this spring, with 86 boys on the roster.
“It’s probably the biggest outdoor track team we’ve had since I’ve been coaching here,” Kaczmarek said.
He particularly noted the strength of the approximately 25 sophomores on the team.
“Our sophomore group has done really well,” he said. “Their improvement has been rapid. In two years I’m really excited to see what they do as seniors.”