A strong overall performance propelled Darien High’s girls cross country team to a sixth-place finish in the FCIAC Championships Thursday at Waveny Park in New Canaan.

Mairead Clas continued her impressive freshman campaign, finishing sixth overall at 14:58, in leading Darien to a team score of 177, outdistancing Staples — a team that had topped the Wave during the regular season — by eight points. Darien entered the conference championship after finishing 9-6 in its dual meets, good for second in the FCIAC East behind only New Canaan, which finished 10-5.

“We had a very strong team performance,” said longtime coach Steve Norris, adding that outdistancing conference powers Danbury, Trumbull, Greenwich and Ridgefield would have been difficult. “But we improved our seventh-place ranking by beating Staples.”

Senior Penn Boucher (15:47) placed 26th, while Sophie Hill (16:03) was 36th, Bella Swan (16:24) was 52nd, Marley Garfield (16:37) was 64th, freshman Julianne Teitler (16:49) was 68th, Noelle Kennedy (17:00) was 71st and Amalia Madariaga (17:11) was 73rd.

Norris noted that Clas was the first freshman to finish the race, and earned a spot on the All-FCIAC First Team.

“(Clas) hung with the leaders until the last half mile,” said Norris. “This was her best race of the season.”

Boucher’s finished earned her second team All-FCIAC honors, while Norris said that fellow seniors Hill, Garfield and Madariaga posted career bests on this course.

“Newcomers Swan and Kennedy also posted their best times of the season,” said Norris, “and Teitler has improved every race.”

The junior varsity results had Kate Dempsey (16:58) place 10th, Suzanna Alliegro (17:21) 24th, Georgia Sheehan     (17:23) 25th and Charlotte Van Ingen (17:23) 26th. The junior varsity competitors ran the same course as the varsity, according to Norris.

“Dempsey ran the best race of her life,” said Norris.