WESTPORT >> Saturday the Staples girls’ indoor track team will bring its largest group ever to the New England Championships in Roxbury, Mass.
After winning the Class LL title and a runner-up finish at the State Open, the goals are the same.
“I think we want everyone to try and make sure that this race on Saturday is the best race of the year,” Staples head coach Jesse McCray said.
The Wreckers will be well-represented at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, with four individuals and the 4×400 relay. McCray said the group heading down is a good representation of the changes that have taken place in the program.
“I think it’s a very big step,” McCray said. “It just shows all the hard work the girls have put in and I’m just happy for them. Because looking back, there have been times we couldn’t even score a point in a class meet or state open.”
Staples will have Erica Hefnawy (1,000), Bridget Van Dorsten (high jump) and Tyler Scanlin (600) who won the Open title. Scanlin is seeded sixth going in.
Sophomore Hannah DeBalsi, who finished second in the 1,600 and won the 3,200 at the Open championships, will focus on the two mile at New Englands. She is the defending champion, and is looking for a new personal record.
“I want to win, but also I have a time goal,” DeBalsi said. “I want to PR, hopefully PR overall.”
DeBalsi’s overall personal record, including outdoors in the 3,200 is 10:10.26. Her two mile PR is 10:16.20.
On the boys’ side, it won’t quite be the same number of individuals as in years past but the group they are sending down have a shot to medal.
The Wreckers have Peter Elkind (1,000), Oliver Hickson (mile) Anthony Bravo (long jump) and qualified the 4×8 relay.
As of last weekend, head coach Laddie Lawrence wasn’t sure the exact game plan, whether they’d focus more attention to the relay or not. The Wreckers are listed as the 10th-fastest team (8:13.16) but with the right personnel could break the eight minute mark.