FCIAC track and field stars go for the gold on Tuesday

DANBURY – The 2015 FCIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships for both the boys and girls teams in the conference will begin at 2 p.m.on Tuesday, May 26, at Danbury High School.

The Danbury boys and Darien girls are the defending champions.

Last year Danbury won a record 15th conference championship when it nipped Ridgefield by one point after winning the meet’s final event, the 4×400 relay, by a scant 1/100th of a second over Ridgefield. Danbury scored 10 points in the event to finish with 141 points, Ridgefield scored eight points in that final event to finish with 140, and Darien placed third with 89 points.

The Darien girls won their 10th FCIAC title last year. Darien won with 118 points, Staples was runner-up with 103 and Greenwich placed third with 58.

This year the Staples boys had an undefeated 11-0 record in conference dual meets. Danbury was 10-1 while Darien and Trumbull were both 9-2.

Hannah DeBalsi of Staples, Alex Ostberg of Darien and Wilton’s Spencer Brown have had outstanding careers and seasons as distance runners and they could be among those who score significant points for their respective teams along with Staples senior jumper Anthony Bravo, Ridgefield senior Johnathan Keating, Greenwich senior field events thrower Sarah Cicchetti, Danbury senior sprinter Niema Riley and Darien senior Anna Sulger.

Bravo had impressive performances earlier this month at the Middletown Invitational when he had a high jump of 6 feet, 6 inches and a long jump of 22 feet, 5 inches.

DeBalsi, a junior, swept the 1,000-meter run, 1,600 and 3,200 in early February at the FCIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships to lead Staples to its first indoor conference championship since 1987. She has already compiled many championships and records throughout her career and is among the best female high school distance runners in the country. DeBalsi had a time of 10:37.01 in the 3,200 on May 9 at the Loucks Games.

Ostberg, a senior, is also among the top male high school distance runners in the country. He gave indication of that when he had an excellent time of 8:43.93 in the 3,200 at the Loucks Games on May 9. He will be a college student-athlete at Stanford University.

Brown has had a few excellent mile races this spring – first going 4:18.68 at the Penn Relays on April 25, then going a few seconds faster with his 4:15.10 at the Loucks Games, then getting an excellent time of 4:12.25 at the Danbury Dream Invitational on May 15.

Riley is one of the best sprinters in the state and she had an excellent meet at the New York Relays on April 18 when she recorded times of 12.33 in the 100-meter dash and 25.28 in the 200.

Sulger, who will attend Harvard University, is an excellent long sprinter/middle distance runner who has recorded impressive times of 58.23 in the 400 and 2:18.31 in the 800 at the Loucks Games.

Cicchetti won the shot put at the New England Indoor Track and Field Championships a few months ago and she is among the best throwers in New England this spring in the shot put and discus.

Keating has excelled in the long sprints and middle distance races the last few month during the indoor and outdoor seasons. He has run the 800 under two minutes several times this spring, highlighted by his time of 1:55.72 at the Loucks Games.

There are many more FCIAC athletes who have had strong performances throughout the spring and will be counted on by their respective teams to place high and score points.

Darien’s Alex Ostberg will be one of the many FCIAC stars in action during Tuesday’s FCIAC championships in Danbury. – Dave Stewart/Hersam Acorn photo