By Senior Correspondent Marty Ogden, Editing and Graphics by Ron Knapp
The Fairfield County Interscholastic Conference held their indoor championship Thursday evening at Floyd Little Athletic Center with Danbury boys claiming their first title since 2019 and Ridgefield girls taking home their first in 18 years.
After winning 21 titles in 31 years, the Hatters finally joined the winner’s circle after a four year break. Danbury broke into an early lead and never looked back after taking the first two relays, scoring 96 points to defending champion Greenwich with 51 points. Danbury’s 4x200m team of Nasir Ricketts, Julian Farmer Campbell, Tobeas Kelly and Machai Henry easily won, finishing in 1:32.95, only a few tenths slower than their time on Yale’s banked track. They went 2 for 2, when Nathan Maruffi, Christopher Bishop, Andrew Lema and Elias Alvarado combined in the 4x800m to finish ten seconds ahead of Ridgefield with a time of 8:21.08.
The Hatters extended their lead when Marciel Gomes Do Amara won the 55m hurdles in a PR of 8.16 followed by sophomore Machai Henry who blistered a huge PR in the 55m dash, running .14 seconds faster than his previous best. His time of 6.51 makes him the 3rd fastest sprinter in the state, only .03 seconds off the state lead. Henry also added more points with his 4th place finish in the 300m.
When Staples’ Ben Lorenz, the Week 3 Hoka Athlete of the Week, was DQed for cutting in early on the first turn of the 1-mile it gave All State cross country runner Kyle Jeffers an opening for his first individual gold medal. The junior ran 4:28.23, holding off New Canaan’s Ryan Boulanger who came on strong over the last lap.
The Hatters showed off plenty of depth scoring in 12 of 15 events which nearly doubled their total from last year.
Defending State Open 1600m champion Parker Broderick of Fairfield Warde started his season late but looks to be equally fit as last year. As a tune up for the postseason he pulled off the same double he did in 2023, winning the 1000m in 2:33.21 and anchoring his team in the sprint medley relay. He stalked Danbury’s Devon Rosemark for four laps in the 1000m before using his blistering finishing speed to take the victory. He returned about an hour later to join his teammates Scott Francis, Tristan Roche and Otto O’Brien to not only win the sprint medley, but they took over the state lead with a time of 3:39.51, with Danbury running a season best five…