FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. Darien Highs boys cross country team will go for its first league title since 1970 in Mondays championship meet at Waveny Park in New Canaan.
The race for the girls team title will be a tight contest among five teams. Individually, Fairfield Wardes Harry Warnick and Greenwichs Abigail Markowitz are the pre-race favorites after going undefeated among league runners during the regular season.
In the boys race, the Blue Wave (17-0) look to end the Hatters five-year reign atop the conference. Darien, ranked No. 2 in the state, defeated Danbury High in a regular season quad meet at Staples High in September. The Hatters (16-1) are ranked No. 7 in the state and have won the league title 10 of the past 11 years. Staples, in 2004, is the last team other than Danbury to win the conference championship.
Darien is led by its four senior co-captains, Michael Johnston, Charlie Baird, Michael Coe and Eli Converse. Freshman Alex Ostberg and sophomore Marshall Huffman are also big contributors.
Warnick, who finished second to Danburys Alex Levine in last years conference championships, will face challenges from several runners, including Staples Henry Wynne, Brien McMahons Chris Madaffari and Dariens top runners. New Canaans Alex Spinu, Westhills Sam Lagasse and Wilton freshman Spencer Brown are other runners expected to be among the lead pack.
Ridgefield (16-1) posted the best record among girls teams during the regular season. Darien and Greenwich finished 15-2, while Wilton was 14-3 and Staples and Fairfield Warde went 13-4. The girls winner will probably be the team that can tightly bunch its top five runners. Wilton is the defending girls champion.
Markowitz, a senior running cross country for the first time, rolled through the regular season and beat a strong field in winning the Wilton Invitational in September. Fairfield Ludlowes Heather Moriarty is the defending champion. Other girls likely to be in the lead pack are Fairfield Wardes Alexis Hoadley and Caroline Keough, Dariens Grace Loh and Sarah Colon, Greenwichs Sarah Fountain, Westhills Nicole Ambrosecchio, Claire Howlett and Ali Ambrosecchio, and Wiltons Alosha Southern, Gabrielle House and Keiley Gaston.
The boys varsity 5k race begins at 2:50 p.m., while the girls 4k race begins at 3:20 p.m. There are also freshman and junior varsity races. The complete schedule lineup is available on clubct.org .
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