Hail To The National Champions (Update: Videos Added)

Staples High School — home to best-in-the-US science researchers, writing contest winners and others — has 4 new national champs.

The track team’s distance medley relay team left everyone else in the dust, at yesterday’s New Balance Indoor National Championship at the New York City Armory. In the process, they blazed to a Connecticut state record.

National champs (from left): Henry Wynne, Walker Marsh, Jack Scott and Peter Elkind.

National champs (from left): Henry Wynne, Walker Marsh, Jack Scott and Peter Elkind.

Peter Elkind led off, racing 1200 meters in 3:11.3. Jack Scott took the baton, and blasted through 400 meters in 52.4. Both are juniors.

Senior Walker Marsh covered his 800 meter leg in a swift 1:56.4. Then University of Virginia-bound Henry Wynne — who earlier this year ran the fastest 1000 in the country — roared through 1600 meters in 4:06.9.

The relay team’s state-record 10:07.01 was a full 2.58 seconds faster than the runners-up, a squad from Quebec.

Congratulations to all the Staples foursome, and coaches Laddie Lawrence and Malcolm Watson.

Of course, this would not be a complete “06880” story without a fun factoid. So: lead runner Peter Elkind is the grandson of 2 Westporters who made their marks in an area far removed from the track. Perhaps you’ve heard of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward?

Click here for official race video (with narration)
Click here for official post-race interview
Click here for full race story
Click here for 2nd interview

(If  your browser does not load the YouTube video, click here)

15 responses to “Hail To The National Champions (Update: Videos Added)

  1. Brett Aronow

    congratulations to the boys! (and their coaches) A great example of how hard work and teamwork pays off.

  2. Wow! What a race! Congratulations guys – National Champs.

  3. Tom Allen '66

    Great race by the Wreckers and what an amazing anchor leg by Henry Wynne who got the baton nearly half a lap behind the leader. UVA is getting the real deal.

  4. I couldn’t believe the anchor leg. When the video started, I thought I was watching the wrong race, cause there was no way this could be the winning relay team mentioned in the blog. I ran track in High School, and there is NO WAY anyone can catch up from so far behind when the anchor man is usually the fastest guy and so Henry Wynne was up against the other teams fastest runners. But I kept watching. UNBELIEVABLE…thanks Dan. Very poised young man. Beautiful strategic moves.

    • Check out the interview links. The other 3 guys say, “Our strategy was to run well enough to give Henry a chance to win it for us.” And they did.

    • Tom Allen '66

      I also ran track in high school Tom — at Staples ’64-’66; Laddie was co-capt. when I was a lowly soph (Staples was a three-year high school then) — and as good as our middle distance guys were, and we were perennal state title contenders, none could have come close to matching Henry’s anchor leg.

  5. Jeff Mitchell

    It seems that after every Henry Wynne race we ask “How did he do that?” For example, here is Henry running the fastest time in the US this year in the 1000m at last week’s New England Championships, a new CT state record– by more than two seconds in an event often decided by hundredths. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRK_pwPudFQ

  6. This video was so thrilling to watch. Even though I knew that Henry Wynne would win the race for Staples based on Dan’s write-up, I was on pins and needles watching the video because it seemed so against that the odds that the Staples would prevail. Congratulations, boys!

    Will, or did, Henry or any other Staples’ athlete compete at Nationals in other events?

  7. Holy cow! That was better than the ending to “The Sting.” Is this Staples’ first national championship in athletics?

    • Back in the mid-1960s, one of Jinny Parker’s relay teams won a national championship. Girls sports were not yet part of the FCIAC (!), so they participated on the club level (I think). But they were all Staples girls, coached by a legendary Staples coach.

  8. Laddie’s got a tremendous program. I went to the website and saw that Hannah DeBalsi won the girls’ two-mile at the New England Championships in 10:39. Heck, back in the day, we could have used her on the boys’ team..

    • And Hannah is a FRESHMAN! (It should be noted that Jesse McCray is the girls indoor and outdoor track coach. Laddie does coach both boys and girls cross country.)

  9. It turns out that Henry also won the individual mile race at the national meet in 4:08.15.

  10. Tom Allen '66

    Dan is correct. The Staples girls’s 1964 sprint relay team (4X440) won the national AAU title as a club because the AAU championships were not a school-sanctioned event. The team consisted of Joy Wassell ’64, Donna Jackson ’66, Mary Gail Horelick ’66 and Sue Tefft ’66. My sister Suzy ’65 starred in field hockey for Ms. Parker and was a sprinter on the track team 1963-65. No, there was no FCIAC for girls’ sports back then but the Staples girls competed in field hockey, volleyball, basketball and track and field. Each team played a full slate of games against girls’ teams from schools that would become FCIAC members. Ms. Parker’s field hockey teams were perennial champs and her track teams, beginning in ’64, remained undefeated in dual meets for 22 consecutive years.