Staples High School's girls and boys cross country teams ran away with victories over all competing teams in their home meet on Tuesday afternoon in Westport. Fairfield Ludlowe, among the schools in the FCIAC meet, earned a trio of team victories on the boys side and a victory in the girls race.
The Wreckers girls, led by first-place overall finisher Hannah DeBalsi, defeated Ludlowe by 16-47 and Stamford 15-50. Brien McMahon and Bridgeport Central participated with individuals but did not have enough runners to compete in team scoring.
In the boys race, Staples -- led by second-place finisher Oliver Hickson -- defeated Ludlowe by 19-44, Stamford 23-38, Central 15-50, and McMahon 20-41.
Ludlowe's boys edged Stamford 27-28, topped Central 15-50, and beat McMahon 24-27. The Ludlowe girls beat Stamford 21-38.
DeBalsi set the pace on the girls' course in a time of 15:39.4 to lead a one-two-three Staples finish. Runner-up was Erica Hefnawy, in 17:10.1, and in third was Elisabeth French in 17:36.1. Rounding out the top seven for the Wreckers were Caroline Koenig (fifth) in 18:20.0, Erin Munley (seventh) 18:26.3, Angelee Parmar (eighth) 18:27.1 and Katherine Smith (ninth) 18:28.5.
In the boys' race, McMahon's Eric van der Els pulled away to capture the top spot in a time of 16:16.7. Hickson was second in 16:30.7. The Wreckers took the sixth through ninth spots behind the efforts of Jake Berman (17:32.7), Chase Gornbein (17:33.1), Peter Elkind (17:33.4) and Victor Kolbin (17:44.4). The Wrecker boys had a dozen runners among the top 20 overall.
Ludlowe's fastest runner was fifth-place finisher Josh Archer (17:30.3).
"I was very pleased with the results, it's where we had hoped we would be," Ludlowe boys and girls coach Christina Caron said. "They had good individual races."
The race served, as Staples veteran running coach Laddie Lawrence described it, as a "stepping stone." The teams are gearing up for big end-of-campaign races with the Wickham Invitational this weekend, followed by the FCIAC Championships next Thursday.