For FCIAC cross-country crown, Warde's Warnick edged by Wynne

The Fairfield Warde boys cross-country team placed sixth with 192 points and Fairfield Ludlowe (317) was 12th at the FCIAC championships Monday at Waveny Park in New Canaan.

Staples junior Henry Wynne outran Harry Warnick of Fairfield Warde to capture the FCIAC boys individual title, finishing the 3.1-mile course with a blistering time of 15:27. Warnick, the FCIAC runner-up for the second straight season, came in with a time of 15:39.

Darien, which took 6th and 7th behind Charlie Baird (16:31) and Mike Johnson (16:46), defeated Danbury handily early in the regular season. The Hatters used the setback as motivation, knowing how hard they had to push themselves to retain the title.

"That was our second meet and we got beat and the guys were like, `What just happened,'" Danbury head coach Rob Murray said. "We were young and Darien showed them what FCIAC running is all about. I'm glad we saw them early because it was like a wake-up call for us."

Wynne and Warnick set out in a sprint and never really slowed down, setting a fast pace that separated them from the pack quickly.

"I didn't think the kids from Staples and Warde were going to go that fast," said McMahon senior Chris Madaffari, who finished fifth with a time of 16:20. "The opening mile was right about what I thought it would be. I just didn't think they would continue it throughout."

Wynne was behind Warnick most of the way then broke past him with 400 meters left and out-sprinted him to the finish.

"This is amazing," Wynne said. "I came into this season thinking I wasn't going to be that good at cross country. I'm primarily a middle-distance runner, the mile and 800. So winning FCIAC is a huge surprise."

In the girls race, the Warde girls (133) were sixth and Ludlowe (261) was ninth. Ludlowe's Heather Moriarty, last year's winner, placed 18th in 15:51.