What didn’t Spencer Brown do this past weekend?
After waking up in Seattle on the eve of the Brooks PR Invitational, he received a text from his coach, Jim Gerweck, alerting him of his most recent title: 2014-15 Gatorade Track and Field Boys Athlete of the Year. He competed with some of the top runners in the country in the Invitational on Saturday in the 800-meter run and finished in eighth. Not to mention, he graduated high school.
All of this happened just weeks after he shattered the 800-meter record in the Class L state championship meet, running it in 1:50:88, which culminated his senior season and running career at Wilton High School.
For well over two decades now, once winter has morphed into spring, Darien has been known as Lacrosse Town, U.S.A., or some similar derivation. Children are given toy sticks not long after losing baby teeth, the youth programs are a model for success and both the boys and girls high school teams from this small tony town are no longer just state, but now regional and national powers as well.
But as Chris Manfredonia, the high school’s athletic director, recently noted, Lacrosse Town is too limited in scope.
DARIEN — During a spring in which Darien High School appeared to have a monopoly on athletic success, the most monumental achievement was the nexus of skill, desire and selflessness.
“It was something I knew was possible,” Alex Ostberg said last week, days after winning the 5,000-meter title at the New Balance Outdoor National Championships in a state-record 14:16.61, the fastest time in the country this season and second in the history of the meet. “I talked with my coach and we thought we had the right strategy. I tried to use what I had learned over the years. I’m distance oriented, so the longer it is, the better I run.”
Alex Ostberg of the Darien boys track team and Nicole Lue of the Wilton/McMahon/Norwalk girls hockey team are this week’s BlueStreak-Ruden Report FCIAC Players of the Week, presented by Chicken Joe’s.
My annual year-end columns are assured of one thing: if I re-read them days later, I will inevitably realize leaving someone or something off the list.
The athletes, coaches and games that stood out the most resonate in my mind, so this compilation is done without the aid or poring over old stories and strictly off the top of my head.