March 10, 2012
Despite never having run together as a unit, the Staples Boys 1600m relay team ran faster than any Connecticut team in history, placing sixth at the U.S. Nationals at the Armory in New York City, and achieving All-American status in the process. The group was comprised of the three Senior sprint captains, Jon Heil, Max Hoberman, and Zach Mitchell, as well as Junior sensation Henry Wynne.
The Staples relay time of 3:29.40 shaved 1.08 seconds off the prior state record set by Danbury in 2008, and obliterated the Staples school record set last month by 9.15 seconds. It was also the sixth fastest time recorded in the US this year according to ESPN Dyestat.
The 1600m relay, also known as the sprint medley relay (“SMR”), features four runners covering, in order, distances of 200m/200m/400m/800m. Being run indoors, this means the first two runners go once around the track, the third runs around twice, and the fourth four times.
On paper, the Staples boys team knew they had the ability to run a good time, but relays are unpredictable given the nature of having to pass a baton and run most of the race in traffic. With four of the 800m runners predicted to run anchor splits under the Connecticut state record, to medal by claiming the final two slots would require everyone shaving off as much time as possible.
The good news was that the committee seeded the team by their theoretical best time, and thus Staples was placed in the final and fastest heat. With six teams in the heat, placement did not matter as long as they ran faster than 3:32, the fastest time of the prior heats. And run they did, right into the record books.
As always, for more information about Staples Track & Field, including more photos and videos, please go to http://staplesrunning.com/.