DANBURY -- Heading into the day's events at the FCIAC boys and girls track and field championships at Danbury High last Tuesday, New Canaan knew it was facing quite a tall task. With three championships in as many years, the host Hatters predictably stole the show.

After six hours in the ferocious heat, Danbury swept both the girls and boys competitions, while Darien placed second in the women events and Staples placed second in the men's events.

Overall, New Canaan staked claim to the eighth spot in each respective group, with 34.25 points for the women and 31.5 for the men. And while the results may suggest otherwise, girls head coach Fred Word kept a positive tone throughout.

"I'm pleased with what we did today," Word said. "Melanie (Escalante) did great, Caroline (Murray) was excellent, and overall, we recognize that we are a very young team that is on the rise. We have a great group of younger competitors. There is no question that this group we have has a tremendous upside."

Leading the Rams' charge on the girls' side was Murray, who worked her way to a second place mark in the 1,600-meter event on the afternoon. For Murray, a Ram on the rise and three-sport athlete, it was a stellar effort.

"I was trying so hard to get my best time, but I came up just short," she said. "Either way, our team works hard every time we are out there on the track."

Murray placed second there, and she wasn't done yet. Returning to the track, she placed third in the 800-meter run with an effort of 2:19.55.

The team of Escalante, Eileen Dinnie, Katie DiFazio and Murray notched a third-place mark of 4:09.43 in 4 x400-meter relay action.

In boys action, the quartet of Pat Daly, Alex Greig, Alex Spinu and Brant Hoffman came up big, teaming up to place first overall in the 4 x 800 relay with a time of 8:14.98. Teammate Kevin Macari went full-tilt, placing sixth in the 100-meter dash on the afternoon with a mark of 11.73.

Spinu stepped up in the 800-meter run, claiming a third-place finish thanks to a 1:59.38 time. Teammate Eric Lysenko lifted his way to a height of 12 feet even, good for fifth place in the pole vault competition. Meanwhile, Conor Hanratty finished sixth in the shot put event (43 feet, 6 inches), and Rami Harden notched a mark of 106-06.50 in the discus throw.