Darien Land Trust 65th Anniversary

Darien Land Trust Invites You to a ‘Trails Challenge’ by Going on Three Walking Trails This Summer

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The Darien Land Trust is inviting the town to come participate in two challenges to mark the trust’s 65th anniversary year — walks in three of the trust’s preserves, now through the end of July and a running event in October. — an announcement from the Darien Land Trust
Trails Challenge
First, the Trails Challenge takes visitors to three of its preserves with walking trails: Olson Woods, (at 31-1 Heather Lane) the Trails at Cherry Lawn (at 120 Brookside Ave.) and Dunlap Woods (near the end of Parklands Drive). (This Web page shows where each of the land trust’s preserves are located, although it doesn’t give addresses of the entrances.)

The Trails Challenge, which started this weekend and runs to July 31, is to visit all three sites. Participants must register through a QR code posted at each property to be entered into a prize drawing. Winners will be announced on our website and social media on Aug.

Doug Lennox Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers Hires New Swim Coach, an Olympics Competitor With Broad Experience

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Chelsea Piers Connecticut has hired Doug Lennox, a 2008 Beijing Olympian, as head coach of the Chelsea Piers Aquatics Club. — an announcement from Chelsea Piers Connecticut
Lennox comes to Connecticut from Princeton University, where he served his alma mater for the last four years as the men’s assistant swim coach & recruiting coordinator. “After my experiences at Princeton, I feel it is time for me to return to my roots and work with younger athletes” Lennox said. “I am eager to bring my knowledge, experience and passion to age group and senior level student-athletes who are striving to compete at the collegiate & international levels.”

The search for a new coach identified candidates from across the country, Chelsea Piers Connecticut Athletic Director Kevin Burton said. Lennox is the first coach Burton has recruited.

Jacquelyn Coppola Darien YMCA gymnastics

Darien YMCA Gymnastics Ranks High at State Championship

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Darien YMCA Gymnastics had a strong presence at the 2021 Level 4-6 State Championship on April 9 in Plainville. — an announcement from Darien YMCA

Heres how Darien gymnasts from three different levels performed:
Level 4
Tori Brupbacher and Juliet DeStefano were vault champions and earned 2nd place all-around. Madison Ruggieri had a strong 3rd place finish on beam and 5th all-around, while teammate Reese Jefferson placed 4th on floor and finished 7th all-around. Great job! Level 5
Sabina Molnar placed 3rd on floor with a beautiful routine and finished 7th place all-around.

Mike Emrick Doc Emrick headshot from book cover

Legendary NHL Hockey Announcer Mike Emrick Interviewed Live Online Tuesday About His New Book

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We’re talking hockey with legendary announcer Mike Emrick! Join co-author Kevin Allen online as he sits down with Mike from 7 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 30, for a conversation about Allen’s and Emrick’s new book, Off Mike, and his life in hockey. 

— an announcement from Westport Library

Please note: This is a virtual event. REGISTER HERE

After nearly 50 years behind the microphone, the voice of hockey in America opens up in a must-read memoir. Mike “Doc” Emrick has seen everything there is to see in a hockey game. Sizzling slap shots. Commitment, courage, and camaraderie.

Darien Running Company announcement it's opening in Darien

Running Supply and Events Store ‘Darien Running Company’ to Open Downtown in July

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A store offering running supplies and events, Darien Running Company, will open this July at 14 Brook St., next door to the Sugar Bowl, in downtown Darien, its owner announced Thursday morning. Megan Searfoss, who cofounded an associated store, the Ridgefield Running Company, in  2014, announced the new location in the RRC’s newsletter. The RRC had plans to expand before the COVID-19 epidemic, which forced a lot of changes on the business. Despite the pandemic, Searfoss said, she decided to go forward with plans for the new store, which she abbreviates as “DRC.” “DRC will offer the same services as Ridgefield Running Company, now retooled to provide a safe and trusted environment,” Searfoss said.

Boating Course Students

Tri-State Govs Agree on Allowing Marinas Open During COVID-19 Epidemic (With Regulations)

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Marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers in the tristate area will be allowed to open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed, Gov. Ned Lamont, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in an announcement on Saturday. — an announcement from Governor Ned Lamont’s Office

Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at these sites must be limited to take-out or delivery only, like anywhere else in the three states. This announcement aligns the policies of the three states on this particular service. Governor Lamont explained that in Connecticut, this multi-state alignment is an affirmation of the state’s current policy, and marinas and marina repair remain on the essential business list. Governor Lamont said, “Our states share workforces, resources, public transit, and we all have share a connection on the water.

Blades for the Brave logo 2020

FRIDAY NIGHT: Champion Figure Skaters, Including Dorothy Hamill, Michelle Kwan in Benefit Event for Health Workers

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Update, Friday, April 17 — Figure skating legend Dorothy Hamill and two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan are joining the biggest names in figure skating this Friday, April 17, for a livestream benefit event supporting Americares response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Japanese champions Miki Ando, Shizuka Arakawa, Yuka Sato and Fumie Suguri have also joined the roster of skating stars raising funds for Americares COVID-19 relief, along with three-time Olympian Todd Eldredge and World Champion pairs skating team Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. The special one-hour “Blades for the Brave” livestream hosted by Jason Brown and Gracie Gold, will air on BladesForTheBrave.org, Americares Facebook and Twitter feeds and on its YouTube channel at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PT. Viewers can support Americares COVID-19 response by making a donation on americares.org or by texting “BRAVE” to 80100 to make a $25 donation. Original article, April 7:

Olympic and World Champion figure skaters are coming together to help health workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic with a special fundraising event on Friday, April 17.

Olivia Hoyda Trinity Field Hockey

Olivia Hoyda of Darien Honored by Two Athletic Organizations for Field Hockey, Academics at Trinity College

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Trinity College senior Olivia Hoyda of Darien is one of five members of the Bantam field hockey team named to the the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Fall All-Academic Team and one of 10 of the college’s players on a similar national team. — an announcement from Trinity College

Hoyda, the daughter of Christine Stark and Brad Hoyda, played on the Darien High School field hockey team. She is majoring in economics at Trinity. In this past season at Trinity, Hoyda played in 11 games with four starts as a defender and a midfielder, finishing her Bantam career with one assist and three defensive saves in 48 games. New England Award
To be named to the NESCAC team, an individual must have reached sophomore academic standing, and be in good standing in their sport with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50 or equivalent on a 4.0 scale.

Darien High School DHS 9-13-16

First Selectman Bans Use of Public Baseball/Softball Fields in Town and Vehicles at Darien High

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Darien High School is shut off to all traffic, other than for COVID-19 testing, “in order to eliminate the public from gathering in a manner that risks the spread of COVID-19 within our community,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson declared in a late Friday afternoon proclamation. Also, all public baseball and softball fields in town, both those at town parks and schools, along with the batting cages at McGuane Park “are hereby ordered closed,” the proclamation states. The order banning vehicles only applies to Darien High School and is not “applicable to the other schools within the district until it becomes necessary to do so,” the proclamation states. The order takes effect immediately and “shall remain in effect for the duration of the emergency unless earlier modified by the Chief Executive Officer,” the proclamation said. “[T]here is a need to eliminate public gatherings at Darien High School and elsewhere so as to eliminate the possible risks of the spread of COVID-19,” Stevenson says in the proclamation.

DJFH Darien Junior Field Hockey starts

New Darien Junior Field Hockey Program Announced for Grades 1 Thru 8, Begins This Fall

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Members of the Darien community announced today the formation of Darien Junior Field Hockey (DJFH), a new youth field hockey program beginning in the Fall of 2020. Registration is open now. — an announcement from Darien Junior Field Hockey

The all-new program will be developed and directed by former Darien High School Freshman Coach Wynne Lennon. “My motto has always been ‘If you’re not having fun, then why do it?’,” Lennon said. “I am eager to bring this philosophy, along with my passion for the game, to Darien’s youth.”

DJFH will also be supported by celebrated Darien High School Varsity Coach Mo Minicus, and Junior Varsity Coach Kari Johns.

Darien High School fields building

Winter End-of-Season Sports Banquets Postponed Due to COVID-19 Concerns

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Darien High School banquets for end-of-season winter sports teams are being “postponed,” DHS Athletic Director Chris Manfredonia told coaches in an email Wednesday morning. The postponement comes in response to a just-issued school district rule banning gatherings of 100 or more people at school-related events, but it even covers banquets where less than 100 people are expected, Manfredonia said. “While I understand that some banquets may be less 100 than people, it will become nearly impossible to monitor those numbers,” he said in the 9:13 a.m. email. “We are hopeful that in the future, your teams will be able to celebrate their seasons.” DHS Assistant Principal Katherine Dimoulas, in a 11:18 a.m. email addressed to the “Class of 2020” made a similar announcement:

“[W]e are postponing the 100 Day Dinner Celebration; we hope to be able to reschedule for a later date in the school year,” she wrote.

Will Sarbinowski Greens Farms Academy Squash

Darien Players in Greens Farms Academy Sports Dispatches: Feb 27

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The Greens Farms Academy squash programs to compete on the national level last week, with some Darien residents stepping up in a big way. — an announcement from Greens Farms Academy
Here’s a rundown of what happened:

BOYS SQUASH
It was a weekend of growth, both figurative and literal, as the Greens Farms Academy boys squash team placed sixth in the 2020 US Squash Division IV High School National Championship tournament. The Dragons—a team that boasts just one senior and two middle schoolers amongst its top seven—were seeded eighth in the 16-team tier. They lost twice in the tourney—once to the eventual national Div. IV champ and once to the top-seeded team.

Darien Gymnasts Beat the Odds At FCIAC Meet

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Not every gymnastics team qualified for the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference this year, but Darien did — barely. Heading into the Feb. 15 championship meet at Stamford’s Westhill High School, the Blue Wave was seeded seventh out of seven high schools, county-wide. When the chalk dust settled, though, Darien had nudged ahead of Staples, 125.05, with a 127.4 score that bumped the Wave to sixth place. — This article was written by Holly Russell on behalf of the Darien High School girls gymnastics team. 

Darien Head Coach Judy Zakim was pleased with her team’s jump in FCIAC standings.