On Wednesday, the Hatters will make their best attempt at an encore performance when they try to win the Class LL meet at Manchester High.

Danbury's appearance will coincide with a buffet of state track and field meets, in which almost every team in the area will compete.

The Danbury girls, along with Newtown and New Milford, will be at the Class LL meet. The Ridgefield boys and girls will compete today in the Class L meet at New Britain's Willowbrook Park. Brookfield, Joel Barlow, Pomperaug, Bethel and Shepaug will compete later in the week in their respective class meets.

The Danbury boys and girls teams will be attempting to win a state meet after losing a two-year grip on the title last season. The boys will be entering on a high note; however, and expect stiff competition from favorite Norwich Free Academy, led by Myles Bradley.

"We expect to have more competition in the class meet," said Danbury boys coach Rob Murray. "We're fully aware that we have our work cut out for us."

NFA is not only the class champion, but the State Open champ as well. It all starts with Bradley's brilliance. He's the defending state champion in the long jump, triple jump and the 110-meter high hurdles.

NFA, however, is hardly a one-person team. They have lots of depth, and they can score points in every facet.

The Hatters are very balanced as well.

Danbury features Troy Rochester, a senior headed to UConn on a track scholarship. Rochester, a favorite in the 400 last week, turned in a disappointing performance by placing third. He rebounded strongly, winning the 200-meter dash as well as the triple jump. He's expected to be a leader for the Hatters.

Bruce Clarke placed second in the 110-meter high hurdles last week. Kieran Frinton and Paul Cortese placed second and third respectively in the discus and they finished first and third respectively in the shot put.

"Obviously, our strength is in our balance," Murray said. "Our throwers scored almost a quarter of our points in the conference meet. Our balance is very important to us."

The Danbury girls will be attempting to rebound from their worst performance of the season. Ridgefield exorcised many years of track and field demons, defeating the Hatters by 28 points.

"We were very disappointed with the results of the (FCIAC) meet," Wilcox said. "We were down for a couple of days, but everyone got a rest. I think we feel better right now. We're prepared."

The Hatters did have some good efforts last week. The 4x100-meter relay team of Shahiba Baptiste, Nyri Boyd, Brianna English and Shelby Walton emerged victorious. Baptiste won the long jump and came in second in the triple jump, while Yvonne Perkins placed second in both the shot put and the discus.

"The girls understand that this is our time of the year," Wilcox said. "We have to be at our best. Anything less wouldn't be good enough."

It was good enough for the Ridgefield girls last week. The Tigers, along with the boys, enjoyed great success. Junior Emily Heaslip was dominant, winning the 400, and placing second in the long jump and 200. Heaslip, along with Megan Holmes and Leah Rosenfeld, were the backbone to Ridgefield winning their first ever conference title.

"Obviously, it's nice to have won," Tigers coach Sandy Hoddinott said. "But we know that Class L is going to be a step up for us. There's going to be a lot of competition there."

That chief competition is going to come from Conard of West Hartford. Conard's distance teams are so strong that Ridgefield's 4x800 relay team won't be seeded first for the first time in recent years. Rosenfeld is seeded second in the 1600. Heather Stephens, a runaway 3200 winner last week, will be the top seed.

"We're going to try and do a few things well," Hoddinott said. "We want to get as many athletes to the State Open as possible. We think we have a legitimate shot at 15. That would be tremendous."

Newtown's Alex Konneker will lead the undefeated SWC champions into the Class LL meet. Konneker, a junior, won the 100, 200, 400, and anchored the winning 4x400-meter relay team last week. She will be the top seed in the 400.

Sadie Ball won the 800 and 1600. She's undefeated in both races this season.

On the boys side, Newtown's Marcus Tracy will be the top seed in the 400-meter run. The Ridgefield boys also have some strong performers heading into the Class L meet. Ridgefield's 4x400-meter relay team of T.J. Brennan, Marty Gennusa, Patrick Moffat and Peter Prial won the FCIAC. Thrower Doug Pet and a strong distance squad will lead New Milford, entering the Class LL meet.