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Ridgefield Cross Country Coach Remembers Depuy As Fearless Leader

Carey Depuy runs for the Ridgefield High School cross country team at a race last year. The 2015 graduate died in a plane crash Sunday in New York.
Carey Depuy runs for the Ridgefield High School cross country team at a race last year. The 2015 graduate died in a plane crash Sunday in New York. Photo Credit: Contributed by Keith Realander

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- The Ridgefield High School girls cross country team voted Carey Depuy as their team captain last summer. The choice made coach John Goetz nervous.

“She had the personality,’’ Goetz said of Depuy, who died in a plane crash Sunday in New York.

She and Ryan Adams died in the crash; both were 18-year-old freshmen at Colgate University.

Depuy graduated from Ridgefield High School and Adams from St. Luke's School in New Canaan in June.

“She spent a lot of time reaching out to runners on both ends of the spectrum on the team. But she could be a bit of a goof ball, which kids liked about her," he said. "There are times where it can’t be all fun and games. I talked to her about it, and told her she needed to be serious about exercises and stretches. She was like, 'Sure, don’t worry about it.'”

Goetz said Depuy was a mid-level runner as a junior, and did not crack the team’s varsity.

“The summer before her senior year, she clearly ran a lot, she worked out in the weight room and she ended up being one of our top seven,’’ Goetz said. “She won one of our varsity races at home. Her senior year she stepped up and was a big contributor.”

Ridgefield finished third in the Class LL championships last year, and Depuy was 40th in the race. She helped Ridgefield finish sixth in the State Open. She was also the captain for the girls lacrosse team in the spring and a Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference scholar athlete.

Goetz said Depuy got her pilot’s license earlier this year. “I even joked with her about going up on a ride with her,’’ he said. He was unsure of the circumstances of the crash.

According to a report on , Depuy was piloting the plane. They were about 10 miles away from Hamilton Municipal Airport -- where Depuy had rented the plane -- when it went down in a wooded area in Morrisville. Depuy and Adams were found dead at the scene.

Morrisville Fire Chief Rick Gorton said Depuy called for help before the crash. "The plane was having issues, I guess," he said on

Goetz said he received emails and text messages at 7:30 p.m. Sunday alerting him to the tragedy.

“I was devastated,’’ Goetz said. “She was a fantastic person and a great captain. She was a great leader. She was not afraid of anything.”

Goetz said girls on this year’s team are “shocked and devastated.” He planned a team meeting on Monday afternoon to talk with them. The team, which was ranked No. 3 in the state in a preseason poll, is scheduled to race Tuesday at St. Joseph’s in Trumbull.

“I’m going to talk to them about how she matured as an athlete and a leader,’’ Goetz said. “We haven’t decided about the meet. I know Carey would say ‘You’re not going to skip a meet because of me.’ I want them to talk about what Carey meant to them and talk about her and remember her.”

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