NEW HAVEN — All the Greenwich Cardinals could do was hope Saturday’s first-event upset wasn’t a harbinger of things to come.
The Cardinals bounced back from losing the girls 4×200 relay to win the very next event, the 4×800 relay, kicking off a day that ended with the Class LL state championship.
Greenwich finished the day with 88.5 points to pull away from runner-up Danbury’s 71 over the final three events. Fairfield Ludlowe came in third (56) with Glastonbury (41) and Brien McMahon rounding out the top five.
It was the first-ever state indoor championship for Greenwich.
“This is amazing. It’s our first time ever,” said senior Emily Philippides, who won the 1,000 and led two Greenwich relays to victories. “We’ve never won a Class LL title so it’s really special. We have such a talented group of girls this year, it’s so special to be able to share it with all of them.”
Heading into the Sprint medley relay, Danbury had 49 points and was in front of both Fairfield Ludlowe (48) and Greenwich (44).
Greenwich — behind the team of Olivia Caan, Maggie O’Gorman, Zoe Harris and Emily Philippides — won the event in 4:19.3, to cut the Hatters’ lead to just one.
It was Greenwich’s second straight relay win (also won the 4×800) after placing second in the 4×200 to open the morning.
“We were one-hundredth of a second from winning all four relays. That right there shows the depth of our team,” Greenwich coach Evan Dubin said. “We’re not just relying on one or two superstars to carry the burden.”
While neither team got any points from the 300, Olivia DiLascia’s fifth-place finish in the high jump gave the Cardinals a point and a half and put them into the lead.
The Cardinals picked up two more points in the 3,200 as Hetty McMillan, Caroline Webb and Meghan Lynch went 3-4-5 to garner 12 points against Danbury’s 10 from race winner Lauren Moore (11:13.35).
“A prime example is going 3-4-5 in the 3,200,” Dubin said. “I’ll take 12 points over 10 every time.”
Greenwich added eight more points during the pole vault as Lia Zavattaro finished second with 11 points and then the 4×400 relay put the finishing touches on the title.
Harris and Philippides joined Genevieve DeWinter and Jordan Numme to win the event in 4:02.45, ahead of third-place Danbury (4:07.29).
“The way the meet played out was very similar to how the FCIAC played out,” Dubin said. “I knew we had events late in the meet where we could score some points, so I knew if it was close, we had some big points coming.”
Danbury coach Nick Fraticelli admitted Greenwich had all the Cards to walk away as a championship team.
“Really, Greenwich is a very balanced team.,” Fraticelli said. “They had a good game plan about how to allocate their kids and put them in a position to be successful. They had a lot of cards to play and played them well and they’re kids executed.”
Earlier in the meet, after the shocking finish of the 4×200, Greenwich’s 4×8 squad quickly righted the ship by winning in 9:27.30 behind Lynch, McMillan, Harris and DeWinter.
Philippides then followed with her 1,000 win to really get the ball going for the Cardinals.
DeWinter also won the 600 and Lynch placed third in the 1,600 as Greenwich and Danbury went back and forth with the lead through the first 10 events.
With every single point counting, the Cardinals kept digging and piling them up to their first title.
“It’s reward,” Dubin said. “It’s all about the cliché of blood, sweat and tears, but it gave us a taste of that championship.”