Following second-place finishes in the team standings at the FCIAC and Class LL Championships, the Greenwich High School girls track and field team continued to prove it was among the elite squads in the state, placing eighth at the ultra-competitive State Open Championships.
Now the Cardinals’ athletes are aiming to add to their already impressive list of accomplishments at the 74th New England Interscholastic Track and Field Championships, which will take place Saturday at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine.
Sophomore Mari Noble helped power the Cardinals at Tuesday’s State Open at Willow Brook Park, finishing second in the 3,200-meter run with a personal-record time of 10 minutes, 34.08 seconds. Kate Wiser of Pomperaug won the event in 10:28.91.
“I went into the race with a lot of optimism and had some nerves,” Noble said. “I wasn’t sure where I would finish. She (Wiser) is a very tough competitor and I knew it was going to be a very tough race — a great race. My goal was to sit right behind her the entire race and if I had anything left in the final 800, I would try to get ahead of her. The wind was tough, especially on the straight-away across the finish line.”
Noble won the 3,200-meter title at the Class LL Championships in 10:42.58 and was the 1,600-meter winner at the meet (4:59.25). She will race in the 3,200 meter event at Saturday’s New England Championships.
“I am looking forward to hopefully getting another personal-record, or fast time,” said Noble, who is in her first season on the outdoor track squad. “I know it is going to be a great experience.”
Besides competing in the New England meet, the Cardinals will bring several athletes to the 2019 New Balance National Outdoor Track and Field Championships at North Carolina A&T State University. The meet is scheduled for June 13-16.
Noble qualified for the national championships in the 3,200-meter run. She will test her stamina in the championship heat.
“I’m really excited about competing in nationals,” said Noble, who also excelled on the Cardinals’ indoor track and cross country squads this scholastic season. “Going into this year, I didn’t have any expectations. I was just excited to compete at the high school level. During the cross country season, I proved to myself what I can do. Now I am seeing all that training that I have put in pay off.”
Greenwich junior Zoe Harris qualified for the New England Interscholastic Championships in the 800-meter run. Harris posted a fourth-place finish in the event at the State Open finals (2:15.69). The Cardinals’ 4 x 100-meter relay squad of senior Jordan Numme, freshman Kayla Egan, senior Brett Edmonds and junior Jada Williams earned a berth in the New England competition with a third-place finish at the State Open (49.69 seconds).
Caroline Webb, one of the squad’s senior leaders, qualified for the National Championships in the 3,200 as well, clocking in at 10:54.71 at the State Open (sixth-place finish).
“I was surprised with how fast I went,” said Webb, who will compete in the steeple chase event at the State Open, which will take place on Tuesday. “I tried to stay with the pack for the first mile or so and once I got through the first mile I wanted to see how it played out. I competed in the 5K for indoors nationals, which was really exciting, but I’ve never been to outdoor nationals. It’s definitely really exciting for me.”
Webb enjoys running the 3,200, an event she also placed second in at the Class LL finals (10:54.15).
“Although some people think it is a little bit long, the pace of the 3,200 is fast and I really like it,” Webb said. “I’m really happy with how the team has done this season. Being runner-up at both FCIACs and LLs was super exciting for the team.”
Coaching the Cardinals is Casimir Loxsom, a highly successful former professional runner.
“It has been interesting and exciting to see his overall approach and insight to the sport,” Webb said. “The drills and techniques he has taught us and the training we have put in under his leadership has really paid off.”
Greenwich may also put together a distance medley relay team for nationals.
“We have a lot of really talented runners, who like to race,” Noble said. “We are ready to compete for one of the top places in our upcoming meets and we are very focused.”