Coming off season in which it captured its first FCIAC championship since 1981, the Greenwich High School girls cross country runners have showed no signs of slowing down.
Victorious in their first two meets, with each competition including three opponents, the Cardinals have raced to a 6-0 start to its season.
“We have a nice, strong team,” Cardinals coach Evan Dubin said. “Obviously, the team members we graduated last year are very difficult to replace, but the returning members are stepping up. We are ahead of where I thought we would be at this point of the season, but we still have a ways to go to be at our best.”
Greenwich defeated Fairfield Warde, Norwalk and Ludlowe in its first meet of the season at Ludlowe, the Cardinals then defeated St. Joseph, Westhill and New Canaan at Waveny Park in its second competition.
Sophomore Mari Noble was the race’s overall winner in Greenwich’s season-opener. In her first season on the squad, Noble won the 5,000-meter race at Ludlowe in 20:05.
“Mari has been a great addition to our team,” Dubin said. “We’re glad to have her wearing a Greenwich uniform.”
Caroline Webb, a senior captain, finished third in the Cards’ season-opening meet (21:21) and close behind her in fourth place was teammate Hunter Kemp (21:31, a senior).
“Caroline has steadily improved since she joined our team a year ago,” Dubin said. “She has continued the trend of getting better each meet.”
Lauren O’Donnell, also a senior captain, was ninth in the season-opener (22:13) and senior Catherine Yang was 17th overall (23:26).
In Greenwich’s second meet against St. Joseph, Westhill and New Canaan, Noble crossed the finish line first in the 4,000-meter race in 15:43.50. Junior Zoe Harris, who like several athletes on the team is a track and field standout, was the runner-up in 15:59.50.
Kemp took fourth (16:33.30), followed by Webb (16:35.80, sixth), O’Donnell (16:36.50, seventh) and Yang (14th, 18:04.40).
The 30th Wilton Cross Country Invitational saw the Cardinals register a solid third-place finish in the team standings. Kellenberg Memorial from Long Island, N.Y., was the meet’s winner and Glastonbury placed second.
“Glastonbury is the No.-1 team in the state and we were right behind them, so that was a good measuring stick for us,” Dubin said. “We look forward to seeing them at the LL meet.”
At the Wilton Invitational, Noble had Greenwich’s best finish, placing fourth in 15:34.12 in the 4,000-meter run. Webb posted a 19th-place finish (16:13.11) and Harris was 20th (16:15.24). O’Donnell (16:57.99) and Kemp (16:58.73) each placed among the top 40 finishers.
Greenwich’s meet against Trumbull, Darien and Brien McMahon, which was postponed Tuesday due to inclement weather, will be held Thursday.
“Trumbull is a strong team, so they will be another measuring stick for us,” Dubin said. “I’m pleased with where we are as a team and I believe by the end of the season, we will be in contention for a championship.”