With most of the indoor track season wiped out in Connecticut, athletes were looking for any chance to compete.
Four Greenwich runners got that through an invitation to run last weekend.
The foursome made the most of the opportunity, coming in third at the Ocean Breeze Elite Invitationals and placing with the seventh best time in the nation compared to other races held that day.
Greenwich’s Bianca Granitto, Grace Collier, Mari Noble and Esme Daplyn finished with a time of 9:26.44 in the 4×800 relay at the race held on Staten Island.
“I would say it was their last hurrah but really it was their only hurrah this winter,” Greenwich coach Evan Dubin said. “We’ve been training outside since January but we just have not had any meets to practice for. This gave a purpose to a weeks’ worth of work for the kids. The kids loved being able to compete, even if it was unlike any indoor track meet, ever.”
Among the differences, there were not 1,000 athletes waiting around to compete, once your event ran, you had to leave the facility; there were no spectators and athletes had to go through COVID-19 safety protocols before entering; there were only six teams competing and runners had to stay distanced in their lanes.
The team received an invitation to the Ocean Breeze meet based on their success last season.
“We were the defending New England champions in the 4×800 and three of the four girls were back,” Dubin said. “Foe Esme, this was her first indoor race, ever. She joined the three girls who won last year and she did great. The seniors on the team have been super welcoming to her. They had all gotten to know each other in cross country this fall but obviously being on a relay team together requires practice. She did incredibly well for her first indoor meet.”
Daplyn, a freshman, did more than fit in, she ran the fastest split time (2:17) of the event.
The team qualified after Granitto, Collier, Noble and graduated senior Zoe Harris won the New England Interscholastic Championships, held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury, Mass., with a time of 9:17.27.
That came on the heels of winning a first-place medal in the 4×800-meter relay race at the Class LL and State Open finals.
Collier and Noble are seniors and Granitto is a junior.
Greenwich will have outdoor track and field this spring with the hope that the CIAC holds the Class LL and State Open events for a chance to defend their titles