Greenwich High School’s girls track and field team celebrated its Senior Day by producing one impressive performance after another during its meet against Staples on Monday, which was a microcosm of how well its season has gone this spring.
Though the Cardinals were edged by visiting Staples, 77.5-66.5, their athletes turned in impressive efforts in numerous events, while showing they are ready for the challenging postseason meets ahead.
Sporting a record of 5-2, Greenwich was paced by senior standout Mari Noble, who has excelled on the team since joining the program her sophomore year. Noble won the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:00.1 and crossed the finish line first in the 3,200-meter event (11:09.2). Staples’ Josie Dolan was the runner-up in both the 1,600 and 3,200.
“I was super excited to race today,” said Noble, who will compete in both cross country and track and field at Princeton University. “It was our Senior Night, so even though we have FCIACs and states it was definitely nice to have everyone here today. Having everyone here gave me confidence to go out hard.”
Noble built a sizeable lead midway through the 1,600-meter race.
“My goal was breaking 5, I wasn’t quite there, but close enough at this point of the season,” said Noble, one of the team’s captains. “This is giving me confidence going into the championship races.”
Soon, Noble will begin the next chapter of her athletic career at Princeton.
“They have a phenomenal program and a great coaching staff, so I’m very excited,” Noble said.
Cardinals senior Sophia Bastek finished in a first-place tie with Staples senior Samantha Dewitt in the 200-meter dash (27.2). She also posted a first-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles, clocking in at 45.9 seconds – a personal-record time.
“I’ve been competing in the 100 hurdles, the 300 hurdles, the 4×4 and the 4×100 and the 200 and I think it’s going really well,” said Bastek, also a captain. “As a whole team, we’re competing really well and there’s great team energy this year. I’m having a lot of fun, it’s more of a normal sports season this year and it’s nice to be back after missing the track season last year. We really want to do well at FCIACs and states and I think we have a good chance this year.”
Alexa Brust, a senior captain, was third for Greenwich in the 300-meter hurdles (49.7).
“This season has been really fun, because we have a lot of new sprinters up-and-coming and hurdlers,”
Brust said. “And we have a lot of talent that we didn’t get to see, because our season was cancelled last year. We have a good group of hurdlers and for me, I’ve been having good season records consistently in 300 hurdles and 100 hurdles, so it’s been nice getting back into hurdles.”
Like her teammates, Brust feels well-prepared for the FCIAC and Class LL Championships. The FCIAC meet will take place May 24 at Danbury High School.
“There is more pressure in those meets,” Brust said. “We have been super successful in the dual meets, we beat Danbury, which was the first time they lost a dual meet in like five years, which was really big. I think we have a good shot in those meets.”
Hannah Goldenberg, a senior who also captains the Cards, registered a winning effort in the javelin with a distance of 94-7 – a personal-record. Teammate Bianca Granitto took second in the javelin competition (76-11). Goldenberg also finished second in the discus (58-10), an event won by Staples senior Caroline Fording (75-2).
“Javelin I took it up my freshman year and sophomore year I qualified for FCIACs and just now I qualified for LLs – the state meet – so that was nice,” Goldenberg said. “Since the beginning of the season I’ve seen a big improvement personally and as a team. The girls are super close and it’s been a lot of fun. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to win the postseason meets.”
Cardinals junior Kaitlyn Fay finished second in the 100-meter dash (12.8 seconds), which saw Staples sophomore finish first in 12.0. Fay placed a very close third behind Bastek and Dewitt in the 200-meter dash (27.3).
“The season is going really well, this is my first time doing track ever, I’ve done soccer before and I went to IMG Academy for two years for soccer and now I’ve slowly made the transition to track at Greenwich High and loving it,” Fay said. “I just went through some shin splints injuries, but I’m getting back into it and competing in everything that I used to do.”
Esme Daplyn has made quite an impressive impact as a Cardinals freshman. She crossed the finish line first in the 800-meter race (2:19.6) and was third in the 1,600 (5:21.4).
“The 800 made me feel better, after not feeling so great with the heat in the 1,600,” Daplyn said. “The competition today was really good, so it’s nice to have that, especially at the end of the season. It was really cool to run against Staples, which has amazing girls that can push you.”
In the 100-meter hurdles, Brust was the winner, notching a time of 16.7. Teammate Haley Townsend was second (17.7). The 4 x 400 relay saw senior captain Eadaoin Clarke, Sophia Eberwein, Noble and Brust combine for a winning time of 4:18.7.
“It’s been a fun outdoor season and it’s been a good season,” Clarke said. “In all of these races, we have a lot of team support and we definitely motivate each other, which has made us standout from previous years – that unifying aspect.”
Fording of Staples was the shot put winner (28-10), while Greenwich’s Bianca Granitto took second (27-2). In the high jump, GHS junior Tabitha Cook won (5-0). Marissa Morganti, a Cardinals senior, earned a second-place finish in the pole vault (7 feet). Staples’ Isabella Blend finished first (8-6).
Monday marked the final meet of the regular season and the last competition at Cardinal Stadium for the Seniors.
“Not having an outdoor season last year, it’s been nice to have meets and we are following all the rules that COVID has put in place, but at the same time we’re having a lot of fun racing and competing in the sport we all love,” Noble said. “I cannot wait for the postseason meets. Not having had an outdoor season last year and having an interesting indoor season this year is only fuel for the fire for us and only gives us more confidence. Everyone is ready.”
Added Fay: “It’s definitely going to be close, but we do have a competitive team and we’re ready for that.”