Mari Noble finished her final high school championship meet in All-American fashion.
A 2021 Greenwich High School graduate, Noble earned All-American honors by placing fourth in the 2-mile run at The Outdoor Nationals, hosted by the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation and presented by Nike. Showcasing her speed and stamina at the national level, Noble posted a time of 10:41.1 in the 2-mile race, which was held at Oregon University’s historic Hayward Field this past Friday.
“I was super, super nervous,” Noble said. “I was especially nervous with it being my last high school race. My mom, dad, sister and aunt and uncle were there, so I wanted to race well to make the trip worth while for them. I wanted to make sure I was leaving it all on the track when I raced.”
Noble did indeed, give it all she had and it showed in her impressive result. She was among the leaders throughout the race and finished her first lap with a time of 1:14.554.
“I kind of knew I would go out a little quicker and the race went out fast, which is often good to get your legs moving,” Noble said. “Earlier I did a shake out run with my dad, because with all the traveling I wanted to make sure my legs were not stiff. We did go through the mile a little bit slower than I wanted, I like to go out fast and hang on. But I didn’t want to lead the race through the mile mark, because I didn’t think that was the best strategy.”
The top six competitors in each event at The Outdoor Nationals received All-American recognition and in the 2-mile race, Noble said the leaders began separating themselves at approximately the 5:14 mark.
“I was able to out-kick one of them at the end, it was a very competitive race and I would have loved to have run a little bit quicker, but to get All-American was an exciting way to end my high school career,” Noble said. “I hadn’t even considered it or thought about making All-American. Going into the meet, I had my time goal in mind and I wanted to make sure that I ran a smart race.”
Noble is heading to Princeton University, where she will be an athlete for all seasons. She will compete for Princeton against the team’s Ivy League opponents during the cross country, indoor track and outdoor track seasons. The national champion of the 2-mile run at The Outdoor Nationals last week was Lucca Fulkerson from Longmont, Colorado. Fulkerson won the gold medal in the 2-mile event in an All-American time of 10:19.95. Mary Dalton from Charlotte, N.C., finished second (10:34.60), followed by Kayle Armitage of Exeter, R.I., (10:36.31). Soon, Noble and Fulkerson will be track teammates, as Fulkerson is also going to Princeton.
“I talked to her after the 2-mile race and congratulated her, it was an exciting race,” Noble said. “Our Princeton coach was there too, which was great.”
Qualifying for and competing in The Outdoor Nationals in Oregon was a perfect way for Noble to conclude her high school track career.
“Running at that track was super cool in itself, because it is such a well known track,” Noble said. “It was a new environment for me at a super famous facility. Being surrounded by other competitive girls from all areas of the country was amazing.”
Noble arrived in Oregon with her family last Thursday, a day before she competed, which gave her time to see the facility and tour the campus a bit.
“We saw the college part of Eugene and the Stadium, which is impressive,” she said. “The set up was so nice and the people we met were really nice. Being a part of the atmosphere involved at Nationals was so exciting.”
The 2021 track and field season saw Noble win the 2-mile run (3,200 meter-run) at the CIAC Class LL Championships at Willow Brook Park in New Britain (10:59.25) and place second in the 1-mile event (1,600-meter run) in a Class record time of 4:52.79. At the CIAC State Open Championships, also at Willow Brook Park, she was second in the 1-mile race (4:53.33).
She was the 2019 Class LL champion in the 1,600-meter run (4:59.25) and was the 3,200-meter winner that spring (10:42.58). During the 2020-2021 indoor track season, Noble, Grace Collier, Esme Daplyn and Bianca Granitto won the 4×800-meter relay race with a time of 9:17.42 at the NSAF Meet of Champions in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Before she departs for Princeton, Noble is spending some time this summer working at Green Mountain Running Camp in New Hampshire.
“I’m definitely going to take some time off now,” she said. “I had a nagging injury during indoor track season and I want to make sure it is gone and not coming back. My college coach will be sending me a training packet soon, with what I need to do.”
Noble is looking forward to competing in three seasons of sports – cross country, indoor track, outdoor track – at Princeton.
“I am so excited about everything college will have to offer,” she said. “It will be such a neat opportunity, it’s my first time living away from home and I’ll be figuring out things on my own. I am super excited about the cross country, indoor track and outdoor track seasons.”
Arriving at Greenwich High School as a sophomore, after attending Greenwich Country Day School, Noble made an immediate impact on the Cardinals’ cross country team. She then quickly made her mark on the indoor and outdoor track squads.
“When I got to the high school, I first realized my potential at my first cross country dual meet, which I won,” said Noble, an All-State and All-FCIAC Team cross country and track athlete. “I’ve had my fair share of ups-and-downs, but it has been really fun. The team at Greenwich High School has been so supportive. I will always have such a good groups of friends at GHS and I know they pushed me to be the best athlete I can be. I always tell the girls I will come back and watch them compete.”
Noble, who is planning to pursue a pre-medical educational track at Princeton, credited her GHS coaches for their support and guidance throughout her athletic career at the school.
“The incredible coaching staff has made my career so special,” she said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with three different coaches while at GHS and all of them have pushed me as an athlete and individual, dedicating so much time and effort to coaching our team. I’m so grateful for all that they have done and I’m excited to see GHS girls cross country and track continue to grow under the leadership of coach (Evan) Dubin and coach (Peter) Watson.”