Placing six runners in the top-20, Greenwich’s boys cross country team was second to none at Monday’s 3-mile race held at chilly Greenwich Point.
Paced by junior Christian Zawislack, the Cardinals finished with 41 team points at the four-team meet, which included FCIAC rivals New Canaan, Darien and Fairfield Ludlowe.
Greenwich swept its FCIAC home meet, defeating New Canaan (53 points), Darien (57) and Ludlowe (67) to run its record to 8-4 on the season. Zawislack won Monday’s race, registering a time of 16 minutes on the picturesque 3-mile course at Greenwich Point. The Cardinals’ top runner likes what he sees from the team at this point of the season.
“We’ve been doing everything as good as we can and from what the coaches have said and what we think, we think we are having a really good season this year,” Zawislack said. “We’ve all been doing good in recovery runs and our workouts are great. I feel like the team has a very solid bond. We help everyone push each other to do better on the team.”
Also leading Greenwich was freshman Matteo Chiesara, who placed second overall with a time of 16:03.
“I looked down at my watch, there was a half-mile left,” Chiesara said. “There was a kid in front of me and Christian, my teammate was ahead of me. So, I started picking it up and I’m debating, should I pass him now or will I not be able to hold on and he will pass me at the end. I remembered there was this hill, so what I did was I waited for the bottom of the hill, then I sprinted as hard as I can.”
Thomas Skelton, a Darien senior, finished third in 16:07, followed by teammate Nick Yoo, also a senior (16:31) and New Canaan senior Oliver Gray (16:42). Jack Briode, one of Greenwich’s senior captains finished ninth with a time of 17:08, while teammate Aubrey Niederhoffer, a junior was 12th (17:28).
Chase Nizielski, a sophomore, finished 17th for the Cardinals (17:46), while senior Mateo Gigliani-Alcantarilla, also one of the captains, was 20th (18:00).
Greenwich hosts FCIAC rivals Ridgefield and Wilton on its Senior Day on Oct. 11 at Greenwich Point. Ridgefield placed first in the team standings at the FCIAC Championships in 2021.
“I felt a little nervous, because we were going up against two of our rivals,” Zawislack said of Monday’s meet. ‘We had a lot of confidence as we worked out and got ready for the race and I think that positive attitude helped us do very well.”
The FCIAC Championships takes place on Oct. 19 at Waveny Park in New Canaan. After that, the Cardinals will test their skills in the CIAC Class LL Championships on Oct. 29 at Wickham Park.
“Our goal is to train as hard as we can,” Zawislack said. “We look forward to participating in the FCIAC and eventually the state and State Open and anything else. We have great coaches who will guide us.”
Charles Young, a sophomore was 21st for GHS in 18:02, while teammates Thomas Donovan (sophomore, 18:24), Yuta Hioki (junior, 18:26.5), Murphy Bennett (freshman, 18:28) and senior captain Charles Noble (18:28.5) were 26th, 28th, 29th and 30th, respectively.
Chiesara is one of the freshmen who have helped spark the squad.
“I try to help all the other freshmen try to achieve what they can,” Chiesara said. “I try to help them progress to be better. The coaches are very nice, they help the team a lot, they encourage the team. The captains on the team are very nice, they encourage the team a lot and they take on a lot of leadership.”