As the results have shown, the Greenwich High School girls cross country team has run past most of its competitors so far this fall and are indeed, on pace to produce another memorable season.
Five weeks into their season, the Cardinals have raced to a record of 11-1, with its latest two victories coming today during their first home meet of the season at chilly Greenwich Point.
Placing four runners among the top-15 finishers and seven in the top-20, Greenwich posted wins against FCIAC foes Darien and Fairfield Ludlowe. The Cardinals lone loss, which is their only defeat so far this season, came against New Canaan, which ran its record to 14-0 with victories against Greenwich, Darien and Ludlowe.
Greenwich is coming off a strong 2021 season in which it placed second in the team standings at the FCIAC Championships and fifth in the CIAC Class LL Championships. In today’s meet, New Canaan finished with a team score of 34 points, Greenwich had 52 points, Darien finished with 62 and Ludlowe scored 78.
The Cardinals were led today by standout runner Esme Daplyn. A junior, Daplyn placed second overall in today’s 3-mile race at Greenwich Point, which has the athletes running on the beach and in the woods. Daplyn registered a second-place time of 18:23. Radea Raleva, a sophomore from New Canaan, was the race’s winner, crossing the finish line in 18:15.
Daplyn is pleased with how the team has performed in each of its meets thus far.
“I think since the beginning of the season, we’ve had a lot of energy and excitement about how we can perform this year and coming into it we knew that half of our top eight were going to be new girls who have never run before,” Daplyn said. “We had either freshmen or new juniors or sophomores who joined the team. So, having a fairly young team is really exciting, so we’ve been building on the momentum we had.”
Greenwich’s first four meets of the season were on the road, so returning to the friendly scenery of Greenwich Point was a welcome sight.
“Getting into our first home meet here, we were all looking forward to it, we love Tod’s and we’re excited for FCIACs and the state meet,” Daplyn said. “It’s a very positive atmosphere that we’re trying to keep it going. I think we were all nervous to be on our home course, there’s some pressure to defend our home course, which we love. A lot of teams in the FCIAC division love our course as well, it’s a beautiful course.”
Eliana Savelli of New Canaan, a freshman, finished third in the race, clocking in at 19:05, while Cam Meyer of Darien (19:06, junior) was fourth and Claire Fuchs (Fairfield Ludlowe, sophomore, 19:34) took fifth.
Senior Elizabeth Anderson, one of Greenwich’s senior captains, turned in a sixth-place finish with a time of 19:38.
The Cardinals received a number of stellar performances today that spearheaded their victories and second-place finish in the team standings at the four-team meet.
“We have some great new talent to the team, we have a lot of great new members to the team,” Anderson said. “We did a lot of summer training – the offseason training is so important to build a base. Since the first practice, everyone has been so enthusiastic and always wanting to improve. We’ve already had so much improvement in our meets.”
Anderson enjoys her role as one of the Cards’ captains and is glad to see the first-year cross country athletes adjust to being on a new team.
“They’ve done a great job,” Anderson noted. “They come every day enthusiastic and our team has a really good spirit and is really encouraging. I have the privilege of being a captain, which is a really good opportunity. I remember when I was a freshman. I like having that responsibility and building the bonds with the young girls is important to me.”
Ruby Grosshart of Fairfield Ludlowe (19:42), Avery Johnson (Darien, 19:56), Charlotte Moor (New Canaan, 19:57) and Delia Bakal (New Canaan, 19:59) rounded out today’s top-10 finishers.
Katie Friedman, a junior, was Greenwich’s third top runner, placing 13th in 20:15. Senior An Suzuki was 15th in 20:36, followed by Lillian Shropshire, a junior, who placed 16th in 20:41 for Greenwich.
Friedman is experiencing her first cross country season. She’s also a member of Greenwich’s softball team.
“I came into it thinking, ‘why don’t I try it,”‘ Friedman said. “I ended up being a lot better than I thought I would be. Girls like Liz (Anderson) helped me find my place on the team and push myself.”
She especially enjoys the team’s atmosphere and cohesion.
“Everyone works so hard and it’s a really fun environment,” Friedman said. “This was my first time on our home course and I thought it was fun. There was a lot of competition and everyone tried to do their best.”
As for running for the first time in a competitive meet at Greenwich Point?
“I liked it a lot,” Friedman said. “I’ve been coming here since I grew up and it’s really cool to run here. It’s a fun course. This is a fun sport. It’s very collaborative even though it’s individual. We are all trying to pick each other up.”
Ellie Englund, a sophomore, finished 18th for Greenwich (20:52), while teammate Katelyn Caldwell, also a sophomore was 20th (21:13). Eliana Daplyn (freshman, 21:16, 21st), Chloe Eberwein (21:31, junior, 24th), Cate Adorney (junior, 21:38, 25th), Ava Ebertwein (junior, 21:41, 26th), Victoria Liu (senior, 21:50, 27th), Katy Wouters (junior, 21:51, 28th) and Sydney Friedman (freshman, 22:16, 30th) each finished among the top-30 for Greenwich.
Also competing for Greenwich were senior Kelsey Roth, freshman Chloe Coviello, Lindsay Schuler (sophomore), Meryl McCooe (junior), Joy Greco (junior), Averi Geary (sophomore), Megan Geiger (junior), Helen Schwartz (junior) and Sophie Roth (senior).
A state distance champion for Greenwich’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams, Esme Daplyn ran a personal-record time during today’s meet at Greenwich Point.
“This whole season I’m focusing on personal improvement,” Daplyn said. “I’m excited to see how fast I can go. I am looking forward to improving on where I am. The cross country season keeps me in shape. If I am going to be faster this season, then I am going to be faster in track.”
Up next for the Cardinals is a Senior Day home meet at Greenwich Point on Oct. 11 against FCIAC rivals Ridgefield and Wilton. Ridgefield is the defending FCIAC champion.
“We had a lot of great competition today, so I think that pushed everyone to work their hardest and defend our home course,” Anderson said. “Our goal is to enjoy the end of the season and try to make it last as long as possible. We are trying to keep our upward trajectory.”