Greenwich High

Greenwich High girls team races to team title at FCIAC Indoor Track Championships

Contributed photo: Some of the members of the Greenwich High School girls indoor track and field team gather after the team captured the championship at the 2023 FCIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, in New Haven, recently.

Following a team victory at the FCIAC West Division Championships at Staples High School on Jan. 28, the Greenwich High School girls indoor track and field team was once again, second to none, this time at the FCIAC Championships.

Thursday, the Cardinals became two times a champion, capturing the team title in highly impressive fashion at the 2023 FCIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships at Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

Racing to numerous top-five finishes, Greenwich earned top team honors at the championship meet, finishing with a team score of 91 points. Staples placed second in the team standings with 80 points, followed by Darien (44 points), Wilton (43.5 points) and Fairfield Ludlowe (41) in the 14-team FCIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The victory marked the Cardinals girls’ first FCIAC championship since the 2017-2018 winter season. They placed second at the winter title meet last season.

“It feels incredibly rewarding to have left the championship with the win, after coming in second place last year,” said Greenwich junior Esme Daplyn, who turned in several standout performances. “Our amazing coaches have been preparing us for this meet all season and to see all the hard work culminate in a win is amazing and a testament to their leadership.”

Contributed photo: From left to right, An Suzuki, Elizabeth Anderson and Haley Townsend are senior captains of the Greenwich High School girls track and field team that claimed the 2023 Indoor Track and Field Championships title.

Coached by Peter Watson, the Cardinals were especially impressive in the relay races. Julia Gustaffson, Eliana Daplyn, Margaret McCooe and Kate Friedman combined for a winning time of 10:04.69 in the 4 x 800-meter relay event. New Canaan finished second in 10:04.69. In the 4 x 200-meter relay, Greenwich’s Noelle Wilkinson, Skylar Aysseh, Haley Townsend and Kaitlyn Fay finished third, registering a time of 1:48.81. The 4 x 400-meter relay saw the Cardinals’ foursome of Gemma Hardwick, Aysseh, Ellen Ann Sykes and Townsend place third in 4:15.44.

Junior Kate Friedman claimed the gold medal in the mile run, posting a time of 5:26.45 for the Cardinals. Shawna Ferraro of New Canaan took second (5:27.70). Greenwich junior Lauren Resnick was third in the one-mile run (5:30.65), while teammate Belle Nichols, a freshman, was 12th (5:49.08). Fay, a senior, gave the Cards a second-place finish in the 300-meter dash at the FCIAC Championships, finishing the race in 42.14 seconds. Senior Francine Stevens of Staples won the FCIAC title in the event (41.42). Gustafsson, a freshman, was seventh (43.19).

Gustaffson was the FCIAC champion in the 600-meter run, crossing the finish line in 1:39.48. Kate Demark from Darien was the runner-up (1:39.49), while Hardwick, a GHS freshman was fourth (1:49.67). Sykes, a senior, An Suzuki, a senior captain and McCooe, a freshman, were seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, for the Cardinals in the 600-meter race.

Esme Daplyn earned the silver medal in the 1,000-meter run, posting a time of 3:00.60. The race was won by Darien junior Julia Blake (3:00.16). Freshman Orla Muir (3:23.26), freshman Eliana Daplyn (3:23.71), junior Cate Adorney (3:28.40) and junior Ava Eberwein (3:36.00) placed ninth, 10th, 12th and 14th, respectively in the 1000-meter race for the Cards.

“We have so much depth to our team this year and that really helped us as a team perform well,” Esme Daplyn said. “A lot of us tripled and faced tough combinations of races.”

Members of the Greenwich High School girls track and field team gather together with their coaches, following the team’s victory at the 2023 FCIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships at Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

In the 55-meter hurdles, Townsend, a senior captain, recorded a fifth-place finish in 9.33 seconds. Jill Roberts of Wilton won the FCIAC title in the race in 8.34.

“After winning FCIAC Wests, it gave us a boost of confidence going into FCIACs,” Townsend said. “We went into FCIACs knowing we had a good chance to win, and we were determined to reach this goal. Many of us PRed (had a personal-record), or over achieved what we were expecting.”

The two-mile race at the FCIAC Championships saw Friedman run to a third-place finish in 11:47.23 and Esme Daplyn place fourth (11:51.77). Teammate Lauren Resnick, a junior, was sixth (11:54.70). Trumbull’s Kathryn Marchand won the race in 11:36.32. Lillian Shropshire, a junior, was ninth for GHS in the event (12:13.37).

“It took many individual sacrifices to win, but we were all willing to do that for this team,” Esme Daplyn said. “For me, it was great to get out and race strong after being injured for several months and see our older and newer girls work together to win.”

The FCIAC sprint medley title went to Greenwich, as sophomore Noelle Wilkinson, Aysseh, Hardwick and Esme Daplyn combined for a winning time of 4:21.53. Wilton was the runner-up (4:35.69). Junior Katherine Janis represented Greenwich in the shot put, placing ninth (28-11.50).

“We have been working really hard in practice and it definitely showed off on Thursday,” Townsend said. “We have a lot of great returning and new girls this year that really helped contribute to our win. We are looking forward to LL’s on Saturday.”

With the FCIAC West and FCIAC team titles in their possession, Greenwich will now test its skills at the CIAC Class LL Championships, which will also take place at Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on Saturday.

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