Greenwich High

Greenwich High School girls indoor track team places a strong second at the CIAC Class LL Championships in New Haven

Contributed photo: The Greenwich High School girls indoor track and field team gathers around the team trophy after placing an impressive second in the team standings a the CIAC Class LL Track and Field Championships.

Greenwich High School’s girls indoor track and field team continued its memorable season with an outstanding showing at another ultra-competitive championship meet, this time at the prestigious CIAC Class LL Championships.

The Cardinals placed a strong second out of 19 teams at the Class LL Championships, held this past Saturday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, thanks to numerous top-five finishes.

Greenwich earned second place in the team standings and the second-place trophy by totaling 61 team points. Glastonbury won the team title at the Class LL Championships with a score of 89 points. Conard was third in the team standings (52 points), followed by Staples (40) and Fairfield Warde (34), to round out the top-five teams at the Class LL competition.

“I feel good about everyone’s performance and all of their events,” said Greenwich senior Kaitlyn Fay, who captured the gold medal in the 55-meter run.

“The season is almost over, so I think everyone wants to end it with a bang and I am confident in everyone’s efforts,” added Fay, regarding this weekend’s CIAC State Open Championships.

Fay produced Greenwich’s top individual finish at the Class LL Championships, winning the 55-meter run with a time of 7.26 seconds. Francine Stevens of Staples was the runner-up in 7.33 seconds.

“For my 55 all I was looking for was the win plus a PR, to which I got both,” Fay noted. “My winning time ended up being a 7.24, which is only .02 seconds away from qualifying for the championship division of nationals. I am confident I will get this time at the State Open.”

The 300-meter run was also a standout event for Fay. She placed third in the 300-meter finals at the Class LL competition, clocking in at 42.43 seconds. Francine of Stevens was the Class LL champion in the event (41.61).

Junior Esme Daplyn gave Greenwich a third-place finish and more important team points by registering a time of 2:59.32 in the 1000-meter run. Brooke Strauss from Glastonbury took the 1000-meter title in 2:58.74, followed by Conard’s Liv Sherry (2:58.97).

“I’m so happy for how the team performed,” Daplyn said. “We delivered and showed our strength in every event we performed in. We have at least one person or group going to the State Open in every running/relay event. That’s really exciting and a big accomplishment.”

In the Class LL 600-meter finals, Cardinals freshman Julia Gustafsson placed third with a time of 1:37.36. Annika Paluska (Glastonbury, 1:35.99) was the 600-meter winner and Newtown’s Riley Powers placed second (1:36.98). Greenwich freshman Gemma Hardwick was 12th in the race (1:46.54).

Haley Townsend, a senior, notched a seventh-place finish in the 55-meter hurdles, registering a time of 9.61 for the Cards. Danbury senior Audrey Kpodar won the event in 8.74. Hardwick, Townsend, Esme Daplyn and Gustaffson combined for an impressive second-place finish in the 4 x 400-meter relay race at the Class LL Championships (4:08.22). Glastonbury won the race (4:07.00).

“The 4 x 400 I was in qualified for the Rising Stars Nationals and we PRed (personal-record) by six seconds,” Townsend noted. “Julia Gustafsson, a freshman, ran the fastest split in our relay of 59 seconds.”

Greenwich junior Kate Friedman finished fourth in the 3200-meter race (11:35.37), while teammate Lauren Resnick, also a junior, took sixth (11:39.03). Lillian Shropshire, a GHS junior, finished 10th in the event (11:58.69). Friedman also showed her endurance in the 1600-meter run, earning the Class LL fifth-place medal (5:12.98). Shropshire was 13th (5:36.86) and Cardinals freshman Margaret McCooe placed 14th (5:41.61) in the 1600.

In the 4 x 800, Gustafsson, freshman Ellie Daplyn, McCooe and Resnick combined for an exciting second-place finish (9:52.41). Glastonbury won the race in 9:48.88.

The 4 x 200-meter relay race saw sophomore Noelle Wilkinson, sophomore Skylar Aysseh, Townsend and Fay finish fourth, clocking in at 1:49.43.

“Our 4 x 200 ran a good race to help us get to the State Open Championship,” Townsend said. “We didn’t run a PR but we will be working hard this week during practice to improve our handoffs to drop time. Overall, the team had a great meet and I’m excited to see how Saturday goes.”

Katherine Janis, a junior, was 11th for the Cardinals in the shot put (28-01.50) and the squad’s 1600 sprint relay comprised of Wilkinson, Aysseh, Hardwick and Esme Daplyn place third in 4:19.85.

“Our team goal was to get second place and we all worked really hard during the meet to achieve this goal,” Townsend said. “Everyone gave it their best effort.”

The 2023 CIAC State Open Girls Indoor Track & Field Championships is scheduled to take place on Saturday at Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven – a site where they Cardinals have experienced great success.

“At the State Open, we’re looking to see how many of our girls can get to the New England Championship,” Daplyn said.

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