Greenwich High

Greenwich boys track and field team successful on Senior Day vs. Stamford

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich senior captain Gianluca Bianchi helped lead the Cardinals boys track and field team past Stamford at Cardinal Stadium on May 9, 2023.

After capturing the team title at the FCIAC Boys Track and Field Championships last season, Greenwich is on another winning pace this spring, which has seen it excel against its FCIAC foes, produce personal-record performances and showcase its skills in each event at every meet.

Senior Day provided the Cardinals another opportunity to display their depth and overall strength in each event and they certainly didn’t disappoint on their special day.

It was a dominant Senior Day win for Greenwich against visiting Stamford, posting first-place finishes in all 18 events on its way to registering a resounding 136-7 victory at Cardinal Stadium. With the win, Greenwich, the defending FCIAC champion, improved its record to 4-1.

Photo by David Fierro: Sergot Boone, left and Christopher David are senior captains of Greenwich’s boys track and field team. They each turned in strong performances during Greenwich’s final home meet of the season against Stamford High School.

Senior Gianluca Bianchi, one of the Cardinals’ captains, won three events, while did sophomore teammate Thomas Donovan produced four victories. Bianchi crossed the finish line first in the 100-meter run in 11.38 seconds. Cardinals junior Brandon Auguste placed second with a personal-record time of 11.49 seconds, followed by teammate Caleb You a sophomore (11.71). Stamford’s Jackiel Barrow was fourth (11.77) and GHS sophomore Noal Steele took fifth (11.80).

Bianchi has enjoyed his time with the Cardinals track and field program, which has been one of the most successful teams in the state in recent seasons. Besides winning the team title at the FCIAC Championships in 2022, the Cardinals placed second in the team standings at the CIAC Class LL Championships.

“I have been here for four years and eight seasons,” Bianchi noted. “I feel like very connected to this team. I have so many of my friends here, they mean so much to me and it’s part of my family legacy. My brother who graduated in 2019, jumped here and he introduced me to track.”

Bianchi also won the 200-meter run and the 400-meter event. He posted a winning time of 22.71 in the 200-meter run, while Steele was second in 23.60. Sophomore Kaiser Ilker placed fourth (23.99), David Akinnusi, a sophomore finished fifth (24.43) and Cameron Williams (sophomore, 24.07) took sixth in the 200 for GHS, coached by Anthony Morello.

Wyatt Abernethy is a senior captain of the Greenwich boys track and field team. The Cardinals are having a strong season.

In the 400-meter event, Bianchi earned top honors, recording a time of 49.31, while junior teammate Antonio Ciccarelli posted a personal-record time of 52.00 and was the runner-up. Lucas Devault of Stamford finished third (55.66) and Cardinals senior captain Wyatt Abernethy took fourth (57.69, personal-record time).

“For the team, we’ve seen big PRs from everyone,” Bianchi said. “I think it shows that the training is paying off. We have a lot of new kids, and I think everyone is seeing progress and they are going to help us.”

Bianchi earned a PR of 47.6 recently at the New York Relays. Besides performing well in their dual meets, the Cardinals have flourished in the invitational and other highly competitive meets they have tested their skills in.

“My goal is to go to the USA U-20 Championships in Oregon,” Bianchi noted. “The qualifying for that is 47.44, so I’m hoping to qualify for that and race the top teams in the country.”

Greenwich freshman Matteo Chiesara runs to a first-place finish in the 3200-meter run against Stamford.

Donovan was the 300-meter hurdles winner for the Cards against the Black Knights, clocking in at 45.46 seconds. Teammate Alec Cevallos, a senior, took second in 46.77. Donovan also took first in the pole vault (8’6) and was the triple jump winner (38’65). Senior Charles Zukauskas was second in the pole vault for GHS (8’0) and junior Erick Perino had a second-place finish in the triple jump (35’11.5).

In the 110 hurdles, Donovan notched a winning time of 16.89. Greenwich’s Ryan Newcomb, a freshman, posted a PR in winning the 800-meter run in 2:04.01. Junior Christian Zawislack won the 1600-meter event with a time of 4:41.13, while teammate Chase Nizielski was second (4:46.55, PR) and GHS freshman Benjamin Hayes took third (4:52.39, PR).

Freshman Matteo Chiesara continued his standout season, winning the 3200-meter run (10:00.79, PR). Nizielski placed second in 11:22.73. In the javelin, senior captain Sergot Boone was the winner for the Cardinals (136’0) and teammate Alec Cevallos, a senior finished second.

“I feel like I’ve been doing pretty good with my throwing events,” Boone said. “The javelin, I got a new PR today, 136, and qualified for states.”

Boone also competes in the high jump and has been running the 100.

“I’ve been doing pretty good in the 100, I also qualified for the states in the 100,” he said. “At states, we should do well in the running events. We have powerhouses – a lot of fast guys.”

Greenwich flourished in both the running and field events during a recent home, Senior Day meet versus Stamford.

Cevallos was the high jump winner for Greenwich against Stamford (5’8), while teammate Aidan Karson, a junior, also produced a 5’8 in the event. Junior Alexi Gianopoulos (5’4) was third for GHS and Boone took fourth (5’2). Jaden Scott, a Greenwich junior produced a winning effort in the discus (89’0). Sophomore Jesse Baizer gave the Cards a second-place finish (82’0).

“My first two throws today were kind of short, I didn’t think I was going to get anything good today,” Scott said. “I was able to come through and our team was able to come with the top three places in the shot put. “We had a lot of PRs on the team, so it was a good meet for our team.”

Greenwich will soon be competing in the FCIAC Championships and Class LL Championships.

“We are going to prepare for those meets and get better,” Scott said. “There is more competition at those meets. It’s not always going to be Greenwich getting top three, so we’re going to prepare for those meets to get better.”

Photo by David Fierro: Jaden Scott helped lead Greenwich in the discus and shot put events vs. visiting Stamford.

In the 4×100-meter relay, Chris Crooks Erick Perino, Brandon Auguste and Noah Steele combined for a winning time of 46.24 for the home team, while Ciccarelli, Wyatt Abernethy, Zukauskas and Zawislack posted a winning time of 3:52.18 in the 4×400-meter relay. Abernethy, a senior captain, also led off the Cards’ winning 4×800-meter relay, also comprised of Silas Cook, Benjamin Hayes and Nizielski.

“I am excited for the future at FCIACs,” said Abernethy, who has also competed in the 800 and 1600 this spring. “This season has been really good for me. I am going to keep on pushing forward.”

Indeed, Abernethy has enjoyed his role as one of the Cardinals’ senior captains.

“It’s an honor and I am having a lot of fun with it,” he noted. “I’m just honored that these people can call me a captain. Surprisingly, we had a lot of great freshmen come in. They have run a lot of fast times and have helped us a lot this year.”

Greenwich has a dual meet record of 3-1 heading into its final meet of the season against Staples.

Sophomore Eric Michilena was the shot put winner for the Cards (32’6, personal-record) and teammate David Akinubbi, a sophomore, won the long jump (19’3.25).

Greenwich visits rival Staples on Tuesday, then take part in the FCIAC Championships, held at Danbury on May 23.

“We are all doing pretty well, we did take a loss to Danbury, but we’ll come back strong in the FCIAC meet,” said Greenwich senior Christopher David, also one of the squad’s captains. “Obviously, our goal is to win it all.”

David runs the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.

“In the 4 x 100 we’ve gotten our chemistry down with our handoffs and its’ going great,” he said. “It’s nice to be one of the leaders of the team. There are a lot of new kids, so seeing them grow as individuals has been nice as well.”

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