Greenwich boys, girls fare well at FCIAC X-C finals

Greenwich’s Amy Wyle races toward the finish line during Thursday’s FCIAC championship meet held at Waveny Park in New Canaan. — Dave Stewart photo

Greenwich’s Amy Wyle races toward the finish line during Thursday’s FCIAC championship meet held at Waveny Park in New Canaan. — Dave Stewart photo

The Greenwich High School boys and girls cross-country teams headed up to New Canaan last week for a competition in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship meet.

During the finals, held at Waveny Park, the Big Red boys team took sixth overall, finishing the five-kilometer course with 224 points. Ridgefield won the championship, netting an impressive 27 points. The next closest team was Darien, who took second with 59 points. Staples High School grabbed the bronze with 91 points and Danbury took fourth on the day with 99 points.

On the girls side, the Lady Cardinals finished the four-kilometer course eighth overall and grabbed 231 points, 10 points away from seventh-place Trumbull High School. Greenwich was nearly 20 points better than Danbury, who finished ninth overall with 249 points. Ridgefield grabbed the gold with 52 points and just beat out Staples, which took second overall with 57 points. Wilton rounded out the top three with 74 points.

Despite the strong showing from his teams at FCIACs, Greenwich boys and girls head coach Mike McSherry believed his teams could have fared a little better.

“It was hot, but we are usually ready for events like this,” McSherry said. “We train really hard. They are usually set and ready to go for days like this, but today we were a little off. We were flat. We are going to take this meet and just move on and look forward to states.”

For Greenwich, nobody had a better finish than sophomore Amy Wyle, who took 15th place overall and was the first GHS girls athlete to cross the finish line, posting a time of 15:42.

“I think I did well today,” Wyle said. “I was really tired by the end. I felt really good when I crossed the finish line, but it was a lot of hard work. The hills were really long and the warm weather made it a little tough. The hardest thing was the finishing because I put a lot into the whole course and then by the end you have to sprint to try and beat girls.”

Greenwich’s top male runner was senior Mark Jarombek, who crossed the finish line 24th overall and netted a time of 16:58.

“It was definitely a hot one today and something that we aren’t used to,” Jarombek said. “The past couple of weeks it’s been a lot cooler, so I think the warm weather definitely hurt some of our guys. It was a tough competition today as well because everybody seems to rise to the occasion at FCIACs.”

“I thought Mark was strong like always and he’s a guy that we can rely on all the time,” McSherry said. “Amy is an amazing sophomore and did a great job through the course.”

Other Greenwich boys had a solid afternoon. Sophomore Andrew Kates took 44th overall and was second for the GHS boys cross-country team, grabbing a time of 17:39. Just missing out on a top 50 finish was senior Spencer Helmrich, who finished 51st overall with a time of 17:47.

Not far behind was fellow senior Thomas Glover, who grabbed 55th overall and a time of 17:57. Rounding out the top five finishers for Greenwich was junior Sean Clarke, who finished 62nd on the day and took home a time of 18:15.

“We started off really well, but a lot of our kids weren’t feeling their best,” Clarke said. “It’s hot out and it was a pretty hard course, but the most important thing was to close the gap between everybody that was running here. I did that in the end and had a strong finish.”

In addition to Wyle, other members of the GHS girls cross-country team fared well. Second on the team and 50th overall was junior Jennifer Goggin, who finished with a time of 16:28. Not too shabby for her first time running in an event in nearly a month.

“Our team overall did really well and we all pushed each other along,” Goggin said. “There were a lot of positive attitudes on the team, whether it was from the coaches and fellow teammates. Without all the positive attitudes, I don’t think we could have run as good as we did today.”

About three weeks ago while playing lacrosse, Goggin sustained a concussion, which sidelined the GHS runner without a lot of time to prepare for FCIACs.

“We had a lot of injuries, including myself, but it feels good to come back and run again,” Goggin said. “I don’t think it was the best timing to come back. I really wanted to come out strong this year, but I did the best I could, seeing that I couldn’t train for the past three weeks.”

Crossing in 58th overall was junior Daryl Kennedy, who posted a time of 17:06. Right behind her was freshman Sarah Callahan, who grabbed 59th overall with a time of 17:07.

Senior Kona Jitsumo cracked the top 70 by posting a time of 17:23 and that was good enough for 66th on the afternoon. Rounding out the top five was junior Emily Hunt, who crossed the finish line 71st overall with a time of 17:39.

“We had a couple of kids that were sick today and that really affected our guys,” McSherry said. “We had our number three drop down and some kids picked up where they were needed to pick up. Basically we didn’t run the Greenwich cross-country style that we are known for running.”

The boys and girls cross-country teams will look to regroup and will be back in action Saturday afternoon, when they travel to Wickham Park in New Britain for the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference class LL championship meet. The event will start at 3:40 p.m.

“We are going to start training really hard for the event and get back into peak shape,” Goggin said. “We want to really kill it at States and State Opens.”

“We need to keep on working hard and training the right way,” McSherry said. “We’ve been successful all season and want to continue that going into States. We want to finish the season strong.”

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