Greenwich High girls fifth, boys eighth at FCIAC indoor track finals

Greenwich High's Austin Longi darts past the competition en route to winning the FCIAC championship in the 55-meter dash. — Isabel Leeds photo

Greenwich High’s Austin Longi darts past the competition en route to winning the FCIAC championship in the 55-meter dash. — Isabel Leeds photo

The Greenwich High School boys and girls indoor track teams kept improving their performances in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference finals, which was held Thursday afternoon at New Haven’s Floyd Little Athletic Center.

Throughout the meet, the Lady Cardinals were battling for the second place with five other schools. Darien High School easily won the FCIAC title with 116 points. Ridgefield came through and took second overall with 50 points. Staples grabbed the bronze with 48 points and Wilton took fourth with 44.50 points. Greenwich rounded out the top five with 44 points and Fairfield Warde took a distant sixth with 34 points.

On the boys side, Greenwich took eighth place overall with 25 points and was only 1.33 points away from overtaking New Canaan High School for seventh. Staples High won the championship with 104.33 points, while Danbury finished with the silver and 92.33 points. Ridgefield and Darien were a distant third and tied with 47 points. Rounding out the top five was Trumbull, who finished with 35 points.

“I am so proud of this team,” Greenwich head coach Evan Dubin said. “When you look at the actual performances that we produced, everybody stepped up big and we had a great day overall.

Big Red got some high marks in the sprinting competition, courtesy of Austin Longi and Anna Black. After taking second in the preliminaries of the boys 55-meter dash, Longi dominated the field in the finals, netting a first place time of 6.60 seconds. Danbury’s Miciah Hill was second with a time of 6.63.

“All season I lost to that kid from Danbury, so today I got off to a great start and maintained that,” Longi said. “I ran very well. It was a high intensity meet and I knew that I had to perform at a top level. I think I did that.”

Not to be outdone was Black in the girls 55-meter dash. After being seeded fifth after preliminaries with a time of 7.66, Black finished the quickest event of the day in style, taking second in the championship heat with a time of 7.49.

“I wasn’t expecting to make finals, yet alone to finish second in the finals,” Black said. “It was awesome to be able to say that I got this far. I was thinking about anything when I ran the race. My mind was getting ready before the race and during the race I just wanted to give it everything I got. I am so proud to be a part of this team because everybody is so supportive of everybody. We all did a great job today.”

“All season we knew that Austin and Anna had the potential to do this,” Dubin said. “Learning the technique and start took them a while to get comfortable with, but today they stepped up. Austin ran a great time to get in the finals and blew everybody away in the finals. It wasn’t even close and there was no question who won that race. Anna ran the race really well and her split in the 4×200 was light’s out. She had a great day.”

Greenwich also fared well in the relay events. Leading the way was the girls 4×400-meter relay team, which controlled the event from start to finish. The group of Isabelle Narvaez, Black, Jenny Goggin and Naomi Leeds crossed the finish line with a time of 4:07.17, nearly seven seconds faster than the second best team in the meet.

Big Red also fared well in the 4×200-meter relay and the 1,600-meter sprint medley relay, as both teams finished second overall.  The 4×200-meter relay team of Narvaez, Black, Emily Johnson and Leeds took home a time of 1:47.18, while the foursome of Lindsay Noskin, Anna Giannuzzi, Johnson and Kathryn Bernstein took home a second place time of 4:29.08 in the sprint medley relay.

“There’s no doubt that the relays is the strongest aspect of the girls team,” Dubin said. “We ran a fantastic time in the 4×200. We got second, but when you look at the times, we are tenths of a second from what we did in New Englands last year and this was the first big meet of the year. In the end of this meet, the 4×400 team won the even by almost 50 meters. I told them before the race that I knew we were going to win, but I wanted them to show the rest of the state what Greenwich can do.”

The boys 4×200-meter relay team of Robert Wilson, Longi, Stephan DeCarlo and Louis Ambrogio had a strong run in their event, finishing fourth overall with a time of 1:35.52. Rounding out the stellar boys relay event were the group of Wilson, Longi, Ambrogio and Paul Quiroga in the 1,600-meter spring medley relay, as they finished sixth overall with a time of 3:53.50.

The Lady Cardinals had a handful of individual top performances. In the 1,o00-meter run, Big Red had three finishers in the top 15. Leading the way was Goggin, who grabbed the bronze with a time of 3:10.18. Teammate Bernstein finished two spots away with a time of 3:11.22 and Sabrina Thurber took 11th overall with a time of 3:21.10.

Thurber also competed in the 1,600-meter run and added another top 15 finish to her resume, netting 12th overall with a time of 5:45.56. Mia Bonanno cracked the top 10 in the 600-meter run, finishing ninth overall with a time of 1:46.48.

In addition to Longi’s performance, Big Red had a bunch of other boys finish strong on the day. In the boys 1,000-meter run, Dan Wilbanks crossed the finish line third overall with a time of 2:36.47. He also competed in the 1,600-meter relay event and took 11th overall with a time of 4:39.90. In the long jump, Big Red’s Stephan DeCarlo was strong, taking eighth overall with a distance of 19-06.

The Greenwich boys and girls track teams will return to the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven next Friday when they compete in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference class LL finals.

“I don’t know if we are going to be in the team contention, but being able to look at the pieces that we had today, I think we are going to be really strong in the relays at the state level and might switch some individuals as well so we could get our relays even stronger. I think we will be in good shape. To get ready for the state meet, all we need to do is keep doing what we have been doing throughout the year.”

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