Greenwich Tracksters Third at Westerns, Ready for FCIAC Finals

Greenwich High School Callie Doyle competes in the long jump during Saturday’s FCIAC Western Division championship meet at the Staples High field house.

Greenwich High School Callie Doyle competes in the long jump during Saturday’s FCIAC Western Division championship meet at the Staples High field house.

The championship season is underway for the Greenwich High School boys’ and girls’ indoor track teams, and both squads are looking strong.

On Saturday at the Staples High School field house, Big Red competed in the FCIAC Western Division championship and took home a pair of third place finishes.

On the boys’ side, Greenwich grabbed third with 72 points. Winning the Western Division was Danbury with 176 points; Staples High School took second with 100.50 points. Greenwich stormed past Trumbull, which came in a distant fourth overall with 41.50 points.

The Lady Cardinals also grabbed bronze on the day by finishing with 77 points, four points better than Staples High School, which came in fourth. Overall it was Ridgefield with the championship and 129 points. Danbury placed second with 119.

“Both teams did fantastic,” Greenwich High School head coach Evan Dubin said. “With the quality of competition at that meet, to come out with a third place score on both the boys’ and girls’ teams was nice to see and indicative on the talent and hard work the kids have put in.”

Nobody had a better day for Greenwich than Emily Phillippides. She took the top spot in the 300-meter dash with a time of 43.84 and backed that up with a gold in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:41.71.

“Emily was a complete superstar,” Dubin said. “For her to go out and win the 600 against a defending state champion in that is great. It’s only the third time that she’s ever done the race and to win the event was impressive. To come back and win the 300 is great as well. To be a sophomore and an FCIAC West champion in two events is very impressive.”

Greenwich’s Lia Zavattaro also excelled, winning the pole vault with a height of 8-06.

“To be honest, Lia didn’t have her best day in pole vault, but was still able to come out with the win,” Dubin said. “If she corrects the few errors that she has, she should be able to be FCIAC champion. She’s having a great season.”

Katherine Doyle led the Lady Cardinals in the field events, taking second place in the long jump with a distance of 15-05. There was no rest for Doyle, who also competed in the high jump and her height of 4-06 was good enough for seventh.

Joining Doyle in the field events was Olivia DiLascia, whose height of 4-08 placed her fourth in the high jump. Competing in the shot put was Claudia Zuccarelli, who ended the day ninth overall with a distance of 26-05.

Another top five finisher for Greenwich was Hetty McMillan. In the 1,600-meter run, she took home a time of 5:30.01 and that was good enough for the bronze. Not to be outdone, she also grabbed fifth in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 3:11.28.

When it came to the 300-meter dash, the Lady Cardinals were well represented. In addition to Phillippides’ top team, Big Red had five other athletes finish in the top 15. Maggie O’Gorman took sixth with a time of 45.37, while Terloara Harrisson grabbed eighth with a time of 45.63. Jordan Numme was 11th (46.04), while Margaret Dyment finished 12th (46.21). Rounding out the top 15 was Caeleigh Santini, who took 15th overall with a time of 47.03.

Greenwich was also deep in the 1,000-meter run. Including McMillan’s fifth-place finish, Big Red had six finishers in the top 15. Lauren O’Donnell was seventh with a time of 3:15.69, while teammate Sabrina Thurber placed eighth with a time of 3:18.79.

Kristen Lodato took home 11th on the day (3:25.04) and teammate Amy Wyle finished the race 13th with a time of 3:29.80.

Thurber and O’Donnell also competed in the 1,600-meter run, as Thurber took home seventh with a time of 5:36.84 and O’Donnell finished ninth (5:43.12).

While Lodato fared well in the 1,000-meter run, she netted four spots better in the 3,200-meter run, crossing the finish line seventh overall with a time of 12:35.08.

The Greenwich High boys’ team made its presence felt in the field events during the FCIAC Western Division finals, as three of the top five spots in the high jump were Cards and three of the top six during long jump were also from GHS.

Greenwich High School Junior Safir Scott placed first in the high jump on Saturday, clearing 6-04.

Greenwich High School Junior Safir Scott placed first in the high jump on Saturday, clearing 6-04.

Leading the way were Safir Scott and Issac Floyd. Floyd took top honors in the long jump with a distance of 20-07 ¼, while Safir grabbed gold in the high jump with a height of 6-04.

Joining Scott in the high jump was Tahj Hamilton, who finished with a bronze and a height of 5-08. Not to be outdone was Russell Babiarz, who grabbed fourth on the day with a height of 5-04.

In addition to his top spot in the high jump, Scott joined Floyd in the long jump and topped out at fourth overall with a distance of 18-06 ½. Hamilton also competed in both events and finished sixth in the long jump (18-00 ½).

“Our jumpers really ended up being the stars of the day,” Dubin said. “When you look at high jumps, with Scott taking 6-04, that equals our school record and is an inch away from the Nationals qualifying mark. He’s having a great season and should contend for the FCIAC championship.

“Tahj had an off-day, but still got third place, so that was great for him,” Dubin added. “Issac has been jumping fantastically for us in the long jump and he should be able to win that FCIAC championship. He’s going to have a lot of success this championship season.”

Big Red also had great success in the sprinting events. Competing in the 50-meter dash, Tyler Farris ended the day silver, crossing the finish line with a time of 6.30. Not to be outdone was teammate Anthony Ferraro, who took home fifth overall with a time of 6.47.

In the 300-meter dash, it was Farris again who stood out, grabbing fourth overall in the event with a time of 39.65. Michael Gianesello wasn’t far behind and took fifth with a time of 39.74.

The boys’ team also picked up a pair of sixth places during middle distance events. Sebastian Oe’s time of 1:29.95 in the 600-meter run and Georgios Karakadas’ time of 2:52.71 in the 1,000-meter run helped give Greenwich some key points.

Helping out in the long distance events was Andrew Kates, as he ended the day fifth in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:42.51 and took home sixth in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:11.97.

Nicholas Gomez del Campo joined Kates in both events, finishing 12th in the 1,600-meter run (4:56.00) and did one better in the 3,200-meter run (10:49.29).

While the boys and girls team had success during the Western Division finals, there’s little rest from here on out. On Thursday Greenwich will head up to the New Haven Athletic Center and compete in the FCIAC championship meet starting at 4 p.m.

“I’m thinking that we can do the same thing,” Dubin said. “I think that if we can get a third place finish there for both teams, that would be great. It’s certainly something in their grasp. It’s going to take hard work and good performances from a lot of people, but if they were able to do it in the Staples’ gym, to go up to Hillhouse, which is a much better facility, I think they should be able to do well at FCIACs at that facility.”

About Author: Paul Silverfarb

Paul Silverfarb, has been editing and reporting on events throughout Connecticut for over a decade. Mr. Silverfarb is quite familiar with Fairfield County, as he grew up in Trumbull, currently resides in Fairfield. Throughout over two decades, he has worked as the editor-in-chief at the Sentinel, as well as sports editor of the Sentinel, Greenwich Post and Norwalk Citizen~News. He graduated from Keene State College in New Hampshire.

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