Although the competition keeps getting tougher, Emma Langis remains unfazed and unbeaten.
Langis, a Ridgefield High junior, finished first in the girls 300-meter hurdles at the New England outdoor track and field championships on Saturday at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine.
Seeded third in the event, Langis triumphed in a school-record time of 44.02 seconds to stay undefeated this postseason. She previously won the 300 hurdles at the FCIAC, Class LL, and State Open meets.
Langis was seven-tenths of a second faster than Chelsea Lynch of Amesbury (Mass.), who finished second in 44.72.
“Emma is just getting more comfortable with each meet,” said Ridgefield girls coach John Goetz. “She is the best in New England at attacking the first hurdle; a lot of girls don’t realize it’s a sprint to get there.”
Langis lowered her own school record of 44.12 seconds, which she had set while winning the 300 hurdles at the Class LL state meet.
“I think she can keep improving,” Goetz said. “She is winning her races but she still gets tired and loses her form over the final two hurdles.”
Not faring as well as Langis was Ridgefield’s top-seeded 4×800 relay team of Kate Langis, Rory McGrath, Gabby Viggiano, and Grace Michalowski, which wound up fifth at New Englands in a time of 9:32.49.
“They were doing great at the first hand-off and then Simsbury’s first runner just stopped and Rory [McGrath] ran into her and fell and did a somersault off the track,” Goetz said. “They lost five or six seconds, and it also affected how they ran after that.”
Immaculate won the event in 9:16.68, followed by Boston Latin (9:24.21) and two more Connecticut schools, Simsbury (third, 9:25.80) and Trumbull (9:29.71).
Ridgefield had won the State Open in 9:16.90, beating runner-up Simsbury (by three seconds), as well as third-place Immaculate and fourth-place Trumbull.
“That stuff happens, but it was unfortunate” Goetz said about Ridgefield’s early mishap on Saturday. “They could have been right there challenging for first place.”
Notes: Emma Langis, Katie Langis, Kasey McGerald, and Michalowski were ninth in the 4×400 relay with a time of 4:05.35.
The Ridgefield boys team had qualified for the New England meet in the 4×400 and 4×800 relays but opted not to compete.
The top-six finishers in each event at the boys and girls State Open championships qualified for the New England meet.
Eleven members of the Ridgefield girls team will compete at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor meet this Thursday-Sunday (June 13-16) at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C.
Langis will compete in the 300 hurdles, and the Tigers are also entered in the sprint medley, 4×400, 4×800, and distance medley relays.