Langis, relays impress at New Balance nationals
Even though her win streak ended, Ridgefield High junior Emma Langis didn't come away empty handed from the postseason's most competitive meet.
Competing at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor track and field championships (June 13-16 in North Carolina), Langis earned a medal and set a state record.
Langis finished third in the Emerging Elite division of the girls 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.39. That broke the previous Connecticut record of 1:01.42, which Hillhouse's Jaliyah White set at nationals in 2014.
"She ran great," said Ridgefield head coach John Goetz about Langis. "She usually increases her steps between hurdles, but this time she had the same number between each of the first five hurdles. She won her heat by one-and-a-half seconds."
Langis was in first place until the final heat, when two competitors from Indiana (Chanler Robinson and Tierra Sydnor) ran faster. Robinson wound up winning the 400 hurdles in a time of 1:01.28, with Sydnor placing second in 1:01.34.
Langis entered nationals unbeaten in the shorter 300-meter hurdles this season, finishing first at the FCIAC, Class LL, State Open, and New England championships. Connecticut is among the states that opts for 300-meter hurdles instead of 400-meter hurdles.
"That was her third time in the 400 hurdles this season," said Goetz. "But she also trains as a middle-distance runner, so the extra distance isn't a big deal for her."
Langis also ran the second leg (400 meters) on Ridgefield's distance medley relay team, which finished 10th in the Championship division with a time of 12:14.09. Gabby Viggiano ran the opening 1,200-meter leg, with Michalowski handling the 800-meter leg and Tess Pisanelli anchoring the 1,600-meter anchor leg.
Kate Langis, Kasey McGerald, Rory McGrath, and Michalowski combined to finish 15th (9:33.69) in the Championship division of the 4x800 relay, and Catherine Conroy, Carrina Dabroi, Carolyn Donovan, and Michalowski were 10th (4:12.48) in the Emerging Elite division of the 1600 sprint medley.
Ridgefield also competed in the Championship division of two boys relay races. Simon Jupp, Amit Markos, Charlie King, and Chip Coffin finished 15th (7:51.62) in the 4x800 relay, and James Kane, Markos, Coffin, and Jupp combined to place 27th (3:22.11) in the 4x400 relay.
"They felt like they had the potential to run 7:46 in the 4x8 and under 3:20 in the 4x4," said Ridgefield boys coach Bryan Kovalsky. "When we really started to focus in on these relays earlier in the season, they seemed excited at the potential to qualify for the Championship sections rather than the Emerging Elite.
"In the end, they saw that they had a great chance at All-American honors in both. It was all great experience and motivation for the future."
Notes: Emma Langis's time in the 400 hurdles is the 23rd fastest nationally this season and would have placed her 12th in the Championship division of the event.
The New Balance meet took place on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C.
The top-six finishers in each event in the Championship division earned All-America honors.
Because the nationals meet is not a high-school sanctioned event, the Ridgefield runners competed as members of the Ridgefield Track Club.