Ridgefield relay 14th at New Balance nationals

For the first time this post-season, four Ridgefield High runners did not finish first.

Considering the scope of the meet and the competition, there was little reason to feel disappointed.

Running as the Ridgefield Track Club, Anna Landler, Emma Langis, Katie Jasminski and Alexandra Damron combined to place 14th in the championship division of the girls 4x400-meter relay at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor meet, which took place June 16-18 on the campus of North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C.

The four RHS runners had a time of three minutes, 53.83 seconds, just slightly off the school record (3:53.72) they set while winning the 4x400 at the New England championships.

“They ran almost exactly the same time as at New England’s,” said Ridgefield head coach John Goetz. “They showed that that time was no fluke.

“I thought they had a chance to go lower than 3:53, but that didn’t happen,” continued Goetz. “But they still ran a great race. Emma Langis (a freshman) ran a 57.5 split, which was her fastest time this season.”

The Bullis Track Club (Potomac, MD) won the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:39.30, edging the Miami (Fla.) Northwestern Track Club, which finished second in 3:39.99.

Two other Ridgefield relays also competed in championship races at the New Balance nationals. Samantha Petruzzelli, Langis, Damron and Jasminski combined to finish 23rd in the girls 1,600-meter sprint medley relay with a time of 4:10.19, and Landler, Rachel Maue, Julia Hergenrother and Jasminski were 26th in the girls 4x800-meter relay with a time of 9:41.17.

“Anna Landler was tripped during the opening leg and went down hard to the track,” said Goetz. “By the time she recovered, we were well back of the other teams and finished dead last (by nearly three seconds).

“It was disappointing,” added Goetz. “They (the 4x800) were coming off a second-place finish at New Englands.”

Notes: The Ridgefield runners competed as a club team because the nationals are not considered as part of the official high school season.

Landler, Langis, Jasminski and Damron had earlier finished first in the 4x400 relay at the FCIAC, Class LL, State Open, and New England championships. The quartet now has the five fastest times in program history in the event.

In addition to the three girls relays, RHS ninth grader Simon Jupp competed in the freshman division of the boys 400-meter dash at nationals, finishing 26th with a time of 51.60 seconds.