Ridgefield relay just misses All-American honors

One place.

That's all that separated four Ridgefield High runners from becoming All-Americans.

Competing as the Ridgefield Track Club, Anna Landler, Tess Pisanelli, Gabriella Viggiano and Katie Jasminski combined to finish seventh in the girls 4x800-meter relay championship race at the New Balance Nationals Indoor meet, which took place March 10-12 at the Armory in New York.

The top-six finishers in each event earned All-American honors.

Ridgefield's time of 9:16.77 left it more than a second behind another Connecticut team, the Glastonbury-based Tomahawk Track Club, which placed sixth in 9:15.70.

"Seventh is the finish no one wants, and they replay their race over and over in their head for days on end," said Ridgefield girls track head coach John Goetz. "Still a great season though."

The Ridge Track Club (N.J.) won the relay with a time of 9:01.64. The North Penn Track Club (Pa) was second in 9:03.35, followed by the Shenendehowa Track Club (N.Y.), which finished third in 9:08.05.

Ridgefield runners competed in several other relays at the New Balance Nationals. Jasminski, Alexandra Damron, Landler and Pisanelli were 14th (12:14.00) in the girls distance medley relay; Josephine Simon, Samantha Petruzzelli, Emma Langis and Viggiano finished 19th (4:14.01) in the girls sprint medley relay; and Landler, Langis, Jasminski and Damron were 23rd (3:58.42) in the girls 4x400 relay.

Individually, Ridgefield got an 11th-place finish from Pisanelli (5:11.20) in the freshman girls one-mile race; a 14th-place finish from Brad DeMassa (9:34.31) in the Emerging Elite boys two-mile race; and a 20th-place finish from Simon Jupp (53.44) in the freshman boys 400-meter race.

Notes: The Ridgefield runners competed as a club team because the nationals meet was not a sanctioned high school meet.

Landler, Pisanelli, Viggiano and Jasminski had set a school record with a time of 9:14.55 in the 4x800 relay at the previous week's New England championships in Boston, Mass. The Tigers finished second at that meet to Glastonbury, which won the event in 9:13.06. Both Ridgefield and Glastonbury were faster than the previous state indoor record time of 9:14.91, set by Hillhouse in 2013.

In the girls 4x400 relay, Landler, Langis, Jasminski and Damron broke their own school record of 3:59.83, which they had set with a third-place finish at the New England championships.