After winning the regular season title for the first time, the Gryphons went on to win the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) League Championship for the first time, November 2 at Waveny Park in New Canaan.
By Melanie Cane
After winning the regular season title for the first time, the Gryphons went on to win the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) League Championship for the first time, November 2 at Waveny Park in New Canaan. Their season record was 20-2, edging perennial favorite Hopkins by a hair. The JV team won its championship race as well, another first for the school.
After a surprise win at the first FAA meet of the season, the Gryphons’ goals changed from improving with each meet and striving for personal bests to winning the top prize. Coach Mike Simon credits the team’s success to a combination of his infectious enthusiasm and the captains’ belief in the runners’ abilities. “The girls saw how much passion I’ve had the past few years and it definitely trickles down to the athletes. But there were days that our captains would just stop and say, ‘Guys, we can do this, let’s win this!’ It was after meets like the first two or three in which we won for the first time in school history that we would be talking about the meet and how we won and our seniors would say, ‘Heck, yeah let’s do this!’”
In the final FAA race, the top five runners, who have been the key to the team’s success, stepped it up in a field of 56 runners. Hannah Cleary, who came in third overall, broke a school record with a time of 20:32.3. Maggie Semprevivo took 12th. Emma O’Shea was right on her heels, as was Ruthie O’Driscoll. Anna Liddy had a disappointing run, but managed to place 18th, sealing the win for the Gryphons. Liddy had vied with Cleary all season for the top two spots and she broke two school records, one at Edith Read and one at Sherwood Island.
On the JV team, freshman Jackie Quinn came in first and sophomore Molly Semprevivo took second.
The team’s last race is the NYSAIS Championship Meet on November 8. Coach Simon said, “The season was awesome. We had a great group of athletes that believed they could do it from the beginning and it showed at the FAA Championship. The seniors were wonderful captains and leaders. I feel lucky to be a part of this.”