by Elizabeth Casolo
Nearly every week, Ms. Foster sends a link to the student body, encouraging them to vote in the Ruden Report Player of the Week poll. Most Greenwich High students are familiar with the procedure: click the link, scroll to the name of a GHS student, hit “select,” and submit your vote. But students rarely consider the efforts and dedication behind each name on the roster. One of those names is Mari Noble.
Mari – a GHS junior and runner on the cross country and track and field teams – devotes herself to improving as an athlete. This past season confirmed Mari’s stellar ability in cross country. Some of her fall season victories include winning the FCIAC championships, winning State LLs, winning State Opens, and coming in second place at the New England Cross Country Championships. Despite this success, Mari continuously overcomes challenges that all runners must endure.
“It takes awhile for the training to set in, like a workout I do today won’t have any of the effects for around two weeks,” Mari explained. Mari learned this through years of intense training and working toward her goals. “The physical toll that it [running] takes is very tough… the mental aspect of it is also really challenging.”
When asked how she began to run, Mari said, “[m]y dad ran track at Yale.” After college, running remained “a big part of his life.”
Initially, Mari ran alongside her father on the weekends, learning in a more casual atmosphere. However, with time, Mari became hungry for competition. She participated in local races prior to getting involved in cross country at her alma mater, the Greenwich Country Day School.
Even though running may seem like an individual sport, the team’s dynamic is a major factor in their collective success. “I’d say there’s lots of camaraderie, [between her fellow GHS runners]” Mari said. Mari particularly enjoys the first few seconds before a cross country or indoor track race as all of her teammates line up next to each other.
Along with her fellow runners, Mari said, “[m]y friends will come to my races and cheer me on.” Mari’s parents and coaches also play a significant role in supporting her track career.
For the coming years, Mari would like to run in college and hopes to join a team with other competitive athletes. Before that, though, she would like to qualify for Cross Country Nationals, a highly coveted opportunity. Only ten individuals in the Northeast are able to compete at that level.
Mari is fueled by competition, and, according to the online sports publication Dyestat, is currently ranked #21 out of 220,000 girls who compete in cross country across America.
But running is not exclusively for those looking to race. For other student athletes and aspiring runners, Mari suggests, “[t]ry and find the fun in it.” Although running may not be everyone’s forte, everyone has the chance to “just give it a try.”