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Ridgefield Boys Race To Victory At National Championships

Ridgefield High Schoo's Gabe Altopp, show running in the State Open, anchored the school's distance medley team to the championship in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals Sunday in Greensboro.
Ridgefield High Schoo's Gabe Altopp, show running in the State Open, anchored the school's distance medley team to the championship in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals Sunday in Greensboro. Photo Credit: Courtesy of MySportsResults.com

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Ridgefield High School’s distance medley relay team closed its season Sunday with a national title at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.

Ridgefield’s team of Ian Mickool, Jeffrey Storm, Kenny Day and Gabe Altopp won the race in 10:02.34. York Track Club of Illinois finished second in 10:03.32, and RockTown Track Club of Michigan took third in 10:03.47.

Ridgefield trailed throughout the race, which consists of legs of 1,200, 400, 800 and 1,600 meters. Altopp, Ridgefield’s anchor who will attend Brown University, took the baton about four seconds behind the race leader in the closing 1,600. He quickly made up ground and after 800 meters and brought Ridgefield back to the main pack.

In the final lap, Altopp moved aggressively and surged into third with about 300 meters remaining. He zoomed into the lead with 200 meters remaining and confidently headed down the home stretch, pulling away with each stride. He ran 4:06.78 for the final 1,600 meters and won comfortably.

Altopp, the New England 3,200 meter champion, bypassed the individual championship to focus on the team relay, and it proved to be a winning strategy. Click here to watch a video of the race.

Ridgefield also finished 10th in the girls 4 x 800 relay on Saturday with Julia Hergenrother, Ava Kelley, Anna Landler and Katherine Jasminski.

Ridgefield sent a host of runners to the New Balance Nationals. Other competitors for Ridgefield were Grace Goodwin, Jack Weston, Eyga Williamson, Victoria Nazworth, Josephine Simon and Alexandra Damron.

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