Over the past three weeks, Staples senior Ingrid Johnson has rewritten her school record in the 600 meters. She's hoping to set a new standard one more time in Saturday's State Open indoor track and field championships.
Johnson held the school mark coming into the season. Her mark of 1:39.99 set in last year's Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship meet fell in this year's Western Division championships. She won in 1:39.36. At this year's FCIAC championship meet, she won the race in 1:39.18. She broke the record for a third time in the Class LL championships , running 1:39.05. Surprisingly, she finished third behind winner Abby Markowitz of Greenwich and Norwich Free Academy's Brianna Lenehan.
"I didn't expect to break it three times in a row,'' Ingrid said. "I'm totally thrilled that it happened that way."
Johnson comes into the State Open with the fourth fastest time in the event. In each of her record-setting races, she has set the pace from the outset, and in the Class LL meet, she got caught from behind. Johnson may alter her strategy for the Open. "I don't know if I'll take it out from the start,'' Ingrid said. "I'm going to stick with the leader and see what I have at the end."
Johnson ran with the Wreckers as a freshman, then missed most of her sophomore year while she recuperated from a stress fracture. She has been at her best this season, where additional experience and strength have made her one of the state's top mid-distance runners. She will continue running in college at Johns Hopkins.
Ingrid played soccer her first two years at Staples before dedicating herself exclusively to running. Besides the 600, she will also run with the 4x400 relay at the State Open. The relay with Turner Block, Courtney Mullen and Emily Hanrahan finished second at the Class LL meet and is seeded fourth at the Open. Johnson is hoping to qualify for the New England championships in the 600 and the relay. The top six in each race advance.
"I like the relays more, you get to run for your team and you get that whole sense of teamwork,'' Ingrid said. "I hope to make it to the New Englands in both events. If I can make it, I'm definitely running both. That's a great opportunity."
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