Greenwich’s Raybuck looks to add to State Open 100-meter title

In a race where there is literally no time to waste, each stride is especially significant in the 100-meter dash and Greenwich’s Ryan Raybuck took advantage of each one at the State Open Championships.

Raybuck added another accomplishment to his already successful season by winning the CIAC State Open title in the 100-meter dash, registering a blistering, school-record time of 10.77 seconds Tuesday at Willow Brook Park.

A senior, Raybuck edged Christopher Pigatt of Hamden (10.86 seconds) for the 100-meter title. Malcolm Beckford of Bloomfield and Michael Rodia from Shelton each finished the race in 10.88, followed by Windsor’s Nathan Burnett (10.91). At the Class LL Championships, Raybuck posted a second-place time of 11.01 seconds, while Pigatt won the race in 10.87.

“I knew at the preliminaries the kid from Hamden (Pigatt) ran a 10.8 something in the rain, so I knew I would have to work hard to keep up with him in the Open,” said Raybuck, whose time was also a personal-best performance.“I just couldn’t believe that I won, it didn’t feel real.”

The preliminaries at the State Open saw Raybuck finish the 100-meter event in 10.84 seconds.

“I felt that if I could maintain that time, or finish around 10.9, that would put me in good standing,” Raybuck said. “To cut my time was just unbelievable. That was a season goal of mine — to get my time down to 10.”

Having elite runners competing with him in the finals, helped Raybuck prove that he is the top sprinter in the state.

“They provide big motivation for me to push harder in each race and each practice,” Raybuck said. “I knew I had to push hard the first 10, 15 meters of the race and really drive into the ground the first leg of the race.”

The 100-meter dash at the State Open was one of the most exciting races, with five athletes finishing within two tenths of a second of each other.

“In that 100 final at the State Open I was really focused on coming out really strong,” Raybuck said. “I was neck-and-neck with the Hamden runner the first 15 meters and after that, I was thinking that I was moving really fast. I kept my pace, my speed and crossed the finish line first. Going into race coach (Alex Klein) was telling me to give it my all and just get across the finish line as fast as I could.”

Raybuck qualified to compete in the 100-meter dash at the 74th New England Interscholastic Track and Field Championships, which will take place Saturday at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine.

“My coach was telling me that there are two or three kids from Massachusetts who are very fast, so I’m very excited to compete againt them,” Raybuck said. “I’m just trying to get some work in and get some rest before the meet.”

Following Saturday’s New England Championships, Raybuck will test his skills in the 100 at the 2019 New Balance National Outdoor Track and Field Championships at North Carolina A&T State University. The meet is scheduled to be held June 13-16.

“My first time going to Nationals was a great experience, it was great exposure,” said Raybuck, who competed at the Indoor Track and Field Nationals this past winter at the Armory in Manhattan. “I’m very excited. It’s cool to see the top kids from the country running there.”

The Cardinals’ 4 x 100-meter relay team of sophomore Hunter Clark, senior Christopher Wint, Raybuck and sophomore Zane Robinson-Nye also qualifed for the national meet in North Carolina. The quartet combined for a winning time of 42.40 seconds at Tuesday’s State Open.

“From the start of the season we had a solid 4 x 100 team,” Raybuck said. “The indoor season we were good as well and we carried that mentality into the outdoor season.”

Greenwich edged Windsor (42.46) and Shelton (42.98) for the first-place medal in the 4 x 100 at the State Open.

“We knew that teams were going to come with their best, so we had to really push ourselves,” Raybuck said. “We practice handoffs every day for 30 minutes, sometimes an hour and we stuck with what was working and it paid off.”

Competing in the relay event has helped Raybuck drop time in the 100-meter run.

“I came into the season running a mid-11.3 in the 100, so I knew I had to take that down if our 4 x 100 wanted to be the top team in the state,” Raybuck said. “Our workouts have been very strategic, as we have focused on endurance, speed, stamina and quickness. Once I realized we were going to be good in the 4 x 100, I felt that I could do well in individual races. I gave it my all and kept training.”

Raybuck also competed in the 200-meter run at the State Open, placing fourth in 22.21.

“That was a personal-best time of mine and I was happy I came in fourth overall in the state,” said Raybuck, who may also run in the 200 at upcoming New England meet.

A cornerback for the Greenwich’s Class LL title-winning football team, Raybuck will continue his football career at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire in the fall.

“I am very excited, I got in touch with the coaches and some players and I can’t wait for August 11 - that’s when I head up there for the preseason,” he said. “I may be competing in track there as well, I’ll see. I want to be able to test myself to the limits in college.”