By Christopher Hunt
Warwick Valley star Lillian Greibesland underwent successful surgery to repair her ruptured right Achilles’ tendon at New York Hospital for Special Surgery Wednesday. She’ll miss the rest of the cross country season and the entire indoor track season.
“There’s nothing I can do so I just have to stay mentally tough,” the junior said in a phone interview Thursday. “I have my teammates and they’ve been really supportive.”
Greibesland ripped her Achilles’ tendon at the Pepperdine Invitational in Malibu, Calif., on Saturday, the Times Herald-Record reported Tuesday. With 200 meters left she felt a pop and two strides later she was down, feeling extreme tightness in her calf.
Warwick Valley coach Rich Furst said the separation in Greibesland’s right leg was between the tendon and the muscle. He didn’t see Greibesland go down but once he got word he was carted over and Greibesland was taken to an on-site doctor. The junior has been one of the top distance and middle-distance runners in Section 9 and New York State. Her injury comes as a tremendous blow to the program at Warwick Valley.
“It’s the most devastating thing that’s happened to an athlete that I’ve coached,” Furst said. “You spend a lot of time wondering what could have happened. There are a lot of things that can be the cause.”
Greibesland said that her Achilles began hurting days before, after a hard workout the previous Wednesday but the swelling had gone down and she believed that she could race. She said that she didn’t feel any pain at first when she initially Greibesland said that the doctor told her she could likely start pool training in five months then possibly some light jogging in seven or eight months.
‘’I didn’t know it was going to be this bad,” she said. “It’s actually a good thing that it’s completely torn because then it’s easier to fix.”
Greibesland was on course record-breaking pace before she dropped out of the race Saturday. She has already built a reputation but acknowledged that she’s missing a time when most college coaches would be looking.
“It kind of stinks that it’s my junior year,” she said. “But I think I’m really just going to do the best that I can as a senior and see what happens. I think it’ll be OK.”
Reach Christopher Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.