RANDOLPH, NJ- The Lakeland Championship Meet on Sunday, June 11 marked the end of Randolph Youth Track and Field’s spring season, and what an extraordinary season it was. Randolph won all six of its regular meets, and then went on to win its fourth straight Championship against a group of fierce competitors from Long Valley, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Mendham, and Denville.
All season long and across the board – boys and girls, sprinters and distance runners, shot putters and long jumpers – Randolph had stand-out performances that brought home team victories. All the while, this group of over 300 young athletes racked up countless personal wins by getting faster, growing stronger and becoming more confident.
Lakeland Championship Meet Was an Opportunity to Shine
Randolph’s most accomplished members competed in the Championship Meet, where they placed first, second and/or third in an impressive 40 of the 48 events and scored 274.5 points, well ahead of every other team in the six-team division. A total of 18 teams, separated into three divisions, participate in this final meet, which makes for a long but exciting day at the track.
First-place finishers among the Randolph boys included talented twins Aidan Byers (9-10 800 meter and 1-mile run) and Kennan Byers (9-10 boys 400 meter and 200 meter). The 11-12 4x100 meter relay team also came in first, as did the 13-15 relay team.
Kris Charles, Sebastien Denizard, Robert Dong, Evan Donovan, James Kehayas, Lucas Piccolo, Bryan Rich, David Turner, and Mike Wigdor all had strong performances at the Championship Meet and throughout the season.
Melanie Leiton (11-12 100 meter) and Sarah Bona (13-15 400 meter) were among the winning girls at the Championship Meet, as was the 9-10 4x100 relay team. Ten-year old long jumper Hannah Fuller took first in her event.
Also gaining points up for the girls were Gabrielle Ball, Scarlett Cantada, Emma Kearney, Kalanit Krasner-Cohen, Olivia Mancuso, Julia Nitulescu, Chelsea Renna, Rylie Van Wingerden, Chloe Whiting, Maya Wilkins, Lilah Willis, and Carlie Wysocki.
End of Season Celebration: Trophies, Certificates, and a Whole Lot of Sugar
The entire team came together at Randolph Middle School for the end of season celebration on Monday, June 12. The ceremony came in under an hour (efficient, like the Randolph track meets), and included a special acknowledgement for the graduating eighth graders, many of whom we can expect to see on the high school team in the coming years and perhaps back with the rec team as student coaches.
This season’s student coaches were missing from the celebration, as the RHS team had its own event at the same time. Their contributions, not just as coaches but as role models, were invaluable to the younger kids.
Finally, every member of the Randolph team (and by extension, every parent of a Randolph team member) benefited from the dedication and expertise of Program Directors Scott Wilkins and Kevin Higgins and Coaches Jen Bona, Joe Byers, Jennifer Houston, Chris Mihalko, Gary Rieger, Nicole Semler, Scott Swayze, Don Timmerman, and Rick Willis. Just as crucial to this successful season were Volunteer Coordinator Melinda Wilkins, Finish Line/Meet Manager Mani Chidambaram, and Results Coordinators Karen Tish and Fran Hart.
How do you top off as sweet as a season as this for Randolph Youth Track and Field? With tables full of sweets, of course, which the hungry young athletes attacked with their customary energy and enthusiasm at the very end of the evening.