Randolph Relay Teams Excel at Nationals

GREENSBORO, NC- Just 50 meters into the 4 x 1 mile relay at the New Balance High School National Championships in Greensboro NC, Randolph high school freshman Meredith Finley found herself face down on the track with several runners trampling her from behind after she was tripped and fell.

Knowing that her three teammates were depending on her to get the baton around the track in this championship race, Finley bravely scrambled to her feet leaving some of her skin on the track.  She raced to catch up with the pack and ran through the pain.

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Despite being well off her personal best, Finley ran a gutsy effort and finished her 4 laps. Fortunately, sophomore Abby Loveys was waiting for her on the second leg and subsequently turned in the performance of the year, passing runner after runner and moving her team up 9 places and into contention for All American status (top 6 finishers). Loveys’ time for the full mile was 4:51, a personal best which fired up her teammates, the Randolph supporters who made the trip and those who were watching at home in NJ on their computers.

Senior Courtney Darakjy followed with the fastest mile time of her career and handed off to junior Brooke Olson who finished the job and brought Randolph home with a 6th place “All-American” finish. This gave the girls the opportunity to shop at the All American store and add some additional damage to their parent’s credit cards.

Later that day, the same four girls doubled back in the Distance Medley Relay (DMR) in the Championship Division. In very hot conditions the girls ran their 2nd fastest time of the year, just missing All-American status finishing in 7th place, one spot better than their finish at indoor nationals.

Darakjy ran her fastest 400 meter split, as she finished off her high school career with a personal best. Despite being tired from her monster effort earlier in the day, Loveys broke 5 minutes for the second time in the same day and again moved the team up several places as Randolph recorded their best team finish ever at Nationals.

In addition to the distance girls, both the boys and girls shuttle hurdle teams made the trip to NC and turned in strong performances.

For the boys’ squad, junior Jack Coyne led off the race followed by sophomore George Houston. The third leg was junior Michael Nalbach, and the anchor leg was run by senior Tana Gawe.  In the final race of his high school career, Gawe helped lead his team to the second fastest time of the season and a 19th place finish against the best teams from all over the country.

The girls team finished 9th with a time on 1:01.86, just off their county record time that they turned in several weeks ago. Junior Jordyn Kranis led off, followed by senior Savanna Brakelmanns-Puig.  Karen Hull then took over finishing off her spectacular freshman campaign before multi talented sophomore Meghan O’Malley helped cap off the year with a top 10 finish at Nationals in an event that has a rich history at Randolph High School.

The Nationals were the icing on the cake of a memorable year for Randolph Track and Field as the Randolph program proved to be the best in the area, and competitive on both a statewide and national scale.