RANDOLPH, NJ- Five female athletes from the Randolph High School Track and Field team traveled to North Carolina to compete with the best in the nation at the New Balance HS Track Nationals on June 19 and 20.
Elly Scherer, Jessie Pasquale, Rachel Sorgi, and Josefine Loekin competed together in the Shuttle Hurdles, a team relay event. Scherer also competed individually in the Emerging Elite 100 M Hurdles, and Nora May McSorley competed in the Emerging Elite womens mile.
In the 100 Meter Hurdles, Scherer broke her own school record, setting her new PR (Personal Record) at 14.31 in the preliminary. Scherer then took third place in the Emerging Elite finals. The Shuttle Hurdles team finished second in their heat at 1:02.58, which was not only a PR, but also broke the Morris County and school records. On top of all that, they earned All-American with an overall sixth place finish.
TAP into Randolph held a brief Q & A with the girls about their experience:
1. What was the atmosphere like when you arrived?
- Jessie- When we first got there, it was so exciting. It was the biggest and most important meet we've ever been to. I think we were all a little bit nervous at first because the atmosphere was really intense but at the same time we were so excited to be there.
2. Describe the intensity level at the track compared to a typical meet back home
- Jessie- The meet was definitely a lot more intense than the meets back home. There were a lot more people and everything was a little bit more intimidating. After a little while though, I think we got used to the intensity and we were ready to run. The meet ended up being so much fun and we had such a great time.
3. Did you see any familiar faces of local kids you raced against back home?
- Rachel- No, we didn't see any familiar faces from back home, but before competing we talked to other teams and tried to stay focus and confident before running.
- Nora- I did not see any familiar faces, but just knowing that some Morris County runners were there and made the long trip down to North Carolina too, comforted me and made me more excited to race.
4. What did you do in the evenings?
A. Rachel- In the evenings, we went out for dinner and later all hung out together in our hotel room. We all talked about not only the race but the amazing experience we shared as a team in North Carolina.
- Nora- After my race, my family and I visited colleges in the surrounding area. We went to UNC Chapel Hill, Duke, and Wake Forest.
5. What does this experience mean to you?
- Josefine- This experience was one I will never forget. Running at such a high level was amazing. To me just being there, making the national qualifying time, and spending time with my teammates was a great experience and the memories will always be with me. Placing in the top six and getting All-American made it even better. When we realized how well we did, breaking the county record and placing, I broke down in tears I was so happy.
6. How do you think being here, competing at this high level, will help you in your future track career?
- Josefine- Watching the other runners definitely motivated me to want to be the best I can be. I saw how dedicated and hard working they all were, and watching other runners break national records was amazing. Hard work really does pay off and I’m so excited for another track season to start. I am moving back to Norway in a few days where I will continue running and hopefully compete in Nationals there too.
7. What did your coaches say to you to prepare you for your race?
- Nora- To prepare me for my race, my coach told me what the weather was going to be like in NC and gave me the splits I should go through for my race.
8. When the year started, was this a goal you set for yourself to get here? What did you do to achieve that goal?
- Elly- When the year started this was definitely a goal I had. Having already made indoor nationals, I knew I could do it again if I set my mind to it. Also, if I qualified for outdoor nationals individually, I knew I would break the school outdoor record, along with mine again. For my Shuttle team, I knew that if we qualified for Nationals, we could break the county record. However, we never thought we would pull out an All-American! I wanted to work hard and make sure that all of us were ready for new records and Nationals.
9. What would you tell younger teammates about the experience?
- Elly- I would tell my younger teammates that the experience is something you should definitely strive for. It is one of the best experiences you could ever have in track. To even make Nationals is something everyone should strive for and learn how amazing the experience really is. I would also make sure they know that if you make it to Nationals, you get a free backpack!
10. How did it feel to represent Randolph, and Morris County NJ?
- Elly- Representing Randolph is such an exhilarating feeling. To know that you're one of the few who even made it to Nationals was amazing enough, but to know that we are representing our school, NJ, and Morris County is a really powerful feeling. I feel like our team (and Nora) made sure we showed everyone at Nationals what Randolph had in store.
Scherer added, “The most memorable part for me was getting the school record with a really good PR, and celebrating the team's All-American. The girls on my team are my motivation, and without them, I wouldn't have been able to run my best.”
McSorley added, “In my race, I did not perform as well as I wanted to. However, now I am beginning my training for Cross Country and I have high hopes for myself as I enter my senior year.”