BOONTON, NJ- The Randolph boys and girls track teams entered the Morris County Championships on Tuesday Mar 13 with high aspirations, with both expecting to compete for the team title before the two day event is over on Wednesday May 13.
The boys didn’t waste any time grabbing the team lead, sweeping the first event of the day, the 400 Meter Hurdles. Senior Dan Leanza darted across the finish line first, while recording a personal record time of 55.44. Literally on his heels was teammate Colin McAlmont, who finished only seven tenths of a second behind in 55.51, earning second place. Rounding out the Rams sweep, in third place, was Stephen Nalbach with a time of 56.63.
Senior Anthony Zarro has been making a habit of turning in fantastic performances all season long, and he did it again, taking first place in two events. When asked if he expected to have so much success this season, Zarro said “Coming into this season, I set some pretty high goals for myself, and I wanted as many titles as I could get. But expected? No, I never expected success. I hoped for it, I visualized it, I trained and worked hard for it, but I never expected it."
In the Triple Jump, Zarro held off his key competitor, Booker McLean of Montville, who was the only other true threat to win. Zarro broke his own school record with a distance of 45-6-3/4, besting McLean by about six inches, and leaving the third place finisher in the dust, over two and a half feet behind.
Zarro also took first in the high jump, soaring over the bar at a height of 6-2. Also placing in the top three for the boys was Greg Stickle, who took second place in the 400 Meter Run, finishing at 49.40
The boys finished the day in first place, with 53 points ahead of second place Mendham with 42.
On the girls’ side, day one proved to be a bit slow. The competition for them presents a much more level playing field, as many teams will be vying for the ultimate title. The Lady Rams finished day one in 5th place with 19 points. However, they are only 12 points out of first, and with many of their strong performers still set to compete in day two, they are easily within striking distance of taking first.
The lone event of the day where Randolph placed in the top three was the 1,600 Meter Run. Liz Wellman pushed and challenged the winner right up to the very last “half second.” She finished with a time of 4:55.77, just under a half second out of first place. Taking third in the event for Randolph was Nora Mae McSorley, with a time of 4:58.21
Going into day two, both the boys and girls squads have many important events to compete in, with opportunities to capture both individual and team championships. On the teams’ chances to finish strong, Zarro said “As a team, we came into this season strong, and we’ve all been doing really well. Now all we have to do is ‘Keep up the intensity’ as coach Suttile says, and we will do some great things.”
Zarro is considered one of the favorites in another event still to come. When asked about his day two prospects, he said “All that comes to mind for me is long jump.”