PARSIPPANY _ Only in the literal sense did Randolph's Abby Loveys have cold feet.
Loveys, the sophomore whose effort was close to perfect when she ran an 18:15.02 - a personal record - to take top individual honors at the Morris County Girls Cross Country Championship on Tuesday, Oct. 25, certainly did not lack confidence or hesitate.
She was actually bold from start to finish and in command, just as she planned. The only thing that bothered Loveys when she traversed the course at Central Park, powering Randolph to an eighth team crown, was the chill in her feet.
"My feet were a little numb and that felt weird," said Loveys, the runnerup to West Morris' Sierra Castaneda in 2015. "Everything was better than last week. It was too warm. I wanted to go out hard the first mile and push myself. Breathing was easier than at the NJACs and I felt more prepared."
Loveys established a substantial lead a half mile into the race and did not let up. Her teammates were equally, if not more impressive. Five of the Rams' top seven had PRs. Meredith Finley, a freshman, finished fifth, clocking in with a time of 19:04.69, taking 46 seconds off her previous top showing. Alison Freitas, one of Randolph's senior co-captains, finished 36th in 20:38.7, lopping 32 seconds off what had been her best.
Brooke Olson, fourth overall, missed a PR by two or three seconds. Olson ended in 18:57.04. Randolph edged out second place and defending champion Mendham, 69-75. Also figuring into Randolph's scoring were Kate Gihorski (25th), Courtney Darakjy (64th) and Avalina Michel (66th).
"It was an excellent effort," Rams coach Len Pietrewicz said. "We've been second too many times. The girls who had the PRs helped us score."
Freitas was glad to make a significant contribution because, in the recent past, she has been nagged by injuries to her calf and diaphragm. Tendinitis in her bankle cut short her spring track season.
"I felt really good today," Freitas said. "Being below 21 minutes helped me and it helped the team. We were tied with Roxbury for titles. Not anymore. Our goal was to be the team with the most."
Mendham junior Lucy Jeffs was second. Jeffs, as well, had a PR on the 52-degree, windy afternoon, posting an 18:46.9. Anna George, a sophomore from Montville, was third.
Jeffs, 16th in 2015, was appreciative of the cool weather. She attributed the difficulty she had in last year's race to an iron difficiency.
"I got that fixed," Jeffs said of the deficiency. "I knew I could stay with the girls in front going out and I did. I ran more in the summer so I'm in better shape."
Loveys and the other Randolph runners beamed as the held the trophy aloft. There was more to celebrate as the Rams, buoyed by Molly O'Meara, Clare Ahrens, Marina Holihan and Heather Olson, captured the junior varsity championship.
"It was really good for us to win," Loveys said. "I'm excited about the rest of the season."
VARSITY GIRLS RESULTS
1. Abby Loveys, Randolph, 18:15.02
2. Lucy Jeffs, Mendham 18:46.90
3. Anna George, Montville, 18:48.28
4. Brooke Olson, Randolph, 18:57.04
5. Meredith Finley, Randolph, 19:04.69
6. Sophie Henderson, Villa Walsh, 19:05.97
7. Elizabeth Timoney, Mendham, 19:17.86
8. Sydney Bradle, Mount Olive, 19:19.59
9. Julia Herraiz, Roxbury, 19:24.13
10. Kyra Velock, Mountain Lakes, 19:27.36
11. Sarah DeVries, Jefferson, 19:33.53
12. Abbie Bigham, Chatham, 19:36.42
13. Olivia Vizzini, Mendham, 19:37.03
14. Izzi Gengaro, Mountain Lakes, 19:39.14
15. Mehmel, Morgan 10 Villa Walsh 6:20.2 19:41.20
16. Madeline Feeney, Morristown, 19:46.97
17. Hannah Relovsky, Kinnelon, 19:48.60
18. Hope Crann, Villa Walsh, 19:49.96
19. Cristina Fernandez,Parsippany, 19:56.88
20. Therese Olshanski, Mountain Lakes, 19:59.10
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