RANDOLPH _ It's all very, very simple, according to standout Randolph freshman Abby Loveys.
"We all get along well," Loveys said. "We've got a great team. We push each other."
That camaraderie and competitiveness among teammates enabled the Rams to garner the Morris County Relays title outright on Thursday, May 5 on their home track after sharing it with Whippany Park in 2015. Randolph had 83 points to the Wildcats' 64.
"Many of us are kind of new," said sophomore Brooke Olson, who ran the last leg of the distance medley relay, 4x1,600 and 4x800. "We're all improved. We never really get too worried about anything. Having Abby on the team now is a huge asset. We're just trying to keep up the tradition."
The Rams, second to Whippany Park at the Morris County Indoor Championships several months ago, certainly are back. Randolph finished first in the 4x1,600, 4x800, long jump and shuttle hurdles and was second in the javelin, high jump and the DMR en route to its 19th team championship.
Loveys was a major factor, leading off the 4x1,600 and taking part in the 4x800 and DMR. Another freshman, Meghan O'Malley, turned in a strong effort, leaping 5-2 to take second in the high jump. O'Malley also was fourth in the long jump, was the anchor for the shuttle hurdles and took part in the triple jump.
Senior Nora McSorley played a large role as a member of the 4x800 and SMR squads.
"All I wanted to do was get us off to a good start in the 1,600," Loveys said. "I tried my hardest to get the lead. I wanted to do my best."
Mountain Lakes, which finished ninth overall, reveled in its first-place finish in the DMR. Therese Olshanski, Hailey Sheppell, Izzi Gengaro and Kyra Velock were seeded 13th because they entered the meet with no official time yet took the gold over Randolph and Mendham, clocking in at 12:39.15.
"No one saw us coming," said Olshanski, a junior. "This will give us confidence and we'll keep getting better."
The quartet felt uneasy about going up against the likes of Mendham and Randolph.
"We knew they were here and didn't think we'd win," Gengaro said. "Winning today was great. We were 20 seconds slower in the DMR last year. We had a lot of fun. We couldn't have done it without each other."
The presence of Sheppell, sidelined during the 2015 track season with plantar fascitis, made a marked difference. Olshanski preceded her and "put me in a great spot."
"I definitely think we surprised everyone," Sheppell said. "I was in a boot much of last season. I'm glad I am running again."
Lakers co-coach Vicki Allison said the team, sectional champions in cross country and winter track, hopes to tack on a third crown before school gets out.
"A threepeat would be good," Allison said. "It's always hard for us to compete with the big schools so, when we win something like the DMR, it's a big deal. All the girls have to do is believe in themselves."
Despite being runners-up to Randolph, Whippany Park was impresssive, topping the field in high jump, pole vault and the 4x200 relay. Gina Dello Russo was involved in all three gold medal-winning efforts. And, with Nicole Dunbar leading the way, the Wildcats prevailed in discus and shot put.