BOONTON _ Nora May McSorley planned to add her medals to her shelf very, very carefully.
About a month ago, the shelf, overburdened by five trophies and 30 medals, fell and Randolph's McSorley, who won the 800-meter run at the Morris County Track Championships on Wednesday, May 13, scrambled to get out of the way.
"I was sitting on my bed doing homework and I heard it crack," McSorley recalled. "I was right under it but I dodged it."
McSorley, a junior, eludes many competitors as well. She left the two-day event with three medals - two for first-place showings in the 800 and 4x400 relay and one for fourth in the 1,600-meter run.
"I'm really excited," McSorley said. "I've won at the sectionals but it is cool to win a county race."
The shelf, which bears the phrase "Live Life And Run," is back on the wall yet still may need some work. Her medals will take their places on one of the hooks.
Whippany Park had a stellar meet, garnering its first girls team title with 87 points, 30 more than Randolph scored. When the Wildcats boarded their bus on Tuesday, they held a six-point lead over the defending champion Rams.
"It's a testament to this group of girls," Whippany Park coach Brad Callahan said. "They work hard, believe in themselves and care about one another. It's difficult to go two days focusing and hitting your marks. I've always told the girls that they're dangerous if they do what they are capable of doing."
Callahan said that the slim edge his squad held after Tuesday's action motivated it to push harder.
"That left them hungry," Callahan said. "They wanted to come back and finish it off. We're a small school. We wanted to prove that winning the Morris County Relays wasn't a fluke."
Gina Dello Russo was exceptional for the Wildcats, prevailing in the 200 and 400-meter dashes and nabbing third in the high jump. Kristen Hall was tops in the high jump, second in long jump and fourth in 100-meter hurdles and triple jump. Nickolette Dunbar took first in the shot put and second in the discus. Danielle Cozzarelli was second in pole vault and fifth in 100 hurdles and triple jump.
"Our motto is 'Do what you can and don't worry about anyone else,'" Callahan said.
McSorley wasn't overly pleased to clock a 2:21.42 in the 800. She felt the wind may have affected the race.
"The time was pretty slow," she said. "I liked how I ended. I pulled it out. My coach told me to stay with the leaders. The wind was heavy on the back 200. I tuckd behind everyone and fought the wind the best I could."
Sierra Castaneda, a junior from West Morris, took gold in the 1,600 and 3,200 and was second to McSorley in the 800. Castaneda broke the school record for the 3,200 with a 10:43.58. Brennan Sharkey, who held the former record of 10:52.57, was on hand to cheer on Castaneda.
"I noticed Brennan on the second lap," Castaneda said. "She stayed there the whole time. My sister, Julia, stood at 50 meters. On the fifth lap, she was right next to me telling me 'This is you, Sierra. You've got this.' I think I did it thanks to their cheering."
Castaneda, who took photos with Sharkey after the race, had no thoughts of setting a record after going out in 5:33.
"That's pretty slow," she said.
Her performance qualified her for the New Balance Nationals to be held June 19-21.
Morristown-Beard senior Halia Rosemond claimed top honors in discus for the third time in four years with a personal-best throw of 137-02.
"I had to get in a good first throw," Rosemond said. "After that, I go for it. I wanted to be over 130 feet and I had a 131. I felt comfortable today. There's no time but now. You have less worries as a senior."
Rosemond enjoyed winning, of course, but said her sophomore title was the nicest.
"I surprised a whole bunch of seniors," Rosemond said. "I beat them by two inches and I was the only freshman in the field. No one thought I would win."
In the fall, Rosemond will attend Rutgers, where she will throw the discus and do the hammer throw.
Elly Scherer of Randolph was first in 100 hurdles in 14.57. Scherer, a junior, was second to Simone Kirton last spring.
"This is an awesome feeling. Really awesome," Scherer said. "I had to focus. I used tunnelvision. I had to pay attention to my race and no one else's. I stare toward the finish line and don't take my eyes off of it."
When Scherer doesn't do those things, she hits a few hurdles. She said she "made a few mistakes here and there" but that "it was a fantastic day."
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