BOONTON _ The outcome of the meet was already determined when the 3,200 meters commenced at the Morris County Track and Field Championships.
No team would be able to catch Randolph, which had established a substantial lead on the first day of competition.
The Rams, of course, still had an interest in the event because junior Brooke Olson was hoping to repeat. Olson, in front the entire race, collapsed 100 meters from the finish line yet got to her feet to salvage sixth place and another point for Randolph, the 2017 champion with 92 points, 40 more than runner-up Mountain Lakes.
Irrelevant? Not to the Rams, impressed and inspired by Olson's gutsy performance on a 92-degree afternoon. Her effort enabled Randolph to learn more about Olson and themselves en route to a second title in four years.
"We had some disappointments here but overcame them," said Randolph senior captain Courtney Darakjy. "What Brooke did when her body gave out on her... It was a strong team effort. We had some underdogs do well. We worried a little about points about halfway through. It was like 'What's going to happen?' but we put it all together."
The Rams rushed to Olson at the conclusion of the race, foregoing their warmup for the 4x400 relay. Olson was taken to a hospital to be checked out. She was certainly on her teammates' minds.
"Brooke has a lot of heart," said Abby Loveys, who topped the field in the 1,800, was second in the 800 and ran the third leg of the 4x400. "She's one of the most caing people on this team. She gave her all and we appreciate that. Brooke reminded us how strong she is."
Darakjy noted that Randolph, which recently won the Morris County Relays, had to overcome several things over the course of the two-day meet. Meghan O'Malley, golden in the high jump and long jump and second in triple jump, was disqualified in the hurdles. Karen Hull, seeded first in the 100, came in fourth. Obviously, the Rams are hard on themselves.
"We always want to do our best," Darakjy said.
Mountain Lakes' Lainie Seijas was thrilled to prevail in the triple jump with a leap of 37-4, edging out the very versatile O'Malley by three and a half inches in a competition that came down to the athletes' last attempts. Seijas was favored to win the long jump but O'Malley garnered the top spot by two inches on Tuesday.
"It was pure redemption today," Seijas said. "I was supposed to do the best in the long jump. It didn't settle well when I lost. I went home, went to bed. It was a new day, a new event. It was a nailbiter. I'm really friendly with Meghan. It's the best when someone is breathing down your neck all the time. That's what track is all about."
Shannon Ziccarello of Whippany Park was a first-time champion, winning the javelin with a throw of 118-6.
"I'm excited," Ziccarello said. "Everything went pretty well. The heat drains you but I was under a tent for a little while and got some ice."
Ziccarello said she was fortunate to make her best throws in the first round. After getting two 118s, her throws were down and in the range of 111 and 112.
Other winners on the second day of the championships were Rebecca Kneppel (Butler) in the 200 meters, Kyra Velock of Mountain Lakes in the 800 meters (2:13.73), Elizabeth Timoney of Mendham in the 3,200 meters (11:16.04), Roxbury in the 4x400, Simone Kirton of Chatham in the 100-meter hurdles, O'Malley of Randolph in the high jump and Chioma Eluemunor of Morris Hills in the discus.
Kirton, who also won the 100 meters, set a meet record in the 100 hurdles with 14.07. The Gaels' 4x400 team, comprised of Jess Cammarata, Bridget Doherty, Karly Forker and Alexis Smith, also established a meet record with a time of 3:57.11.
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