RANDOLPH _ Paige Zangara, Michelle Lu and Jordyn Kranis, Randolph's pole vaulters, have spent considerable time calculating numbers and figuring out how to better their jumps.
Zangara and Kranis have nearly every class together in the morning and have been chatting about the possibility of setting a record at the Morris County Relays. Zangara and Lu meet up in ceramics class and the talk quickly turns to track.
On Wednesday, May 2, the Rams trio proved that their incessant chatter wasn't idle when they established a Morris County pole vault record by combining for 29 feet. Randolph, which took first in four other events, claimed its third consecutive Morris County Relays championship, scoring 97 points. Roxbury was second with 48 points. West Morris and Morris Hills, respectively, had 43 and 40 points and finished third and fourth.
"We've begun to click in field events," Zangara said. "We've practiced and practiced. We've been talking about who needs what to clear a certain height. We hydrated. We were motivated."
All three girls are seniors so they wanted to make their mark before graduating next month. They offer one another constructive criticism and receive tips from the members of the Randolph boys team.
Zangara cleared 10 feet while Lu and Kranis also soared, doing 9 feet, 6 inches apiece. The 29-foot mark was four inches above the previous record held by four teams, most recently Whippany Park in 2015.
"To win relays is an amazing accomplishment," Zangara noted. "And to be part of a record in our last year... We wanted to make this our best. We did the math. We planned it out. We put the pieces together today and pulled it out."
In addition to the pole vault, the Rams also were golden in the 4x1,600, the distance medley, high jump and discus. Randolph was second in the 4x100, long jump triple jump and shot put.
Kranis had a very busy day, competing in the pole vault, high jump and shuttle hurdles. The Rams picked up the points needed to win despite being disqualified in the shuttle hurdles.
"We did well today and were prominent but we have to watch out," Kranis said. "We need to be focused all the time. We made a few mistakes in this meet but nothing to set us back too far. It was a really good meet."
The winning 4x1,600 team was comprised of Kate Gihorski, Brooke Olson, Abby Loveys and Meredith Finley and had a time of 21:49.49. Loveys and Finley were on the first-place distance medley unit along with Kaitlyn Attinello and Amanda Houston.
Kranis, Zangara and Meghan O'Malley combined to take the high jump with 14 feet, 10 inches. Discus, with Makayla Taylor, Kat Sharabba and Hannah Murphy making the throws, totaled an even 277 feet.
"I joined track my sophomore year and I feel like the field events began to come together then," Zangara said. "We all put in so much time to get better. Our throwers were so good today."
The throwers, noted Kranis, "are not recognized as much as they should be."
Now, Randolph is looking toward the Morris County Championships which will be held on May 15 and 16 at Boonton High School.
"This puts our name out there," Kranis said. "We want the counties but our end goal is to win the groups. We won the groups in the winter and we had never done it before."
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