Zach Sanders was absolutely certain the Randolph boys’ medley relay would qualify for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions final. The Rams had planned a full weekend of activities surrounding the meet, and they were determined to enjoy all of it.
In fact, Randolph didn’t even check out of its hotel before heading to Gloucester County Institute of Technology on Saturday morning.
The Rams exceeded even their own expectations, breaking the school record while qualifying for the MOC consolation final. Randolph finished in 1:41.99, the first time under 1:42, and will be one spot ahead of Mountain Lakes today.
The MOC concludes today with the girls finals at 10 a.m., and the boys event scheduled for 2 p.m.
“We knew we were going to make it back for finals,” Sanders said, showing off the team’s bright blue drag suits with “YOLO Randolph MOC team 2013” printed on the rear. “The record was just the icing on the cake. It’s a fun weekend for us.”
The Rams went to Applebee’s on Friday night, claiming it was junior Chris Vukas’ 11th birthday. They are planning to debut custom T-shirts this afternoon.
“We were expecting to go back, definitely,” senior Connor Timmerman said. “Maybe not break the record, but it feels awesome.”
Newton sophomore Anthony Rizzo snagged the sixth seed in the 500 free and eighth in the IM, becoming the first male swimmer from UNLV to make an A-final in more than 15 years. He is also the only NJAC boy in an A-final today.
Pequannock sophomore Kyle Stefanides will swim the IM consolation. Brandon Tutty of Kittatinny is the top seed in the consolation breaststroke.
Morristown also decided to thoroughly enjoy its trip to the MOC, stocking up at a party store on Friday night. Alex Hedge paraded around the GCIT pool deck in a Batman mask and child’s-size cape. Junior Mark Beston sported an oversized neon sombrero. Some of the other Colonials swimmers had shaved their hair into Mohawks, and added fake mustaches.
“To have a good time, that’s what the sport’s all about,” said Hedge, a sophomore who was part of Morristown’s 200 free relay which qualified for the bonus final. “I like to make people laugh. … I know it helped me. We did really well. We left everything we had in the pool.”