That philosophy was on display on Sunday, Feb. 12 when the Vikings claimed the Prep B Girls Indoor Track Championship at Lawrenceville Prep with a score of 138. Gill-St. Bernard's was second with 75.
Villa Walsh's athletes came in one after the other in several events. Twenty-four personal bests were established.
The Vikings opened the meet by taking the top three spots in the 55-meter hurdles. Sophomores Maddy Endres (10.12), Dana Leneveu (10.24) and Tess Feury (10.38) keyed the sweep.
"We kind of made a statement with what we did in the 55-meter hurdles," Synold said. "That got us going. It was kind of fun."
In the 400-meter dash, Villa Walsh also pulled off the same difficult feat as Christina Pallito (1:02.44), Kelly Larkin (1:04.43) and Sophia Robertson-Laval (1:05.53) were first, second and third. Pallito, a sophomore, is involved in track for the first time. She also plays soccer and lacrosse.
Second, third and fourth in the 800-meter run were Kate Moyer (2:28.77), Alana Harrington (2:32.91) and Feury (2:33.24). Synold considered their showings excellent because, even though they didn't get first, the girls stuck together while battling it out.
"It's unbelievable how hard the girls trained coming into this considering how young they are," Synold said. "We've had a lot of time to get ready because we haven't competed since the Morris County Meet."
Additional top performances were in the 55-meter dash as Taylor Medd and Gabby West were second and fourth, respectively, behind Hallie Earle of Montclair Kimberley; the 200-meter dash saw Medd grab second place.
Villa Walsh had high finishers in the 3,200-meter run. Amanda Mascolo was second while Kinlin O'Brien was third.
The Vikings' 4x400-meter squad, comprised of Gabby West, Kelly Larkin, Pallito and Kate Moyer, also prevailed with a personal best of 4:20.82. Their previous best was 4:26.
Patricia O'Connor was third in the high jump with a height of 4-6.
"I told the girls they'd have a chance on an even playing field," Synold said. "I wanted them to set goals and go out and compete. They're so determined and work really hard."
Once the Vikings got the job done, they celebrated and a loud bus ride home ensued. The girls sang "Build Me Up Buttercup," giving Synold "a headache," one he didn't mind.
There are more opportunities for medals when Villa Walsh takes part in the Non-Public B Meet on Friday, Feb. 17 in Toms River.