Coach Richard Refi said he was very impressed by the performance of his Hillsborough High School girls outdoor track & field team during the Somerset County Championships.
The Raiders soared to a total of 128 points to win their 11th Somerset County championship and first since 2019. Ridge High School from Basking Ridge, which placed second in the team standings, scored only 83 points during the competition on May 11 in Hillsborough.
“We had a great day,” Refi said. “It was a very balanced meet for us. Everyone stepped up and performed well.”
Hillsborough recorded a top-six finish in every event besides the 800 meter run to capture the county crown.
The Raiders did the most of their damage in the field with their throwers leading the charge to victory.
Senior Akosua Boateng led a group of Hillsborough shot putters that claimed three of the top four spots in the event with a first-place throw of 37 feet and three inches.
Sophomore Michaela Ruffa (third place) and junior Danae Dewberry (fourth place) rounded out the strong performance in the shot put by the Raiders.
In the discus circle, Hillsborough claimed the silver and bronze medal in the event. Senior Claudia DeRasmo placed second with a throw of 112-7, while classmate Elynna Volkova took third place with a mark of 94-10.
Junior Kayla Lockburner recorded a throw of 101-3 in the javelin to place second in the event for Hillsborough. Senior Khadijah Colburn (fourth place) and sophomore Anna Dao (fifth place) also scored points for Hillsborough in the javelin.
“Our throwers are a very strong group and did a great job,” Refi said.
Freshman Cira Palmera highlighted a strong overall performance by the Hillsborough jumpers in the county tournament.
Palmera scored a fourth place finish in the long jump with a mark of 16-01.25 and also placed fifth in the high jump.
Senior Breanna Schechter cleared the nine-foot mark in the pole vault to place second in the event for the Raiders. Freshman Chloe Montgomery jumped 33-08.25 to win Hillsborough a bronze medal in the triple jump.
On the track, junior Ernestina Danquah and sophomore Sabrina Sardar both shined bright for the Raiders.
Danquah brought home both a silver and bronze medal from the county tournament. The junior placed second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.57 seconds and ran the 200-meter dash in just under 27 seconds (26.98) to finish third in the event.
Junior Elom Acolatse placed fifth in the 200 meter dash as well for the Raiders.
Sardar won a silver medal for the Raiders in the 400-meter run with a second place time of 1:00.15.
Junior Zoe Amofa recorded points for Hillsborough in both the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles. Amofa won a bronze medal in the 100-meter hurdles with a 16.78 seconds and placed fourth in the 400-meter hurdles.
Junior Siena Sowers placed in the top six along with Amofa in the 100-meter hurdles by taking fifth place. Sophomore Juliana Ramirez finished right behind Amofa for fifth place in the 400-meter hurdles.
Sophomore Laina Denys recorded a strong performance for the Raiders in the distance running portion of the county tournament.
Denys won a bronze medal by coming in with a time of 5:20.17 in the 1,600-meter run.
The sophomore also scored Hillsborough points in the 3,200-meter run with a fifth-place finish. Junior Anna King came in right after Denys in the event to place sixth and add another point toward the Hillsborough points total.
Hillsborough claimed fourth place in the 4×400 meter relay to finish out the meet.
The next meet on tap for the Raiders will be the Skyland Conference Championships that will also be held in Hillsborough on May 24.