Fresh off winning their 11th Somerset County championship last week, Coach Richard Refi and his Hillsborough girls outdoor track & field team once again soared to another championship during the Skyland Conference Championships.
For the ninth time in program history, the Raiders were crowned conference champions on May 24 in Hillsborough, beating out North Hunterdon Regional High School for the top spot in the overall team standings.
“It’s always nice to win a trophy,” Refi said. “If there is a trophy to be won, we’re going to do our best to win it.”
This is the third team championship the Raiders have won this spring. Along with winning the Somerset County championship, Hillsborough also won the Somerset County Relay team title for the 15th time earlier this season.
Hillsborough scored 99.5 points in the overall team standings to win the conference championship over North Hunterdon, who finished with 75.5 points.
The conference tournament was held in a division-style format as teams competed in each event against opponents from the schools in their division. The results from each event were then compared against scores from the other divisions to determine team placements in the overall conference standings
Hillsborough claimed its three straight division crown by winning the Skyland Conference-Delaware Division championship over Hunterdon Central High School in Flemington. It’s the 13th division championship for the Raiders in program history.
Sophomore Sabrina Sardar had a great day on the track for the Raiders, winning two gold medals individually in the 400 meter hurdles and the 400 meter dash. Sardar also took home a silver medal in the 200 meter dash.
Junior Ernestina Danquah, in the 100 meter dash, had a winning time of 12.80 seconds and also placed fourth in the 200 meter dash.
Sophomore Laina Denys, in the distance events on the track for the Raiders, placed first in the 3,200 meter run with a time of 11 minutes and 14.33 seconds. Teammate Anna King finished behind Denys for second place in the event.
Denys recorded a time of 5:16.92 in the 1,600 meter run to help her edge out Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School’s Lorena David for second place in the event.
The Hillsborough 4×400 meter relay team took home gold by beating out the field with a winning time of 4:03.84.
Hillsborough once again showed off its strength in the throwing events by sweeping the first place spot in all three events during the conference meet.
Senior Akosua Boateng won gold in the shot put with a throw of 36 feet and three inches. A toss of 101-06 led senior Elynna Volkova to winning a gold medal for Hillsborough in the discus.
Hillsborough took home the top two spots in both the shot put and discus courtesy of sophomore Michaela Ruffa, who placed second in both events.
The Raiders also grabbed a gold and silver medal in the javelin. Junior Kayla Lockburner won the event with a toss of 103-01 and sophomore Anna Dao came in second with a mark of 99-09.
Rounding out other great performances in the field for the Raiders were freshman Cira Palmera, sophomore Ella Karolewski and senior Brianna Schechter.
Palmera (high jump) and Karolewski (pole vault) each placed first in their respective event. Schecter brought home a silver medal with a second place finish in the long jump.
The Raiders will now gear up to win a second straight sectional championship with the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group IV Championships scheduled to take place in Howell starting on June 3.