During the indoor track and field season, Hillsborough High School girls’ coach Rich Refi had one issue with Kirstyn Schechter, his standout sophomore.
She couldn’t run in every event.
“I can only put her in so many events in a given day,” Refi said back in January.
He almost laughed when he said it. Almost.
So he was probably serious, which made perfect sense. Schechter was in the midst of a season when she ran everything from the 55-meter hurdles to the high jump to the 4×400-meter relay for the Raiders. She even won the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 sectional championship in the 55-meter hurdles on Feb. 2 in Toms River.
But if the winter saw Schechter introduce herself to the central New Jersey track scene, the spring season featured her blossoming into a standout.
The sophomore broke two school records on her own and helped a Hillsborough relay team shatter another program mark. She also won the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 sectional championship in the 100-meter hurdles on May 25 at Howell High School, finishing the race in 15.28.
Schechter broke Hillsborough records in the 200-meter dash and in the 100-meter hurdles. She set the dash record by running a 25.38 in the NJSIAA Group 4 championship on May 31 at Franklin High School in Somerset. She broke the hurdles mark at the same meet, completing the race in 14.57.
Since none of that was enough, in the same meet Schechter also anchored the Raiders’ record setting 4×400-meter relay team, which posted a time of 3:53.36. Schechter and the Raiders did not win any of these events at the state group meet, but they still ran great races and established new program standards.
“Our girls had a great meet at Group 4,” Refi said in an email.
“And Kirstyn is very good,” Refi added. “She’s our most versatile athlete right now.”
The great thing about Schechter is that she has two years left at Hillsborough. She is also a three-season track athlete, running cross-country in the fall, indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring.
Refi’s most versatile runner should only get more versatile, and better in general, as her career progresses.
“She had a very good year,” Refi said. “I hoped for it, but I’m not sure if I expected it.”
“I certainly didn’t expect a school record, so that was a nice surprise,” he added.
Hillsborough also enjoyed a successful spring as a team, and a lot of key contributors will be back next year.
Schechter’s three teammates on the record setting relay team were a junior in Shelsea Rigby, a junior in Lara Leitz and a sophomore in Sia Mahajan.
As a team this spring, these Raiders even won two championships. They claimed the Skyland Conference’s 2 Delaware Division title on May 7 and the Somerset County title on May 14, both at Hillsborough.
“We’re getting excited because we’ve won a couple trophies and hopefully they’re excited about the rest of the season,” Refi said in early May.
The same logic applies to next season, both the 2019-20 indoor campaign and the 2020 outdoor campaign.