It’s the most impressive streak you’ve never heard about. For three straight springs, from 2011-2013, the South Brunswick High School girls track and field program swept every throwing event at the Greater Middlesex Conference Relays.
Nine competitions, nine gold medals.
“We definitely take a lot of pride in the job that we do as a group,” Vikings throwing coach Chris Ruskie said. “We’ve had a lot of great throwers come through. This group could definitely be as good.”
Leading the way is junior Kristin Krier, who won the javelin in last spring’s Group IV meet with a throw of 132-6. She is the state’s top returner in the event.
“We’re looking forward to Kristin having a big year and leading all our throwers,” Ruskie said. “She’s gotten better each of the last two years and we expect that to continue.”
Krier has the advantage of being able to practice the javelin in her back yard — she lives on four acres — but that didn’t help much during a terrible winter that extended through March’s preseason.
“We stay inside and we go over steps and technique and make sure we’re comfortable on the runway,” she said.
South Brunswick also makes use of a TurboJav, a safer implement that can be used indoors.
“This season has definitely been a challenge so far with the weather situation,” Ruskie said. “Some days we’ve been sucking it up and getting outside. It makes a difference when you can’t feel your hands holding a discus, but in April if it’s going to be like this, you have to get used to it.”
It helps being a competitor, and Krier checks off that box. She plays volleyball in the fall and bowls in the winter.
Three-sport athletes are increasingly rare at big schools.
“They’re all extremely different,” she said, “but I have a passion for each one.”
Krier also has broken 90 feet in the discus, but as good as she is, one person cannot win a three-girl relay.
South Brunswick has 11 throwers — not the army some might expect, but quality through and through. Senior Rachel Vandemark placed sixth in the javelin in Central Group IV (104-9).
Junior Brianna Del Piano took fifth in the sectional discus (103-2). Junior Denise Porter put the shot 33 feet indoors.
Freshmen Miranda Irizzary and Olivia Scattergood already are 30-foot shot putters who will branch out to other throws this season.
Everyone, from veterans to newcomers, is aware of The Streak.
“It’s great being a part of it,” Krier said. “We all push each other, especially Rachel. She pushes me in the weight room. I’m really tiny (5-foot-2), and I don’t like lifting weights. She drives everybody.”
Of course the Vikings will be well-balanced and score big in other areas.
Junior Aspen McMillan and sophomore Desirae Osley lead a rock-solid group of hurdlers and sprinters.
But the throws, often overshadowed by the action on the track, will be center stage as the program looks to maintain its grip on the GMC.
“We take a lot of pride in that,” Krier said. “But we don’t want to let it get to our heads.”