Honesdale's senior star is chasing history and a team title in District Two
The 2013 track & field season hasn't even begun yet, but Summer Hill already has her eyes fixed on an historic goal.
One of the most decorated distance runners in Honesdale history, Hill won't consider her career complete until she breaks one of the longest standing records on the books.
"She's gunning for Renee Robbins," said Coach Mike Jurkowski with a smile.
"That's the ultimate goal in track for Summer. She wants that school record in the worst way."
If Mother Nature deigns to cooperate, Hill will have her first crack at the mark Wednesday afternoon.
The Red & Black will travel to Scranton High for their Lackawanna League debut. This meet will get underway at 4:15 p.m. on the Memorial Stadium turf.
The name Robbins is legendary in the annals of Red & Black running.
Renee graduated back in 1985 and is celebrated as a pioneer in both track and cross country.
In May of her senior year, Robbins set a standard for the 1600M that was destined to stand for more than a quarter century.
Renee broke the tape that day in 4:56, a time which has stood unchallenged for nearly 28 years.
Lindsey Pender, herself a much-decorated distance runner at HHS and now an assistant track coach, feels Summer is ready to re-write the record book.
"We have definitely set some very high goals for Summer this year," she said. "Physically, there's no question Summer is capable of getting there. It's the mental aspect that's so tough; but, I think it's only a matter of time now."
Hill is already off to a blistering start in her pursuit of Robbins' record.
As a junior, Summer opened her season with a 5:20. By the time districts rolled around, she'd reduced that number to 5:01.
This spring, Hill returned from her senior trip and was immediately thrown into the fire. Summer and her Lady Hornet teammates traveled to Easton for an invitational event where she promptly posted a time of 5:12.
"That was pretty amazing to see," Coach Pender said.
"She cut her time by almost 20 seconds last year and we don't need 20 seconds this year. It's an incredible way to start."
While gold medals and school records have become routine to Hill over the course of her varsity career, even she was stunned by that opening time.
"I just got back from Florida and I was fighting a cold on top of it," Summer said. "I really wasn't expecting anything great, but I felt good that day and just decided to go for it."
Hill has already etched her name in Honedale's record book. She owns several junior high marks and last year took over the varsity 800M (2:17.1).
Summer was also a key part of the Lady Hornets's record-shattering 4x400M relay team (4:02.3).
Whether she overtakes Robbins for the mile record or not, Hill will be taking her considerable talents to the next level this fall.
Summer has already signed her National Letter of Intent to attend the California University of PA. She will be receiving a full scholarship to compete in track and cross country.
Hill plans to major in communications with a concentration in either human resources or public relations.
"I'm really excited about it," Summer said.
"I'm definitely looking forward to moving on, but it will be a little sad, too. I loved my time here in Honesdale and I'll miss my teammates and coaches."
Summer is the daughter of Adam and Amy Hill, Equinunk.