WESTFIELD, NJ — Julia Csorba ran the 400-meter hurdles this past Friday in 64.32, placing second overall in the sectional championship and besting her personal record by more than one second, head girls track coach Joe Berardi said.

Csorba, a 17-year-old junior, returned on the second day of the meet to take third overall in the 100-meter hurdle competition, then anchored the 4 x 400 relay to a season-best time of 3:358.34, Berardi said. Csorba is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week.

“Julia has been hurdling consistently for the past three years and the growth she’s shown is nothing short of tremendous,” said Westfield girls hurdles coach Carine Helwig. “Not only has Julia smashed the Westfield school record for 400 intermediate hurdles, she has, more importantly, shown a mental toughness and resilience.”

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Csorba is a natural leader, and she never shies away from a workout, Helwig said.

“She’s often asking for more reps and harder drills,” Helwig added. “To compete and succeed the way she did at the North II Group IV Sectional Championship in both the intermediate hurdles, 100 high hurdles and anchoring the 4x400 exemplify the versatile athlete that Julia is.”

While hurtling is one among several track contests she competes in, Csorba said she enjoys it more than some of the other events because she can focus on the portion of the race immediately in front of her.

“It’s a lot more fun, and it makes the race go by a lot faster because instead of focusing on the entire race, I just focus on racing to the next hurdle,” Csorba said.

Csorba, who also runs cross country and winter track, started running competitively when a middle school gym teacher alerted her parents to the rising talent she showed during class.

“My middle school gym teacher emailed my parents after we ran a race in gym,” Csorba recalled. “She told my parents I needed to run track so then I ran for the Westfield Area YMCA Flyers in eighth grade and I just loved the team and the sport, and that pretty much made my decision.”

In addition to excelling in track, Csorba enjoys art something she will be taking an advanced portfolio class in next year.

Csorba is applying to colleges and has drawn the interest of recruiters.

“I’ve had a lot of coaches reach out to me, and they are schools from I am interested in so I am communicating with them a little bit,” Csorba said.

The Lady Blue Devils track team next heads into a group meet this weekend.

“If we qualify, we’ll move on to the Meet of Champions,” Csorba said.