Union Catholic Sweeps County, Rahway Blasts US#2 in Shuttles

Rahway's state leading 29.95 in the shuttle hurdles, video courtesy of Mahdi Sumter.

Full Results

Union Catholic swept the team titles and the Rahway boys blasted a NJ#1/US#2 29.95 in the shuttle hurdles at the Union County Relays on Saturday at the Jersey City Armory.

It's the sixth straight title for the Union Catholic girls, which dominated the meet by winning five of the six races on the track, running a NJ#1 time in the DMR, and breaking the meet record in the 4x200 on the way to a 66-32 victory over runner-up Summit.

The Union Catholic boys, which scored in all eight events, capped off a spectacular all-round performance by placing second in the meet-concluding 4x400-meter relay to edge, Elizabeth, 55-52, for its first title since 2016 and its 7th title in the past 9 years.

Rahway turned in the most impressive victory of the meet with its 29.95 in the boys shuttle hurdles. That's No. 3 in Rahway history, lowered its own state leading performance of 30.66, and trails only the 29.81 run by Western Branch of Virginia at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic on the US list this season.

Rahway's lineup consisted of seniors Ola Akande (7.1), Genaro Rojas (7.4), Jahmir Ferris (7.7), and Justin Coelho (7.5).

In the girls competition, UC won the DMR in a NJ#1 12:38.83, the 4x200 in a meet record 1:44.86, the 4x400 in 4:06.40, the 4x800 in 9:59.04, and the shuttle hurdles in 33.79. UC also ran a NJ#3 4:14.78 to place second in the SMR to Gov. Livingston's NJ#2 4:13.63.  

For the UC girls, Jerika Lufrano anchored the DMR with a 5:06.7 carry. Morgan Williams had splits of 2:23.6 in the 4x800 ad 2:29.1 in the DMR. Ashleigh Patterson anchored the 4x800 (2:26.8) and 4x400 (62.2).  Khamil Evans ran 59.3 in the SMR and 26.0 in the 4x200. Sydney Tucker split 25.5 in the 4x200 and 25.7 in the SMR. Chi Chi Nkulume went 59.0 in the 4x400 and 26.2 in the 4x200. A'Liyah Thomas cleared 5-0 on the runner-up high jump team, split 8.2 in the shuttles, and went 26.6 in the SMR. Zamira Ysaac anchored the SMR in 2:22.7 and ran 7.9 on the shuttles, and Angelique Williams cleared 5-4 in the HJ.

Several athletes came up big for the Union Catholic boys.

Two of the big catalysts for UC were Elijah Brown and Myles Plummer each ran on the first-place distance medley and sprint medley relay teams, and ran a leg on the runner-up 4x400.

Brown, a junior, split 1:55.6 on the 800 leg on the DMR, which crossed first in 10:51.60, ran 50.7 on the SMR, which won in 3:39.54, and had a 50.1 carry in the 400. 

Plummer, one of the state's top freshman, anchored the DMR with a 4:37.5 carry, split 2:00.9 as the anchor on the SMR, and had a 51.5 anchor carry in the 4x400.

Chinedu Okoro, Conor Reilly, and Connor Cooper also had big days for UC.

Okoro ran 23.1 on the SMR, split 24.1 on the fourth-place 4x200, and cleared 5-6 on the runner-up high jump team.  

Reilly, one of the state's top pole vaulters, ran 52.7 in the 4x400 and 23.3 on the fourth-place 4x400

Cooper had splits of 53.5 for 400 on the DMR, and 24.2 in the 4x200

In other highlights for the Union Catholic boys, Matt Axt came up with a clutch 54.1 leg in the 400. Ryan McLaughlin and Brandon Leslie each split 7.5 on the runner-up shuttle hurdle team, Obadare Animashaun led off the shuttle hurdles and ran a 24-6 in the SMR, Oluwafemi Asenuga cleared 5-10 in the high jump, and Uchenna Duru (46-1 1/2), Jared Ware (43-4 1/4) and Ray Lestarchick (39-7) combined to give UC a runner-up finish in the shot put.