CBA Wins Ninth Straight, UC Girls Win Fifth in a Row in NPA

 

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The Christian Brothers Academy boys and Union Catholic girls each turned in historic performances at Saturday's NJSIAA Non-Public A Track and Field Championships at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

CBA rallied late to edge Union Catholic, 76-72, to extend its state record to nine straight titles and increase its state record total to 24 championships.  

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In the girls competition, Union Catholic received contributions from 13 different athletes on the way to a decisive and dominating 101-38.5 victory over runner-up Paramus Catholic, which gave UC a girls state record tying five straight state titles. 

UC's five titles in a row equals the longest girls winning streak in state history. Science won five straight Group 1 titles (1989 through 1993), and Columbia matched that by capturing five in a row in Group 4 (1994 through 1998).

The 101 points by UC represents the second highest girls total in meet history. Union Catholic owns the girls state record with 105 points set in 2015.  


The boys team competition was a great back and forth battle between CBA and UC.  

CBA trailing 62-50 heading into the 3,200, but juniors Shaw Powell and Troy Hill finished 1-2 to give CBA 78-72 entering the meet-concluding 4x400 relay. Powell finished first in 9:21.40 and Hill came in at 9:22.67.

Heading into the 4x400 relay, the Colts held a slight 68-62 lead.won the 3,200 in a NJ#5 9:21.40 and Hill was second in a NJ#6 9:22.67.

In the 4x400, Union Catholic finished first in 3:25.30 and CBA was second in 3:26.71 as CBA secured a hard-fought four-point victory. 

Tim McInerney had a strong meet for CBA, winning the 1,600 in 4:18.60 and placing third in the 800, and Liam O'Hara placed second for CBA in the 400 (50.32), fourth in the hurdles (7.84), and ran on the relay.

CBA's other point producers were Eros Bottino , third in the shot put (50-10.25), Nicholas Morse, fourth in the shot (50-3), Miles Enstrom, fourth in the pole vault at 11-6, Ethan Ferraiola, fifth in the vault (10-6), Charles Ciraolo, fifth in the high jump, and Tristan Amell, fifth in the 1,600 (4:26.86).     

The Union Catholic boys were led by Elijah Brown, Myles Plummer, Conor Reilly, and Ryan McLaughlin.

Brown, a junior, won the 400 in a NJ#2 49.38, led a 1-2 finish for UC in the 800 with a winning time of 1:56.66, and anchored the winning 4x400 relay with a 49.5 carry. 

Plummer, a freshman, was second in 1:58.00 and split 51.4 on the relay. Reilly, also a junior, led a 1-2-3 finish for UC in the pole vault with a PR equaling 15-0, and led off the 4x400 with a 52.3. McLaughlin was second for UC in a NJ#6 7.55, which is a new PR. Connor Cooper contributed a 51.7 split for UC on the 4x400.  

In the girls competition, UC's latest state title run was sparked by Sydney Tucker, Jerika Lufrano, Leena Morant, and the 4x400 relay team, who all struck gold for the Vikings, who scored in nine of the 10 events.

Tucker, a junior, blasted a 7.15 in both the trials and the finals of the 55 dash (just off her PR and NJ#3 7.13) to finish first and break the meet record of 7.16 set in 2011 by Myasia Jacobs of Paramus Catholic. Tucker also ran a 61.7 second leg on the first-place 4x400 relay (4:04.65), which included Avery Jordan (61.5 on the lead off), Morgan Williams (60.9), and Zamira Ysaac (60.2)

Morant, a junior, won the 800 in a NJ#3 2:16.13 and finished third in the 400 with an indoor PR of 57.72. Lufrano, a senior, won the 1,600 in 5:02.92.

In other highlights for UC, junior Chidumga Nkulume placed second in both the 55 dash (7.21) and the 400 (57.71),  sophomore A'Liyah Thomas placed second in the high jump (a PR of 5-4) and fifth in the hurdles (8.69), junior Felicia Quainoo was fourth in the hurdles in 8.44, sophomore Morgan Williams was fifth in the 800 in a personal best 2:18.34, senior Angelique Williams finished third in the high jump (5-0), senior Hope Handlin was second in the pole vault (10-6), freshman Abby Granrath placed second in the 3,200 with a PR of 11:32.67), and junior Ashleigh Patterson placed sixth  in the 800 (2:23.23). 

In other highlights - 

St. Augustine Prep's Sincere Rhea dusted his competition, the Meet of Champions winner in the 55 hurdles last year, won the hurdles in 7.39. Rhea owns a NJ#1/US#3  7.29,.

James Bivins of Donovan Catholic won the 55 dash in 6.49 and ran a school record a NJ#6 6.47 in the trials.

Roman Oben Jr. of St. Peter's Prep won the boys shot put with a NJ#5 and huge PR of 56-1.25.

Ivan Jacob of Bergen Catholic scored a big upset in the boys high jump when he cleared 6-2 to finish first. Jacob defeated defending champion and co-state leader Adonis McGee of St. Peter's Prep, who placed second at 6-0. McGee has cleared 6-8 this season.

Nicole Vanasse, a junior at Pingry, won her second straight 3,200 title by running 11:08.54. Vanasse won the 3,200 at the indoor Meet of Champions lat year.

Caroline Dannenbaum, a junior at Pingry,  cleared a NJ#2 12-0.25 to win the girls pole vault. 

Isabelle Dely of Paramus Catholic won her second straight 55 hurdles title with a NJ#6 8.22, and was fifth in the high jump (5-0).

Kent Place senior Kaira Brown, who is headed to Vanderbilt, captured her second straight Non-Public A 400 title in 56.95. She has run a NJ#3 55.79 this season.


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