The Mater Dei girls started and finished strong while St. Dominic Academy staged a remarkable comeback. The Hudson Catholic boys won three gold medals en route to halting a four-year title drought.
All three programs were crowned as champions when the NJSIAA Non-Public B State Relay Championships concluded at the Bennett Center in Toms River.
When St. Dominic's Milani Bethel, Suhayla Johnson, Kayla Sullivan and Avery Sullivan finished second (4:31.23) in the meet-concluding 4x400-meter relay, they helped forge a tie with Mater Dei for the girls team title, as both scored 44 points. Mater Dei entered the race leading by four and finished fourth (4:37.88).
St. Dominic placed at least fifth in all six track events and claimed at least a share of the title for a third straight season. The Jersey City program earned the Non-Public B title outright in 2018 and tied Morris Catholic last season. It was the first such title for the Mater Dei girls, which placed in seven of nine events.
Kayla Sullivan, a junior, was a major force behind St. Dominic's effort, splitting 5:23.9 on the 1,600 anchor leg of the third-place distance medley (13:09.26); 29.4 on the fifth-place 4x200 (1:57.44); 2:26.7 on the third-place 4x800 (10:20.82); and 1:05.5 on the 4x400.
Mater Dei was paced by a pair of field event golds. Juniors Bridgette Blumetti (8-0) and Carly Mindell (7-6) won the pole vault. Freshman Lucy Jackson and junior Rachael Hanna both cleared 4-6 to win the high jump.
For the Hudson Catholic boys, who won their first team title since repeating as Non-Public B champion in 2016, speed was the key.
Seniors Nessem Ibrahim, Jaheir White and Mamady Magassouba and junior Shemar Wilson won the 4x200 in 1:33.79, just one tick off the meet record set by Union Catholic in 2013.
Wilson and Magassouba returned with senior Isaiah Decias and junior Isaias Rosa to win the sprint medley relay in 3:55.80.
When Magassouba, Decias, Wilson and Jacob Rodriguez closed out the meet with a second-place finish in the 4x400, the Hawks clinched the team title with 52 points, well ahead of runner-up St. Rose (38).
Hudson Catholic, which earned six top-three finishes overall in nine events, also snagged field event gold when juniors Joshua Ruiz (43-1 ½) and Anthony Dansler (41-3 ¼) won the shot put.
The Immaculata boys enjoyed an impressive distance performance. Junior James Ptack (3:23 for 1,200) and seniors Will Neer (1:00 for 400), Michael Blandino (2:15 for 800) and T.J. Harkins (4:37 for 1,600) won the distance medley in 11:19.05. Ptack (2:07), sophomore Curtis Quintos (2:23), Blandino (2:19) and Harkins (2:07) won the 4x800 in 8:57.34.
Also enjoying a sweep of the distance events were the Villa Walsh girls. Seniors Hope Crann (4:01 for 1,200), Olivia Bereswill (1:09 for 400) and Julia Collum (2:31 for 800) and junior Sarah Hanifin (5:16 for 1,600) won the distance medley in 13:01.56. Hanifin (2:29), junior Christina Cucolo (2:37), Collum (2:35) and Crann (2:31) won the 4x800 in 10:17.59.
Gill St. Bernard's sophomore Joe Licata led all shot putters with a 47-7 ½, clearing the field by four feet.
Roselle Catholic senior Isaac Carter cleared 5-10 in the high jump.
St. Rose junior Logan LaMoult (9-0) was the sole pole vaulter to clear a height at the meet.
Holy Spirit junior Julia Bannan was the top shot put thrower of the girls meet with a 33-1 ½.
Hudson Catholic senior Esther Dogbe got over the high jump bar at 4-10.