Elizabeth Boys, UC Girls, Vanriele Rock Union County Meet



Elizabeth used a big finish in the high jump to rally to win the boys title, the Union Catholic girls won its seventh straight title in dominating fashion, and Victoria Vanriele of Gov. Livingston and the Union boys smashed records at the Union County Track and Field Championships on Monday at Ocean Breeze on Staten Island.

This was the first time ever that the meet was held at Ocean Breeze after 11 years on the slower Jersey City Armory track. Before it moved to Jersey City in 2009 gym floor, the meet was held for several years on the gym floor at the Dunn Center in Elizabeth. I'm not kidding!!! It was 12 laps for a mile as runners circled the basketball court.     

The meet has certainly come a long way, and as a result of the move to Ocean Breeze, the 200, long jump and pole vault were contested for the first time ever at this meet, two meet records were broken, and several PR's were recorded on the much faster oval and better circle.
The Penn State-bound Vanriele, who has won six Meet of Champions 800 titles in her career, ran a NJ#2 and US#8 2:09.41 to smash her own meet record of 2:12.55 set in 2018. What a weekend for the tireless Vanriele, who won the 400 and 800 and anchored the winning 4x400 at the NJ Sec. 2 Group 2 meet on Friday night in Toms River. 

On the boys side, Union blasted a NJ#2/ US#5 3:21.28 to win the 4x400, shattering the old meet mark of 3:25.39 set in 2014 by Rahway.  

In the boys team competition, Elizabeth and defending champ Union Catholic were locked up in a great battle that went right down to the final event. Elizabeth was trailing UC by five points, but Mackel Pierrilus cleared a PR of 6-2 and Donsly Barthelus 6-0 to give the Minutemen a 1-2 finish in the high jump for 18 points, giving Elizabeth a 103 1/2 to 94 1/2 victory over UC, which was seeking a third straight title.

Elizabeth, which won its last title in 2017, picked up several PR's from mutliple athletes on the way to victory. 

Bryan Rodrigues and Abdul Tucker went 1-2 in the boys 55m HH for Elizabeth,  Rodrigues ran a PR of 7.77, tied for No. 20 in the state, and Tucker ran a PR off 7.86. 

The Minutmen also went 1-3 in the 200 as Greg McQueen ripped a NJ#7 22.23 to finish first and Antonio Roopchand was third in a PR of 22.43. McQueen was also second in the 55 dash with a PR of 6.59, and Roopchand took fourth in the 400.

In the field Lorvensky Vilbrun went 22-0 and Pierrilus soared a PR of 21-0 3/4 to give Elizabeth a 1-2 finish in the LJ, Jose Rebolledo was fourth (12-0) and Alex Carrillo sixth (11-6) in the pole vault, and Sebastian Perez was fourth in the shot put with a 45-10 3/4. 

Also contributing key points for the Minutemen were Anthony Bueno, fourth in the 800,  Pierrilus was sixth in the 55m HH with a PR of 8.05, and the 4x400 squad placed third.

On the girls side, it was all UC as the Vikings rang up 144 points, more than 100 more than runner-up Elizabeth, second with 39.

UC received six victories and several sizzling performances.

Sophomore Abby Granrath was a double winner for UC, junior A'Liyah Thomas was her usual splendid all-round self, and Isabella Gray, Chidumga Nkulume and the 4x400 squad all picked up gold medals for the Vkinigs.    

Granrath, the Union County XC champ this past fall, won the 1,600 in 5:14.27 and the 3,200 in 11:34.21.

Thomas extended her state lead with a PR of 18-9 1/2 to lead a 1-2-3 finish for UC in the long jump, placed second in the high jump (matching her PR of 5-4), and was fifth in the 55 dash in 7.48. Gray cleared 10-6 to win the pole vault.

Nkulume won her first county title by crossing first in the 400 in 57.37. She ran a NJ#3 56.89 last month at the Bullis Invit. at the NY Armory.  She was also second in the 200 in 25.46. And the 4x400 team won in 3:59.59.

Also for UC, Alexandra Bonn finished second in the LJ with PR and NJ#9 17-8 1/2, Sadie Abood placed second in the 3,200 with a PR of 11:39.37, Jada Mia Puryear was second in the shot with a PR of 35-8 1/2.

Ajanae Thompson was fourth in the dash in 7.38 and fifth in the 55 hurdles in 8.85, Morgan Williams second in the 800 in 2:19.61, Zamira Ysaac fourth in the 800 in 2:20.28, and Ashleigh Patterson was fifth in 2:20.52. Felicia Quainoo was second in the 55m hurdles in 8.49, and third in the LJ, and Avery Jordan was sixth in the HH in 8.90. Autumn Barge placed fifth in the girls PV at 7-6, and Sydney McDonald placed sixth in the 200 in 26.21


  • UC sophomore Myles Plummer was one of the biggets stars of the meet. He won the 1,600 for the second straight year in 4:25.65, the 800 1:58.40, and placed third in the 3,200.
  • Union junior Joy Enaohwo ran a NJ#3 7.16 to knock off state leader Christina Nwachuku of Kent Place (7.17). Nwachuku, a sophomore, ran a NJ#1 7.12 at the State Prep Championships on Feb. 1.  
  • Junior Carly Tarentino of Johnson cleared a NJ#4 5-6 1/2 to win the girls hjigh jump for the second straight year. She also won the county title last spring with a meet record 5-6 1/2. Her PR of 5-7 came when she placed second in te Emerging Elite competition at the New Balance Nationals last spring.
  • Elijah Brown of UC, fourth with 100 meters to go, closed fast to rally to win his second straight boys 400 title in a NJ #3 49.55. Brown won the 800 at the Meet of Champions last winter. 
  • Tyhir Jones, of UC was second in 49.73. He is the state leader in the 400 with the 49.41 he ran at the Bullis Invit. last month at the NY Armory.
  • Cranford flexed its throwing prowess by going 1-2 in the boys shot put as Ryan Aszklar unloaded a NJ#20 51-5 3/4 and Jack Bowers threw 49-2 1/2, both marks are PR's.
  • Senior Chaa-nah Brathwaite of Elizabeth won the 200 in an NJ#4 25.31
  • Conor Reilly of UC, the oudoor county PV champ last spring., made 14-6 to win the pole vault.
  • Alexus Smith of Rahway won the girls 55 hurdles in 8.41. She is NJ#6 with the 8.26 she ran earlier this month.
  • Rahway senior Story Young went beyond 40 feet for the first time in her career to earn her fiorst county title, winning the girls shot put with a mark of 40-1 1/2.
  • Linden senior Zion Marshall won the boys 55 dash in a PR and NJ#13 6.58.