Union Catholic simply steamrolled the competition, Julia Jackson captured her third gold medal in record-breaking fashion, and rising star Celine-Jada Brown continued her breakout season with a remarkable performance and Lindsay Hausman and Carly Tarentino shined in the girls competition at Friday's Union County Championships at historic Hub Stine Field in Plainfield
Union Catholic, which also won the boys title to earn its first sweep since 2015, solidified its status as the No. 1 team in the state by ringing up a mind-blowing 164 points, 100 more than runner-up Scotch Plains-Fanwood, to extend its winning streak to six titles in a row.
The individual star of the meet was Jackson, who was her scintillating self in the sprints.
After placing third in the 100 in 12.08 and winning the 400-meter run on Thursday in 55.23, Jackson came back on Friday to win the 200 in 24.43, and then put an exclamation point on a her triple-gold showing by splitting 54.5 to bring her team across the line first in the 4x400 in meet record 3:47.91, which lowers its NJ#1 time and is US#14 this season. Scotch Plains-Fanwood took down the meet record of 3:49.27 that was set in 2015 by a Union Catholic team that featured 2016 Olympian Sydney McLaughlin.
Jackson, who came into the meet as the state leader in both the 400 (54.98) and 200 (24.42), talked about her performance and the stunning meet record the Raiders threw down in the video below-
There were two other multiple individual champion in the girls competition, Lindsay Hausman of Kent Place, and Brown, a junior at Plainfield.
Brown has seemingly come out of nowhere over the last two days to become one of the state's brightest stars.
After winning the 400 hurdles with a PR of 1:05.71 on Thursday, Brown soared 19-5 on Friday to capture the long jump and take over the state lead in the event. Her 19-5 was a PR by inches.
Hausman, a sophomore, used a strong finishing kick for the second straight day to win the 3,200 in 11:00. to complete a very impressive double. Hausman won the 1600 on Thursday in 5:02.61 In both victories, Hausman held the lead for nearly the entire race, was challenged late, but responded with string surges in the final straightaway to secure the wins. on Thursday, and she's preparing to run the 1600 at the Haddonfield Distance Night this Monday.
Katie Hamilton of Westfield, who has run 4:48 for the mile this season and won the Indoor Meet of Champions title in the 1600 in 2020, only ran the 4x400 at this meet. She wasn't feeling well on Thursday. She is scheduled to run the 1,600 at the Haddonfield Distance Night this Monday.
The rest of the meet belonged to Union Catholic as the Vikings blended a great mix of points on the track and in the field in a remarkable display of depth and balance to keep its impressive winning streak alive.
How balanced was UC? How about 83 points in the field and 81 on the track!!
In the field, junior Jada Mia Puryear had another huge meet in the throws, winning the discus with a NJ#1 127-8, and the shot put with a 39-2.25, Autumn Barge won the javelin with a PR of 102-4, Alexandra Bonn won the triple jump (36-10), and Daniela Peralta cleared a huge PR of 9-6 to win the pole vault.
On the track, the Vikings put the meet away in the first two events on Friday when rising sophomore star when Kaleigh Gunsiorowski (second in the 1,600 on Thursday with a big PR of 5:03.62), finished first in the 800 (2:16.52), and UC went 1-2-3 in the 100 hurdles with sophomore Ajanae Thompson winning in 15.02. Thompson, a sophomore, also placed fourth in the 100 dash and sixth in the 200.
A'Liyah Thomas had a great all-round meet for UC by placing second in the high jump, high hurdles, and the long jump.
Another big highlight was provided by Johnson senior Carly Tarentino who won her second high jump title by clearing an NJ#1 5-6.25. Tarentino, who always jumps her best at this meet, set the meet record of 5-6.50 in 2019.