CBA And Union Catholic Girls Each Win 7th Title In A Row

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The Union Catholic girls and Christian Brothers Academy boys, two of the greatest programs in state history, added to their rich tradition of excellence when both juggernauts captured a seventh straight championship at Friday's NJSIAA Non-Public A Relays Championships at the Bennett Center in Toms River.    

CBA's victory extended its state record to a remarkable 30 state relay titles overall. That's 11 more than any other team in state history. Willingboro, which won the Group 1 relay title on Thursday, is No. 2 all-time with 19.

The seven titles in a row ties CBA for the third most in meet history for a boys program behind the eight straight won by Asbury Park (1988-95) and CBA (1981-1988).

CBA, missing some key athletes due to illness, kept its streak alive thanks to its balance as the Colts won four events and scored in all nine events on the way to a 72-49.50 victory over runner-up Seton Hall Prep. Union Catholic, which was missing its top distance guys, was third with 44.     

The victories for CBA came in the 4x800, DMR, shot put and pole vault.

Several athletes came up big for CBA. 

Rutgers-bound Jack Moran ran 2:00.on the runner-up SMR. Senior Ben Skrincosky ran on the runner-up shuttle hurdles, fifth-place 4x200, runner-up, and cleared a meet-best 10-6 in the pole vault. Junior Kam Coleman was on the runner-up high jump team, and ran on the shuttles and SMR. Nick Sullivan anchored the winning DMR with a 4:32 carry, and ran 2:03 and change in the 4x800. Tyler Mayerhoff unloaded a meet-best 54-4.50 in the shot put as he combined with Nick Williams (41-0.50) on the victory. Freshman Joe Barrett led off the DMR for CBA with a 3:25.1 split.      

CBA coach Karl Torchia praised his team for overcoming the absence of some key athletes, and not having a track to train on. CBA's new track is expected to be completed this June or July. Torchia said his guys have been training on grass, roads, parks, and in the hallways.    

"Between the cold weather and guys being out sick over the last two weeks, they didn't let that affect them as they all performed great today,'' said Torchia. It's been tough training with no track, but these boys have proven to be resilient, and came here wanting to win.''


The Union Catholic girls once again showed that they are the No. 1 team in the state with a dominate performance as the Vikings racked up 72 of a possible 90 points to defeat runner-up Paramus Catholic by 40 points, and Kent Place won a great duel with UC as both teams produced the top two times in the nation this season.  

UC's seven straight titles is the second most for a girls program in meet history behind the nine in a row that Hopewell Valley captured from 2002-10.

UC opened the meet by burning a US No. 1 32.96 to win the shuttle hurdles. The Vikings also received a NJ No.2/US No. 8 throw of 42-10.75 from senior Jada Mia Puryear, and finished first in the 4x200 in a NJ No. 2 1:46.98, first in the sprint medley relay in 4:22.03, and second in the high jump, 4x400, 4x800, and DMR.

UC's shuttle hurdles consisted of Taylor Cox (7.8), Ajanae Thompson (7.7), McKenzie Johnson, and Alexandra Bonn (7.9). Thompson, who was second in the 100 hurdles at the Meet of Champions last June, also split 26.0 on the 4x200, and Cox went 26.7 on the 4x200. Bonn was also a member of the runner-up high jump squad. Maameyaa Nyinah had a very impressive anchor carry of 2:22.2 for UC in the SMR, and Asydiah Pray-Brown ran a 2:26.9 in the 4x800 for UC. UC junior Seton Dill was the only girl in the meet to clear a height in the pole vault as she made a personal best 7-0. Dill also ran on the 4x800.    

"I am proud of the girls,'' said UC coach Mike McCabe. "They have worked hard to win this title. Great to see our seniors win this meet every year. I'm excited to see them progress throughout the year.''

The hottest race of the meet came in the girls DMR when Kent Place and UC hooked up in a great duel. Kent Place emerged with the victory in 12:25.17 and UC was second in 12:28.50 as the Union County distance powers took over the top two spots in the national rankings this season.

Kent Place received splits of 3:47.8 from Yale-bound Miranda Lorsbach, 66.5 from Angelica Nwachuku, 2:29.2 from Addison McGoey, and 5:01.3 from Lindsay Hausman. Nwachuku ran in place of her sister, Christiana, who has run 58.46 this season. Christiana wasn't feeling 100 percent.      

UC's DMR splits were 3:49 for Abby Granrath, 64.4 for Erica Dines, 2:25.0 for Leilani Gibson, and 5:09.0 for Kaleigh Gunsiorowski. Gibson also split 63.5 leading off the SMR.   

In other highlights, Rutgers-bound Fitzroy Ledgister of St. Peter's Prep, the state leader in the 55 dash and 200, had splits of 22.0 in the SMR and 22.6 leading off the 4x200. Those are smoking fast on the slow Bennett track.     

In the girls 4x800,  4x800,  RBC finished first in a NJ No. 5 9:54.73. Rhiannon Hill ran 2:33, Avery Hargis 2:38, Elena DiMitri ran a huge PR of 2:24, and Cate DeSousa anchored in 2:17.8. DeSousa qualified for the mile at the Millrose Games when she finished first at the Millrose Games Trials on Wednesday night.