UC Sweeps, St. Rose, Morris Catholic Win Non-Public Titles

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Union Catholic extended one long streak and ended another when the Vikings pulled off an impressive sweep, Brian Theobald was a triple-winner to fuel St. Rose to a team title, and the Morris Catholic girls overcame an amazing performance by Tilly O'Connor to win their third straight title at Friday's NJSIAA Non-Public A and B Championships on Friday at the Bennett Center in Toms River.


In the A Division, the UC girls simply overpowered the competition, and reaffirmed their status as the top team in the state by scoring in all nine events and ringing up a meet-record 109 points to runaway with their seventh straight title. Kent Place was second with 40. UC broke the girls' overall meet record (all groups combined) for points scored of 105 that UC set in 2015

The seven championships by the UC girls ties them with Bernards for the fourth most in state history for a girls program. Columbia and Winslow share the state record with 10 titles each, and Haddonfield has captured nine.

On the boys side, Union Catholic won its first A Division title ever by snapping Christian Brothers Academy's run of 10 straight titles with an 87-65 victory over runner-up CBA. UC won its previous two championships in the B Division in 2012 and '13.

Let's look at how the UC girls racked up their record 109 points.    

In the 800, junior Kaleigh Gunsiorowski (2:17.26), Maameyaa Nyinah (2:20.18), and Asydiah Pray-Brown (2:22.63) swept the top three places for UC for 24 points.

Ajanae Thompson led the 1-2-5 finish for UC in the hurdles with a winning time of 8.21 with teammate Taylor Cox second in 8.41, and Alexandra Bonn fifth in 8.83. Thompson and Cox also scored big in the 55 dash as Thompson was second in 7.21 and Cox third in 7.39. UC also picked up a sixth in the dash from Chai Lendor (7.61).  

UC received a 3-4-6 in the 400 from Nyinah (59.85), Pray-Brown (1:00.82), and Aniyah Charles (1:01.92), and the Vikings won the 4x400 in 4:11.38.

In the field,,Jada Mia Puryear was first for UC with a throw of 41-6.50, and teammate Simone Motley placed second with 33-9.25. UC received a 3-4 finish in the pole vault from Seton Dill (a PR of 8-0) and Carmela Lo Stuto (a PR of 7-0), and Bonn scored in the high jump when she cleared 4-8 to place sixth.

For the UC boys, seniors Nick Givan, Shane Brosnan, and Myles Plummer led the charge for the Vikings.

Givan won the hurdles with a PR of 7.73, placed second in 400 in 50.02, fourth in the high jump (6-0), and he ran on the runner-up 4x400.

Brosnan won the 1,600 in 4:16.08, finished first in the 3,200 in 9:28.01, and placed third in the 800 in 1:58.29. 

Plummer placed second in the 800 in 1:56.67, third in the 1,600 in 4:17.39, and he ran on the relay.

The Vikings also picked up huge points in the pole vault from Aidan Reidy, third with a PR of 10-6, and Matthew Schutz, fourth with a PR of 10-0.  

Also scoring for UC were Al-Qamar Rojas (fifth in the hurdles), Noah Alston (sixth in the hurdles), Caudell Cajuste (sixth in the 1,600), Ryan Cichocki (fifth in the 3,200 with a PR of 9:50.50), and Alex Saldana (sixth in the 3,200 with a PR of 9:50.51.



Brian Theobald pulled off a great distance triple, and Simon Advento was a double-winner to lead the St. Rose boys to a  

67-41 victory over runner-up Bishop Eustace in the boys B Division.

It's first outright for title for the St. Rose boys and second championship overall. St. Rose shared the title with Bishop Eustace in 2010.

Theobald, a junior, was spectacular for St. Rose. He finished first in the 1,600 in 4:29.42, first in the 800 in 2:03.49, and he won the 3,200 with a PR of 9:55.58

Advento was also a huge star for St. Rose. He won the hurdles in 8.86, finished first in the pole vault (11-6), and ran on the third-place 4x400. 

Also scoring for St. Rose were Josh Huisman, second in the shot put with 52-9, Tim Clayton, sixth in the 1,600 in 4:56.16,  and Jackson Danley, fifth in the hurdles in 10.14.


In the girls B Division, Morris Catholic placed third in the meet-concluding 4x400 to complete the three-peat, 64-52 over runner-up St. Rose. It's the fifth title for Morris Catholic, which also won in 1994, 1995, 2019, and 2020.

Hannah Schofield was one of the catalysts for Morris Catholic. She won the 55 hurdles in 8.91, placed third in the 400 in 63.34, and ran on the runner-up 4x400 relay.    

The Veivia sisters, Lisa and Kate, Vonya Gould, and Anna Giannotti also came up big for the Crusaders.  

Lisa Veivia placed second in the 800 and third in the 1,600. Kate Veivia finished third in the 1,600 and fourth in the 800. Gould finished second in the 400 in 62.95, and ran on the relay, and Giannotti was fourth in the high jump, and fifth in the 55 dash.  


Tilly O'Connor of St. Rose single-handedly kept her team in contention by winning four races to score 40 points!!! O'Connor, a junior, captured the 400 in 1:02.88, the 1,600 in 5:39.12, the 800 in 2:31.2, and the 3,200 in 12:07.71


Five meets records went down in a meet that featured many of the state's biggest stars. 

Christiana Nwachuku of Kent Place, the state leader in the 55 dash, won that race in the A Division in a meet record 7.13, and finished first in the 400 in 57.54. The UPenn-bound Nwachuku, who has run a state-best 7.10 this season, broke the record of 7.19 set in 2019 by Sydney Tucker of Union Catholic.

Kent Place junior Lindsay Hausman broke the meet record in the 3,200 with her winning time of 10:45.25, which is the third fastest time in the state this season. The former record of 10:47.24 was set in 2013 by Courtney Thompson of St. John Vianney.     

In a clash between two of state's best in the 55 dash, Fabian France of Bergen Catholic won the A race with a NJ No. 3 and meet record 6.39, edging Fitzroy Ledgister of St. Peter's Prep, second in 6.43. Both sprinters went under the meet record of 6.45 set in 2018 by Antonio Tarantino of Paul VI.  

Joe Licata of Gill-St. Bernard's improved his PR and state lead in the shot put by winning the B Division with a meet-record throw of 63-8. He broke the former record of 63-4 that was set by his brother CJ in 2018.  

Cate DeSousa of Red Bank Catholic captured the girls 1,600 in the A Division in 4:58.17, which broke the record of 4:59.98 set in 2013 by Tara Connelly of St. John Vianney. 

Senior Selah Dungey of Newark Academy cleared a meet record and PR of 5-5, which is tied for No. 3 in the state this season, to win the girls B Division high jump. That broke the record of 5-2 that she shared with five others. The University of Chicago-bound Dungey also won the high jump at the Non-Public B State Indoor championships as a sophomore in 2020, and she has won two Non-Public B State titles outdoors in the high jump (2019 and 2021).     


Junior Collin Boler of Delbarton, the state leader in the 800, won the 800 in 1:56.65 and was second in the 1,600 in 4:16.64.

Mike Mazero of Paul VI won the boys A Division 400 in 49.33, tied for No. 3 in NJ this season.