The Union Catholic express steamrolled its way to another sweep, Jimmy Wischusen smashed a meet record in a red hot 3,200-meter run, and Julia Jackson, Greg McQueen, and Jada Mia Puryear cemented their remarkable legacies when the Union County Championships concluded on Wednesday at Milt Campbell Track in Plainfield.
UC coach Mike McCabe was ecstatic after his girls won their seventh straight title, and his boys won for the second straight year.
MORE: Day 1 Highlight Article
In a meet filled with eye-popping performances, the victory by Wischusen in the greatest 3,200 race in Union County history was the most impressive of them all as the sophomore from Union Catholic stopped the clock at 9:07.99 to shatter the meet record by more than 12 seconds!!! This race was so fast that the top six runners all ran well under the meet record of 9:20.03 set in 2009 by Union Catholic's DJ Thornton.
Wischusen, with Lucas Reguinho of Elizabeth pulling right up on his hip with 200 to go, refused to let Reguinho get by him as he unleashed a punishing kick around the curve, and then he powered his way down the final straight to finish off a 61.82 final 400 to seal the electrifying victory.
In a race that saw five of the top six finishers run under their school record, Reguinho, a junior was second in the PR parade in a school record 9:10.13, a massive 15 second PR!! Conor Daly of Westfield was third with PR of 9:10.71, Shane Brosnan of UC placed fourth with a PR of 9:13.71, Colin Riley of Dayton, the 1,600 winner on Tuesday, was fifth in a school record 9:16.38, and Micah Lawson ran 9:17.18 to finish sixth to smash Rahway's school record. The times by the top six finishers are now ranked in the top 14 in the state! I told you it was fast!!!
The 9:07.99 by Wischusen, whose previous best was 9:43.65 when he was sixth in this race a year ago, makes him the seventh fastest sophomore in state history, and it places him No. 4 all-time in Union County history, and No. 4 in the state this season.
The Virginia-bound Plummer got the redemption he was seeking when he made big surge over the final 50 meters to pass Gabriel Rodriguez to win the two-lapper for the second straight year in 1:53.46. Plummer, who finished his career with six individual titles (one in XC, three indoors and two outdoors), was edged in the 1,600 on Tuesday when he placed second in 4:15.20.
Givan, who is headed to Georgetown, completed the hurdles sweep for the second straight year when he won the 110 hurdles on Wednesday in a huge PR and NJ No. 4 time of 14.34. Givan won the 400 hurdles on Tuesday, and also placed second in the 400, and second in the 200 to score 36 points!!
UC's other victory came from freshman Noah Cooper, who soared an NJ No. 11 22-3.50 to win the long jump on Tuesday.
LIGHTNING MCQUEEN HITS 10
Greg McQueen did it again!
For the second straight year, the Elizabeth speedster completed the sprinting trifecta when he won the 200m on Wednesday in 21.66. On Tuesday, McQueen won the 100 in a personal best and NJ No.9 time of 10.72, and the 400 in 48.54. He also split 48.2 in the 4x400.
The Rutgers-bound McQueen, the most dominant sprinter in recent county history, finished his career with an astounding 10 Union County individual titles. (Six outdoors and four indoors). He never lost a Union County Championship since placing second in the 55 dash asa sophomore.
OTHER BOYS HIGHLIGHTS
Senior Robert Lerner of Scotch Plains-Fanwood unloaded a PR of 52-1.50 to win the shot put. He also placed second on Tuesday's discus with a PR of 150-11.
Max Owens of Westfield won the pole vault on misses at 12-6, Kerdel Moses of Linden went 42-6 to win the triple jump, Linden won the 4x400 in 3:24.68, and Daniel Muse of Elizabeth captured the javelin with a massive PR of 161-4. His previous bets of 147-3 came at the conference meet earlier this month.
UC GIRLS EXTEND STREAK
The Union Catholic girls picked up four more wins on Wednesday, finished 1-2-3 in the 800, and won a fast showdown in the 4x400 to runaway with its seventh straight title, 164-93.50 over runner-up Scotch Plains-Fanwood.
Taylor Cox continued her red hot rookie season when the UC freshman blasted her way to a 13.84 victory in the 100 hurdles. Cox's time is the fastest time in the state this season, just missed the meet record of 13.79 by the legendary Sydney McLaughlin, and is the second fastest time ever run by a freshman in state history. Only McLaughlin (13.34 as a freshman in 2014) has ever run faster as a freshman than Cox in state history. Cox also ran 12.20 to place third in the 100 dash.
Cox also split 58.4 on second leg open a big gap on Scotch Plains in the 4x400 to help the Vikings win that race in 3:48.76, the third fastest time in the state this season. Scotch Plains, which has run a NJ No. 2 3:48.14 this season, was second in 3:51.18.
UC sophomore Peyton Hollis, who won the 1,600 in a meet record 4:53.15 on Tuesday, won two more golds on Wednesday. She led an amazing 1-2-3 finish in the 800 for UC with a PR and NJ No. 4 time of 2:10.66, and put an exclamation point on UC's team title by anchoring the winning 4x400 with a 55.2 carry.
Nyinah also led off the 4x00 for UC with a 57.2 carry. Asydiah Pray-Brown, the 400 hurdle winner, ran a 57.1 third leg in the 4x400.
UC junior Alexandra Bonn, second in the triple jump on Tuesday, won the long jump on Wednesday with a NJ No. 3 leap of 18-3. Bonn fouled on her first two attempts, but after a safe jump to make the finals, she hit her 18-3 on her fourth jump.
UC's other win in the field came from Daniela Peralta, who cleared 10-0 to win the pole vault on Tuesday.
JACKSON CEMENTS LEGACY
Julia Jackson of Scotch Plains-Fanwood cemented her legacy as one of the greatest sprinters in county history by winning her second gold of the meet when she burned a 24.43 in the 200m to take over the state lead.
This is the second straight year that Jackson, who won the 400 on Tuesday, won the 200 and 400. Jackson, who won the 400 on also placed second in the 100m in a PR and NJ No. 2 11.90, and she split 53.3 on the runner-up 4x400.
The Duke-bound Jackson finishes her career with six individual county titles (four outdoors and two indoors).
HAUSMAN DIGS DOWN DEEP TO WIN SECOND STRAIGHT 3,200
Lindsay Hausman wasn't sure what to expect from herself.
The junior at Kent Place, who won the 1,600 and 3,200 last year, skipped the 1,600 on Tuesday because she hadn't been feeling well the last few days. But she wanted to at least give her best effort in the 3,200 on Wednesday, and she wound up surprising herself by winning her second title in a row in 10:37.19, just three second off her PR. Hausman, who ran 5:14.8 for the last 1,600, made a big move with 250 to go to pull away from Lillian Murphy of Oak Knoll to secure the victory.
GOGER MAKES HISTORY
Catherine Goger etched her name in the history book on Tuesday at Brearley when the senior launched the javelin a school record 116-9 to finish first and become the first girl from her school to ever win a county championship in track and field. Goger followed that up a school record 107-4 to place second in Wednesday's discus. The 107-4 was a PR by near 10 feet What a meet for Goger!!! Congrats!!