Union Catholic Wins 4xMile, Ties NJ Record At NB Nationals

Union Catholic got the New Balance National Championships off to an electrifying start by winning the boys 4xmile and equaling the New Jersey state record on Thursday night at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

The foursome of junior Caudell Cajuste, senior Myles Plummer, senior Shane Brosnan, and sophomore Jimmy Wischusen combined to run 17:12.34, which equals the oldest state record that was set by Essex Catholic 56 years ago, and is tied for No. 11 in U.S. high school history.

In June of 1966, Essex Catholic, anchored by the legendary Marty Liquoriran a hand time of 17.12.2 at Highland Park, which converts to an automatic time of 17:12.34 (adding .14). The first three runners for Essex Catholic were Jim McLoughlin, Art Martin, and Fred Lane. Lane ran the fastest split of 4:14.8. 

Union Catholic matched the Essex Catholic performance in race that was never in doubt after the Vikings blew open a tight race on the third leg and went on to win by 21 seconds over an all underclassmen Christian Brothers Academy squad, second in 17:33.68. Westfield finished sixth in 17:43.7.

Cajuste got UC off to a solid start, splitting 4:27.6 before handing off to Plummer in fifth place. Plummer got right up to the lead pack after the first 800, and then charged to the front and completed a 4:14.9 carry to put UC in the lead for good. Brosnan immediately opened a huge gap on the third leg and kept pouring it on as he built a huge lead with a 4:15.5 split. Wischusen, in a race against the clock when he got the stick, finished off the masterpiece by cranking out a 4:14.2 anchor, which included a 62.5 last lap.

In the girls 4xmile on Thursday night, Cherokee finished second in 20:42.80, which is No. 6 in state history, and Haddonfield was fourth in 21:10.42. The Purple Track Club from Michigan (Pioneer High School) finished first in 20:08.62, No. 13 in U.S. history.

Cherokee's splits were 5:08.7 for Kelsey Niglio, 5:10.1 for Kerry O'Day, 5:17.7 for Megan Niglio, and 5:06.3 for Nikki Clifford.