NJSIAA Non-Public A & B State Championships Highlights

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Jim Lambert for NJ MileSplit 


Seton Hall Prep, riding a great triple by Xavier Donaldson, went 1-2-3 in the meet-opening 400 and received several clutch performances on the way to a hard-fought 83-75 over Christian Brothers Academy.

It's Seton Hall Prep's first state indoor title since it shared the championship with Don Bosco Prep and CBA in 1980, and it's the eighth title overall for Seton Hall Prep.

Donaldson, who is headed to Princeton University, was his usual sensational self for the Pirates. He ignited the 400 sweep by finishing first in the 400 in 49.27, won the 55 dash in a personal best 6.44, and split 50.1 as the leadoff leg on the winning 4x400 relay that ran 3:28.17. Donaldson's 6.44 and 49.27 were both the fastest time run in all the Group meets combined!

Ryan Matulonis and Nichola DeVita, future teammates at UPenn, also came up big for Seton Hall Prep.

Matulonis was second in the 400 (49.60), second in the hurdles (7.74), fourth in the 800 (2:01.23), and ran in the winning 4x400.

DeVita placed second in the 800 (1:59.19), third in the 400 (51.15), and ran on the relay.

Seton Hall Prep received big contributions from several athletes on the way to its memorable victory.

Matthew Oess cleared 11-0 to place second in the pole vault for SHP, Stephen Niamke made 6-2 to finish second in the high jump, Darren Burton was sixth in the 55 dash, Brandon Dunn was sixth in the shot put, and Russell Webb placed sixth in 2:02.61. 

There was a lot of speculation about which races Collin and Brian Boler of Delbarton, the two fastest milers in the state, would run.

Collin, the state leader in the mile with the 4:09.15 he ran to win at the Millrose Games, ran just the 800, winning in 1:54.94, the top time in all the Group meets combined. Boler will now clash with Group 4 800 champ Gabriel Rodriguez of Union in a rematch of the Outdoor Meet of Champions 800 that Boler won and Rodgriguez was second.  

Brian, NJ No. 2 in the mile at 4:13.11, was upset in the 1,600 by Nick Sullivan of CBA, 4:20.67 to 4:23.01. But he came back to win the 3,200 out of the first heat in 9:16.65, edging Joe Barrett of CBA, who ran 9:18.68 to cross first in the second heat. It was a shame that Boler and Barrett weren't in the same heat. How fast would that race have been if they were the same heat? Close to 9!!

Delbarton, third with 46 points, also received a victory from Paul Quense in the pole vault (11-6).

St. Peter's Prep, fourth with 44 points, picked up wins from Chad Trammell in the hurdles (7.71), and from Zion Fowler in the high jump, who cleared a PR of 6-4. Fowler, headed to Pitt to play wide receiver, is competing indoors for the first time this season.

Non-Public A State Champions

  • Team Seton Hall Prep
  • 55m Xavier Donaldson 12 Seton Hall Prep 6.44
  • 400m Xavier Donaldson 12 Seton Hall Prep 49.27
  • 800m Collin Boler 12 Delbarton School 1:54.94
  • 1600m Nicholas Sullivan 12 Christian Brothers Academy 4:20.67
  • 3200m Brian Boler 12 Delbarton School 9:16.65
  • 55mH Chad Trammell 12 St. Peter's Prep 7.71
  • 4x400m Seton Hall Prep 3:28.17
  • High Jump Zion Fowler 12 St. Peter's Prep 6-04
  • Pole Vault Paul Quense 11 Delbarton School 11-06
  • Shot Put Justin King 12 Bergen Catholic HS 51-09.5

Jim Lambert for NJ MileSplit


This meet was all about Union Catholic's sheer dominance and Cate DeSousa's smoking hot double meet record performance.

Union Catholic, one of the top programs in state history, solidified that status and added to its remarkable streak by blitzing the competition on the way to an eighth straight title. The last team other than Union Catholic to win the Non-Public A girls title was Pope John in 2014.

It's very rare for any team to throw down a 1-2-3 sweep in an event. UC did it three times in the six individual running events!!   

The Vikings pulled off sweeps in the 800, the 55 hurdles and the 55 dash, which was worth 72 of their 98 points. Red Bank Catholic, led by DeSousa, was second with 29.     

UC swept the 800 for the second straight year as Kaleigh Gunsiorowski (2:16.49) won for the second straight year. Peyton Hollis (2:17.14) and Maameya Nyinah (2:17.68) finished 2-3.

Sophomore Taylor Cox dropped her NJ No. 1 time down to 7.98 to trigger the hurdle sweep for UC. Ajanae Thompson (8.11), and Alexandra Bonn (8.72 in the final/PR of 8.71 in the trials) went 2-3. 

In the dash, sophomore Taylor Aska burned a meet record and NJ No. 2 time of 7.10 to finish first. Cox was second in a PR and NJ No. 5 7.14, and Thompson was third in 7.24.

Nyinah, Vonya Gould, Gunsiorowski, and Hollis combined to win the 4x400 in 4:01.85.

UC other points came from Courtney Kaiser, fourth in the 3,200 in 10:56.17, Leah Gould, fifth in the 400 in 1:01.90, Ebony Turner, third in the high jump (5-0), and Seton Dill cleared 8-0 to place fourth in the pole vault.

The biggest star of the meet was the University of Virginia-bound DeSousa. The indefatigable DeSousa put on great show with the greatest distance double in meet history.

Running the 1,600/3,200 double for the first time on the same day in her career, DeSousa won the 1,600 in 4:57.62 to break her own meet record, and came back later to take down the meet record in the 3,200 with a winning time of 10:27.63, the No. 1 time in the state this season and No. 12 in the U.S.

DeSousa, who would be the favorite to win her first Meet of Champions title if she chooses to run the 3,200, said her race plans for the Meet of Champions are undecided at this time. 

Non-Public A State Champions

  • Team Union Catholic
  • 55m Taylor Aska 10 Union Catholic Reg. HS *7.10*
  • 400m Gina Certo 10 Academy Of The Holy Angels 57.69
  • 800m Kaleigh Gunsiorowski 12 Union Catholic Reg. HS 2:16.49
  • 1600m Cate DeSousa 12 Red Bank Catholic HS *4:57.62*
  • 3200m Cate DeSousa 12 Red Bank Catholic HS *10:27.63*
  • 55mH Taylor Cox 10 Union Catholic Reg. HS 7.98
  • 4x400m Union Catholic Reg. HS 4:01.85
  • High Jump Kamryn Cieslik 12 Paul VI HS 5-02
  • Pole Vault Leah Solomon 9 Pingry School 9-06
  • Shot Put Tyaja Thomas 12 Paramus Catholic HS 38-06.50
  • ** denotes a meet record


Jim Lambert for NJ MileSplit


Union Catholic, the Non-Public A champion last year, dropped down to B this season and that proved to be a complete mismatch for rest of the teams as the Vikings hung a staggering All Groups combined record of 139.5 points on the board. Union Catholic won by a whopping 88.5 points and have now captured four state indoor titles (2012 and '13 and 2023 in the B Division/2022 in the A Division.

Junior distance ace Jimmy Wischusen, who is orchestrating another great comeback story this season, led the blowout victory by capturing the first two state titles of his career in record breaking fashion.

Wischusen, who missed most of the indoor season last year and a big chunk of this past XC campaign with injuries, has come back strong this season and showed how high high his fitness level is by winning the 1,600 in a meet record 4:18.26 and the 3,200 in 9:12.45, also a meet record and the fastest time in the state this season!!!

Whichever race Wischusen chooses to run at the Meet of Champions (March 5 at Ocean Breeze on Staten Island), he will be one of the favorites.

Wischusen's victory in the 3200 ignited a 1-2-3 finish for UC. Ryan Cichocki was second in 9:26.62, and Michael Devine placed third in 9:39.41.

The others winners for UC were Al-Qamar Rojas in the hurdles (a PR of 8.02), Emerson McKindra in the high jump (5-10), and the 4x400 squad of McKindra, Rojas, Marcus McCoy, and Avery Atexide combined to win in 3:31.04.

The Vikings also picked up huge points on the track in the 400 from Avery Atexide, second in 52.88, McCoy, third in 53.01, and McKindra, fourth in 53.08, and Chris Wilson in the hurdles, second with a PR of 8.42

UC also had a very impressive showing in the pole vault as senior Matthew Schutz cleared a huge PR of 12-6 to finish second, and senior Aidan Reidy made 11-0 to finish fourth! Schutz's previous best was 11-6.      

St. Rose junior Joshua Huisman, the state leader in the shot put with a 60-10.25, hit 60-0.75 to capture his first state championship.

Senior Brian Theobald, who led St. Rose to the team title last year when he won the 800, 1,600 ad 3,200, repeated as champion in the 800 in 2:00.37, and was third in the 1600.  

Sophomore Thomas O'Connor made history when he won the 400 in 52.85 to become the first track and field athlete from Wardlaw-Hartridge to win a state indoor title.   

Newark Academy sophomore Matthew Herbert is another athlete made a great comeback this season Herbert, who missed most of his freshman year with a back injury, cleared 13-0 to win the pole vault.  


Non-Public B Champions

  • Team Union Catholic
  • 55m Spencer Anderson 11 Morristown-Beard School 6.59
  • 400m Thomas O' Connor 10 Wardlaw-Hartridge School 52.85
  • 800m Brian Theobald 12 St. Rose HS 2:00.37
  • 1600m Jimmy Wischusen 11 Union Catholic Reg. HS *4:18.76*
  • 3200m Jimmy Wischusen 11 Union Catholic Reg. HS *9:12.45*
  • 55mH Al-Qamar Rojas 11 Union Catholic Reg. HS 8.02
  • 4x400m Union Catholic Reg. HS 3:31.04
  • High Jump Emerson McKindra 12 Union Catholic Reg. HS 5-10
  • Pole Vault Matthew Herbert 10 Newark Academy 13-00
  • Shot Put Joshua Huisman 11 St. Rose HS 60-00.75
  • ** denotes a meet record

Jim Lambert - NJ MileSplit 


Montclair Kimberley won the meet-concluding 4x400 relay to clinch its first championship ever and Tilly O'Connor of St. Rose ran wild again as she won all three distance races to raise her career total of State Group titles to 12!!!  

With MKA clinging to a 58-55 lead over St. Rose heading in the 4x400, Olga Shandarivska, Milagros Carbajal-Diaz, Mila Huang and Remy Ronen teamed up to put an exclamation point on the historic victory for the Cougars by winning the race in 4:26.49. That gave MKA a 68-61 win over St. Rose.

Ronen, a senior who is headed to West Point, was sensational for MKA.

In addition to her clutch carry on the 4x400, Ronen won the 400 in 1:00.30, and was second in the 55 dash in 7.62.   

MKA also received a victory from freshman Mila Huang in the pole vault (10-0), junior Maggie Horn earned 14 points by placing second in the 1600 and third in the 3,200, senior Rebecca Herrick was second in the 800, and fifth in the 3200, junior Kellen Ievers was fourth in the shot put, and junior Maggie Hedberg placed fifth in the high jump.

Just about every time you looked up, O'Connor was on the track for St. Rose. She won the 1,600 in 5:14.10, finished first in the 800 in 2:26.42, she placed first in the 3200 in 11:31.92, and she ran a leg on the third-place 4x400.

O'Connor has now captured seven state indoors titles, three state outdoor championships, and has won two state XC titles. What an amazing career for the Villanova-bound star.      

Junior Priscilla Michel of Ranney opened lots of eyes by smashing a pair of school records and winning the 55 dash in 7.45 and the hurdles in 9.05, the first two state titles of her career.


Non-Public B Champions

  • Team Montclair Kimberley Academy
  • 55m Priscilla Michel 11 Ranney School 7.45
  • 400m Remy Ronen 12 Montclair Kimberley Academy 1:00.30
  • 800m Tilly O'Connor 12 St. Rose HS 2:26.42
  • 1600m Tilly O'Connor 12 St. Rose HS 5:14.10
  • 3200m Tilly O'Connor 12 St. Rose HS 11:31.92
  • 55mH Priscilla Michel 11 Ranney School 9.05
  • 4x400m Montclair Kimberley Academy 4:26.29
  • High Jump Juliana Hopeck 12 Eastern Christian HS 4-10
  • Pole Vault Mila Huang 9 Montclair Kimberley Academy 10-00
  • Shot Put Sharyn Thomas 11 Eastern Christian HS 30-06.25

Jim Lambert for NJ MileSplit