Non-Public: UC Captures 2 Team Titles, CBA, Villa Walsh Win

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Union Catholic won a pair of team titles, Christian Brothers Academy returned to the top, and Villa Walsh captured a crown at the State Non-Public Championships on Friday night at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

Here is a look at the highlights-


Christian Brothers Academy, second the last two years, returned to the winner's circle in Non-Public A for the first time since winning a 10th straight championship in 2020 with an 85-59 victory over runner-up St. Peter's Prep. The victory extends CBA's state record to 26 state indoor track and field titles, 10 more than Willingboro, second all-time with 16.

CBA, which had a whopping 16 different athletes score, got all the points it needed to win by crushing the 1,600 and 3,200 where the Colts pulled off 1-2-3 sweeps for a total of 64 points!!!!

In the 1,600, Conor Clifford (4:15.90), Joe Barrett (4:16.61), and Alex Mastroly (4:20.67) took the top three spots for CBA, and in the 3,200  it was Alex Kemp (9:20.18), Ryan Schmitt (9:27.29) and Luke Hnatt (9:29.55).

CBA also picked up a win from Tristan McFarlane in the high jump (6-2), placed second in the 4x400 (3:28.85), received a third-place from Thomas Field in the 800, a fourth from William Feddeler in the pole vault, and went 3-5-6 in the shot put with Albert Yodakis (53-11), Cameron Feiler (47-9.25) and Kevin Van Lew (46-7).    

St. Peter's Prep's runner-up finish was fueled by junior Corey Greenfield, first in the hurdles with a PR of 7.55, and senior Del Lindsay, who won the 400 in 50.53 and ran on the winning 4x400 (3:26.26).


For the third straight year, the Union Catholic boys and girls swept team titles, and they once again showed their amazing depth as both teams used 16 different athletes to runaway with the championships.

In the girls competition, the Vikings, led by double individual winners and record breakers Taylor Cox and Paige Sheppard, extended their state record to nine straight titles in row with a 122-39 win over runner-up Oak Knoll.

UC's total of nine titles is the second most in state history among girls teams behind Columbia and Winslow, who have each won 10.

The Vikings blew up the track, winning all seven events on the oval, including four wins by freshmen.

Cox, the state leader in the hurdles at 7.82 and the defending Meet of Champions winner in the event, took down one of the biggest records possible when she ran 7.84 to break the All Groups meet record (all groups combined) of 7.86 set by the legendary Sydney McLaughlin of UC in 2015. Cox also won the 55 dash in 7.02 to break the Non-Public A meet record of 7.10 set by teammate Taylor Aska last year. Aska also ran under her former record with a runner-up finish in 7.08.  

Sheppard, a freshman phenom, won the 1,600 in 4:56.23 to break the Non-Public A record of 4:58.17 set in 2022 by Cate DeSousa of Red Bank Catholic, and captured the 800 in 2:15.63.

UC also picked up wins from freshman Rhia Randolph in the 400 in 56.31, freshman Cayleigh Kaiser in the 3200 with a big PR of 10:50.49, and the 4x400 team finished first in 3:59.02. Randolph, and Aska teamed with Abriyah Thompson and Bellah Murray on the winning 4x400.

Kiara Fleming also had a big meet for the Vikings by placing second in both the hurdles (8.66 in the final/8.57 in the trials)) and the high jump (5-0), and Carmela Lo Stuto cleared a PR of 8-0 to tie for third in the pole vault.  

Other standouts for the Vikings included Peyton Hollis, second in the 800 in 2:16.42, and Jimmiea King, third in the 800 in 2:16.57), and freshman Sophia Thompson, third in the 1,600 with a PR of 5:05.72. UC now has seven girls who have cracked 5:08 this season! 

For the UC boys, Marcus McCoy and Avery Atexide were double winners and Michael Devine and Alex Saldana led a dominate distance performance with victories to ignite the Vikings to a 127-52 victory over runner-up Newark Academy in the B Division.   

It's the second straight Non-Public B championship and third title in a row for the UC boys, who won the Non-Public A title in 2022). UC has now won a total of five boys state indoor titles (2012, '13, '23 and '24 in the B Division and 2022 in the A Division.

McCoy and Atexide had a big days for the Vikings!

McCoy won the 55 hurdles in 7.73 and running a leg on the winning 4x400 that ran 3:32.82, and Atexide won the 400 in 51.41 and ran on the victorious relay.   

In the distance races, UC piled up 56 points. And they did that without star Jimmy Wischusen, the Meet of Champions 3,200 winner last winter who missed the meet due to illness. 

Devine (9:40.54), Evan Weber (9:44.51) and Aidan Cichocki (9:53.04) went 1-2-3 for UC in the 3,200. Saldana (4:28.58) and Alessandro Alvarez-Tullo (9:38.27) finished 1-2 in the 1,600, and Keandre Kelly and Sean Wilson finished 2-3 in the 800. Kelly also ran on the 4x400.

Noah Cooper, Kevin Philistin, Al-Qamar Rojas Joey Kilgannon, and Justice Hicks also came up with big points for the Vikings.

Cooper was third in the 55 dash in 6.83 and ran on the 4x400, Philistin was second in the dash in 6.78, Kilgannon finished second in the pole vault at 10-6, Hicks was third in the high jump and sixth in the 400, and Rojas was second in the hurdles.



In the tightest team battle of the day, Villa Walsh simply had too much firepower for any team to handle as Vikings put together a strong all-round meet to defeat Morris County rival Morristown-Beard, 60-46.

It's the first title for Villa Walsh since 2018 and its third overall. The Vikings also won in 2015. 

Villa Walsh picked up victories from junior Maggie Boler, who won the 800 (2:24.45) and ran on the winning 4x400 relay that ran 4:19.88. Sophomore Blythe Dudley, who finished first to lead Villa Walsh to the State Non-Public B XC title last fall, came up with three clutch races for the Vikings.

Dudley finished second in the 800 in 2:24.55, second in the 1,600 in 5:07.24, and she ran on the victorious 4x400 relay. 

Villa Walsh also flexed their distance dominance in the 3,200 when Ines Lemee placed second in 11:38.24 and Erin Lyons placed fifth.

Other key point producers for Villa Walsh were Jillian Paolino, who was sixth in the 400 and ran on the winning relay, Amalia Hronides, second in the high jump, Jesse Kramer, sixth in the high jump, and Avery Poruczynski, fourth in the pole vault.