Union Catholic Sweeps Titles At Union County Relays

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Union Catholic pulled off another remarkable team sweep with multiple eye-popping and record-smashing performances and several teams made huge breakthroughs when the 80th annual Union County Relays concluded on Friday at Gary Kehler Stadium in Westfield

The team titles were never in doubt. 

In the girls competition, UC, which took its foot off the gas for most of the races on Friday, easily extended their record streak to nine titles in a row with a 
105-63 over runner-up Westfield. UC smashed four meet records on its way to the championship. UC's nine titles are the second most in meet history behind the 10 won by Plainfield. 

On the boys side, UC broke two meet records and ran several hot times en route to its third straight championship, 113-85 over runner-up Elizabeth. The UC boys have now won 10 county relay titles, all since 2011. That's the third most in meet history behind Elizabeth (22) and Plainfield (11). 

Let's get right into how awesome this meet was! 


While everyone knows about the the great distance squad the UC boys have, their sprinters and jumpers all leveled up with sizzling performances. 
After breaking a meet record in the 4x100 with a NJ No. 2  time of 42.02 on Thursday, UC became the first team in the state to crack 1:28 this season in the 4x200 by running 1:27.57, the second fastest time in meet history behind Plainfield's 1:26.5 in 1988. UC's lineup consisted of Dylan Williams (21.9), Avery Atexide (21.6), Marcus McCoy (22.3) and Al-Qamar Rojas (21.5). That same foursome combined to win the 4x100.

In the triple jump, the trio of senior Kevin Philistin, junior Noah Cooper and junior Ronald Ingelton all soared to PR's as they teamed up to take down the meet record with a total of 133-3.50, breaking the mark of 132-4 that Elizabeth set in 2016. Philistin (46-0) Cooper (44-10) had the two best jumps of the meet, and  Ingleton hit 42-5 ½.

UC also won the boys shuttle hurdles on Friday in 1:00.80 as Rojas, McCoy, Cooper, and Hicks teamed up for the victory, and the Vikings were first in the 4x800 in 7:55.72. Quintin Clemons (1:58.1), Jimmy Wischusen (1:57.6), Sean Wilson (1:59.3) and Keandre Kelly (2:00.4) handled the baton for UC. 

The Vikings finished with 8 victories in the boys competition. In addition to the 4x100, 4x200, 4x800 and triple jump, UC also won the DMR, SMR, shuttle hurdles, and the team 400 intermediate hurdles. 


The UC girls, who broke three meet records on Thursday, added to its haul with a fourth record on Friday when Emmy O'Hearn (5:15.7), Clare Harrington (5:55.5), Cayleigh Kaiser (5:16.4) and Kayla Devine (5:05.9) ran a NJ No. 1 time of 21:34.11 to crush the meet mark of 21:47.59 that UC ran in  2015.

On Thursday, UC ran a meet and Union County record and NJ No. 1 time of 46.06 in the 4x100, No. 3 in state history, won the SMR in a meet record and NJ No. 1 time of 3:58.12, and took down the DMR record with a time of 11:57.10.  The Vikings won six of the nine events on the track, and added wins in the  triple jump and long jump.

UC's four NJ No. 1 times at this meet gives the Vikings the state lead in all eight relay races!!! That's just incredible. 


The Cranford girls wanted to do something to make their presence felt. 

They did exactly that by winning the 4x400 for the first time in meet history with a time of 4:03.09, just off its school record of 4:01.84. Cranford's lineup of junior Ellie Semple (59.5), junior Isabella Alvarez-Gomez (61.2), sophomore Lillian Costello (62.5) and sophomore Courtney Toy (59.9). Toy made a huge move wit 100 to go to rally for the victory, which touched off an entertaining celebration and post-race interview. Watch it in the video above.   


Sometimes you have to look beyond the winners to uncover great performances. Take the Westfield girls sprint squad and Oratory's 4x800 for example. The Blue Devils finished second in both the 4x100 and 4x200, but when you dive a little deeper you see that they smashed the school records in both races!

Darcy Scheiner, Gabriella Demeter, Alexis Ray and Sean O'Brien combined to place second in the 4x200 on Friday in a school record 1:42.23, and Scheiner, Demeter, and O'Brien were joined by Maura Hyland in the 4x100 on Thursday when the Blue Devils placed second in a school record 47.87. Demeter once again displayed her great versatility by clearing a meet-best 5-4 in the high jump. 

In the boys 4x800, Oratory slashed 24 seconds off its outdoor school record in the boys 4x800 with its runner-up finish in 7:58.96. Providence-bound Tommy Hunt, one of the best runners in the state that no one talks enough about, led off with a 1:55.0. Junior Declan Kelly (2:01.2), sophomore Connor Bassolino (2:04.1) a sophomore James Nolan (1:58.2) ran the final three legs. 


The Rahway Indians scored a pair of big wins, one by the girls and one by the boys.

The girls won the shuttle hurdles for the first time since the legendary Claire Connor anchored Rahway's victorious squad in1984. Rahway ran 1:01.28, just off its school record and season best of 1:00.81. UC crossed the line first, but was DQ'd when one of their hurdlers failed to clear a barrier. 

Senior Saniyah Evans, who also soared a meet best 36-2.75 to spark Rahway to a runner-up finish in the triple jump, led off the shuttle victory with a PR of 13.8. Mia Point-Du-Jour, (15.8) Glory Kalu (PR of 15.9), and Sanaa Thomas (15.6) ran the final 3 legs. 

The Rahway boys picked up its win on Friday by winning the 4x400 for the first time since 2017.  The lineup for the Indians was Rolando Simpson (49.6), Trevor Delapara (51.6) Prince Rousseau (52.2) and freshman Quashawn Haynes (51.8) ran 3:35.54. Haynes, who has run just one open 400 this season  did a great job in his first 4x400 ever. He has star written all over him. 



The Oak Knoll 4x800 crew ran one of the fastest times in meet history when the Royals won its second straight title. Sophomore Ally Sparno (2:19.1), senior Danya Spoor (2:17.0), freshman Clare Ratliff (2:30), and freshman Reagan Moore (2:18.0) combined to run 9:27.53, the fifth fastest time in meet history. UC  didn't use any runners in the 4x800 who ran at the Penn Relays last week when the Vikings blasted a national record 8:41.20 to finish first for the second straight year. 


The Westfield boys ran the fourth fastest time in meet history in the 4x1,600 with its winning time of 18:09.95. The foursome was Alex Valencia (4:32), Avery Keith ( 4:17.3), Cole Varner (4:49.2) and Eamon Mason (4:30.3).


Mackenzie Virgil has waited nearly two years to get a new PR in the javelin. The senior finally got it when she launched a personal best 121-9 to lead Scotch Plains-Fanwood to victory in the girls javelin. Her previous PR was 116-2 at the 2002 State Group 4 Championships.