Union Catholic swept the team titles, four more meet records were smashed, and a flurry of fast times were thrown down when the highly entertaining 78th Union County Relays concluded on Monday at Gary Kehler Stadium in Westfield.
The UC girls made a huge statement by putting together the most dominating team performance in meet history to runaway with its seventh straight championship. The Vikings rang up a meet record 141 points to break the record of 139 they set last year, and they came just 19 points away from a perfect score!!!
On the boys side, Union Catholic regained the title it lost last year with a 105-52 over runner-up Westfield. It’s the ninth title overall for the Vikings, who have now captured nine of the last 11 championships.
And there were three more records shattered on the track to bring the grand total to an astounding nine meet records broken in the two-day meet!!!
The Union Catholic girls ran 9:21.96 to break the 4×800 record, the third record of the meet for the Vikings. The runner-up Scotch Plains-Fanwood girls broke its second record of the meet by winning the 4×400 in 3:48.65, and the Westfield boys took down the 4×1,600 record. More on those later.
First, let’s take deep dive into the historic performance by the UC girls.
In the 16 events, Union Catholic showed its superior balance by winning 10 events, five on the track and five in the field, for 100 points. They racked up another 40 points on six runner-up finishes, and picked up one more point in the high jump.
On Friday, UC picked up wins in the 4×100 in a NJ No. 1 time of 47.05, which equals the overall Union County record, the DMR with a meet record 12:05.59, the long jump, and the shot put.
On Monday, the Vikings added to its win column by placing first in the aforementioned 4×800 (meet record 9:21.96), the shuttle hurdles (63.25), the 4×1600, the javelin, the triple jump, and the discus.
In the 4×800, UC’s splits were 2:21.4 for Asydiah Pray-Brown, 2:17.7 for Maameyaa Nyinah, 2:23.7 for Kaleigh Gunsiorowski, and 2:19.2 for Peyton Hollis. Hollis and Gunsiorowski also ran on the record breaking DMR.
The big highlights in the field for UC came from indoor Meet of Champions triple jump winner Alexandra Bonn, and Jada Mia Puryear in the discus.
Bonn, also a member of the winning shuttle hurdles and long jump squad, soared 38-5, a big PR and the No. 2 performance in the state this season, to lead UC to victory in the TJ.
Puryear, who had a meet best throw in the shot put (39-4.50) on Friday, threw a meet best and school record of 133-1 in the discus, which is tied for No. 2 in the state this season. Also for UC, Daniela Peralta had the top pole vault mark of the meet, and she led UC to victory in the javelin.
The SPF girls, second to UC with 97 points, once showcased its sizzling speed. The Raiders, who took down the meet record in the SMR on Friday, added the 4×400 record to their collection as Grace Kennedy (56.1), Danielle Most (62.7), Jenai Berry (56.5) and Julia Jackson (53.1) teamed up to run 3:48.65 to break the record of 3:51.48 set in 2012 by Union Catholic. That’s just off its NJ No. 2 title of 3:48.15 that SPF ran at the Penn Relays. Jackson also came from behind on the anchor leg to give SPF the victory in the 4×200 in 1:40.50.
In the boys competition, Union Catholic’s 105-92 victory over defending champion Westfield was highlighted by a six victories, a meet record in the DMR on Friday, and a near record victory in the 4×800 when the Vikings ran 7:49.52. That’s the No. 3 time in the state this season in the 4×800, and just missed breaking the meet record of 7:49.16 set by UC.
UC’s splits on the 4×800 were 1:56.4 for Jimmy Wischusen, 1:57.6 for Shane Brosnan, 2:01.6 for Caudell Cajuste, and 1:53.2 for Myles Plummer. Brosnan, Plummer and Wischusen also ran on UC’s meet record breaking DMR on Friday that ran 10:18.21, which broke the 41 year-old record of 10:20.0 set in 1981.
The Vikings also picked up big wins from its shuttle hurdle squad, first in 64.10, and its triple jump crew, which received a huge PR and NJ No. 4 leap of 45-1.50 from senior Cameron Campbell. Campbell, in his first year competing in track and field, also ran on the winning 4×100, soared a No. 4 22-6.25 on the winning long jump team, and he cleared 6-2 in the HJ.
UC also picked up a clutch runner-up finishes from its pole vaulters and the 4×1,600 squad, and earned key points in the 4×200 (third) and 4×400 (third).
Georgetown-bound Nick Givan had a big meet for UC. On Monday, he split 15.0 in the shuttles, and 21.3 in the 4×200. On Friday, he anchored the winning 4×100, and ran the top time of the meet in the 400 hurdles of 53.93, No. 4 in the state this season.
Westfield had a very strong meet as the Blue Devils finished second in the team standings.
The Blue Devils big Day 2 was highlighted by a meet record in the 4×1600, a thrilling victory in the 4×400, a win in the pole vault, and the completion of a throwing sweep!
In the 4×1,600, junior Daniel Cortese(4:29.8), sophomore Avery Keith (4:26.8), junior Andrew Singer (4:40.1), and senior Conor Daly (4:21.5) combined to run 17:58.51 to break the meet mark of 18:06.00 set in 2012 by Westfield.
Westfield closed out the meet by wining the 4×400 in 3:18.39, the third fastest time in the state this season. Sophomore Emanuel Gayanilo (51.9), senior Charles Stock (48.8), senior Justin Colby (48.7), and senior Charles Garretson (48.6) shared the baton for the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils also captured the shot put on Monday to go 3-for 3 in the throwing events, and also won the PV. Westfield won the discus and javelin on Friday.
Junior Owen Paul led the way for Westfield with PR throws of 50-5.50 in the shot, and 140-2 in the discus. Westfield senior Max Owens cleared a meet best 13-6 in the vault, and junior Mason Marino led the charge in the javelin for Westfield with a 146-2.