The Union Catholic track and field teams continued its dominance at the Union County Relays with another sweep of the team titles at Thursday’s 76th annual meet at Hub Stine Field in Plainfield.Full results of the meet
For the second year in a row, the UC girls team captured seven out of the nine events on the track on the way to its fifth straight title, and ran some of the fastest times in the state this season. The Vikings finished with 118 points, well ahead of runner-up Westfield (74).
The UC boys, despite being short-handed, broke a long-standing meet record in the pole vault and had several sparkling performances en route to a 91 1/2-90 victory over runner-up Elizabeth. It’s the third straight championship for the boys and the eighth title in the past nine years.
In the pole vault, UC’s Conor Reilly (14-6), Obadare Animashaun (12-6) and Justin Lopez (12-6) combined for a total of 39-6 to smash the 31-year-old meet record of 38-0 set by Westfield in 1988. The pole vault victory clinched the team title for UC before the final event, the 4×400. With the team championship secure, the Vikings scratched from the 4×400.
The girls from UC won all four races on the track during Wednesday’s first-day of competition, the 4×100 in 48.74, the sprint medley in a NJ#2 4:07.72, the distance medley in a NJ#6 12:21.16, and the 400 hurdles in 3:24.48. Leena Morant anchored the SMR with a 2:16.0 carry, Jerika Lufrano anchored the DMR with a 5:07.0 split, and Zamira Ysaac ran the top 400 hurdle time of the meet (1:04.74).
On Thursday, UC captured the shuttle hurdles in a NJ#2 1:01.27, the 4×200 in a NJ#2 1:40.75, and the 4×800 in 9:38.44.
Another big highlight for the UC girls came in the javelin when Daniela Peralta (92-2), Autumn Barge (85-11), and Anastasia Rengifo (78-3) finished third with a combined 256-4, which broke the school record of 246-1 set in 2010. Peralta and Barge also broke the two-person school javelin record with a 179-1.The former record of 177-0 was set in 2010.
On the boys side, UC junior Elijah Brown had a huge meet for the Vikings.
On Wednesday, Brown, the 800 champ at the indoor Meet of Champions, split 1:55.0 as he came from way back on the anchor leg to bring UC across the line first in the sprint medley relay in 3:32.72. On Thursday, Brown did it again as he ran 1:58.5 on the anchor of the 4×800 to pull away from five teams to give UC the victory in 8:07.28.
UC also placed second in the shuttle hurdles in 1:00.63 No. 2 in the state this season behind Rahway, which won the race in a NJ#1 59.85. The Vikings also placed second in the 4×100 in 43.02, No. 9 in the state, and placed second in the 4×200 in 1:30.09, No. 11 in the state this spring.
Elijah Abraham also came up big for UC.
In his first 800 of the season, the senior ran a huge PR of 2:04.9 in the 4×800, split a personal best 14.9 in the shuttle hurdles, and ran 57.69 in the 400 hurdles, the second best time of the meet, to help UC place third in that event. .