Girls Win 6th Straight State Indoor Title! Boys 2nd!
The Union Catholic girls, led by double winner Chi Chi Nkulume, made history by capturing a record sixth straight title, and Conor Reilly and Elijah Brown sparkled to lead the boys to a runner-up finish at Friday’s NJSIAA Non-Public A Track and Field Championships at the Bennett Center in Toms River.
On the girls side, the Vikings won its state record sixth straight title, 85-43 over Paul VI, to complete another undefeated season!
UC’s six titles in a row is the longest winning streak for a girls team in meet history for all the groups combined. UC had shared the record of five in a row with Science (five straight Group 1 titles from 1989 through 1993), and Columbia (five in a row in Group 4 from 1994 through 1998).
The UC girls were led by Temple-bound Nkulume, who came back from a sub-par race in the 400 (fifth) to win the 55 dash with a PR of 7.16, and then capped off the meet with a 57.8 anchor carry on the winning 4×400 (3:57.82).
Another huge highlight was the performance by Jada Mia Puryear, who broke the school record in the shot put with a second place throw of 38-9 3/4.
Also scoring for UC were Ajanae Thompson, who led a 3-4-5 finish for UC in the 55 HH, Morgan Williams, second in the 800, Abby Granrath, second in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200, Alexandra Kwasnik, second in the HJ, Zamira Ysaac, third in the 800, Isabella Gray, fourth in the vault, Sydney Tucker, fifth in the 55 dash, A’Liyah Thomas, 5th in the HJ, and Sarah Abood, sixth in the 3,200.
In the boys competition, UC finished second with 56 points behind Christian Brothers Academy.
The Lehigh-bound Reilly made history when he won his fourth straight boys pole vault title by clearing 13-6. Reilly, who has a personal best of 15-6, went up to 15-3 to try to break his meet record, but couldn’t quite get over it. Reilly now has six state titles in his career (four indoors and two outdoors)
Brown the Meet of Champions winner in the 800 last winter, won the 800 for the second straight year in 1:59.12 and split 49.9 on the victorious 4×400 (3:24.95). Tyhir Jones, Connor Cooper and Myles Plummer joined Brown on the winning 4×400.
Also for the Vikings, Justin Lopez cleared 11-6 to place second in the pole vault, Oluwafemi Asenuga placed second in the hurdles in 7.76 (7.68 in the trials), Jones was fourth in the 400 in 50.67, and Plummer placed third in the 1,600 in 4:24.07.