But there has never been a group of runners from one team who have blown apart the 3.19-mile layout the way the Union Catholic boys did at Thursday’s 84th Union County Cross-Country Championships.
Union Catholic, ranked No. 1 in NJ, dropped an absolute bomb as the Vikings put on a sizzling show by having two runners go under the course record on the way to demolishing the course record average at Warinanco!
It was a performance for the ages!
When the smoke cleared, UC’s Shane Brosnan (15:28) and Jimmy Wischusen (15:39) became the two fastest runners in course history, and Myles Plummer (15:53) moved into the No. 7 spot all-time as he completed a 1-2-3 finish for UC, igniting the Vikings to a course record average of 16:03 and a second straight title.
The blistering16:03 average by UC smashed the mark of 16:22 that Westfield ran in 2013.
UC junior Ryan Cichocki, eighth in 16:33, and junior Caudell Cajuste, ninth in 16:40, ran very strong races to put the finishing touches on UC’s masterpiece as the Vikings defeated No. 7 ranked Westfield, 23-54. No. 10 Summit was third with 81.dThe greatest team performance in course history was highlighted by the stunning races by Brosnan and Wischusen.
With his eye-popping time of 15:28, Brosnan, a senior who was third last year, took down the course record of 15:42 that Tim Styler of Cranford set at the Union County meet in 1998. Brosnan hit the first mile in 4:55 and two miles in 9:38, nearly identical to Styler’s splits. Brosnan then poured it on over the final 1,200 meters to break the record.
Wischusen, a sophomore who also ran under Styler’s record with his 15:39, has been one of the state’s fastest rising stars this fall. Last year, Wischusen was second in the JV race at the county meet, and now he’s No. 2 in course history at Warinanco! That’s amazing!
And how about Plummer. As a junior last year, Plummer won the county title in 16:24. This year, he slices 31 seconds off his winning time and places third. That’s how insanely fast this race was! The 16:33 from Cichocki was a PR for any course, and Cajuste’s 16:40 is a Warinanco PR.
Styler was at the meet working as the official timer as he’s done for several years now. He congratulated Brosnan and Wischusen for breaking his record.”I never thought the record would last this long,” said Styler. “There have a few guys that came close, and I had a feeling that he (Brosnan) had a good chance to get it today because of how fast he’s been running this season.”
Union Catholic also captured the girls team title in a thriller vs. Kent Place.
But Union Catholic, ranked No. 12 in the state, overcame Kent Place’s formidable frontal power by putting together its best race of the season, and receiving a huge boost from the back of its pack to edge No.13 ranked Kent Place, 54-56.
UC, which averaged 20:00, put its five scoring runners ahead of Kent Place’s No. 4 runner to rally for the victory. UC went 5-8-10-14-16 and Kent Place went 1-4-12-18-21.
The top five runners for UC were junior Kaleigh Gunsiorowski, fifth in 19:15, sophomore Leilani Gibson, ninth in 19:55, senior Abby Granrath, 10th in 19:58, junior Maameyaa Nyinah, 14th in 20:23, and senior Jenna Keith, 16th in 20:31.This is Union Catholic’s second title in three years, and its fourth overall. The Vikings also won in 2014, ’15, and ’19.
Union Catholic also edged Kent Place, 47-50, to win the Watchung Division title at the Union County Conference Championships two weeks ago. But Kent Place ran that race without Hausman, who was out with a stress reaction. With Hausman returning to the lineup for the county race, it seemed like Kent Place would have the edge in the rematch
But the back of UC’s pack surged late and closed hard as Granrath, Nyinah, and Keith all picked off multiple runners over the final quarter mile to give UC the title.
In addition to the varsity title sweep, UC also picked up a victory from Tobey Garcia, who won the Freshman Division boys title in 13:18 over the 2.2-mile course.