TOMS RIVER, NJ -- The Union Catholic girls track and field team put an exclamation point on another undefeated season with a historic performance at Saturday's NJSIAA Non-Public A Track and Field Championships at the Bennett Center.
The Vikings received contributions from 13 different athletes on the way to a decisive and dominating 101-38 1/2 victory over runner-up Paramus Catholic, which gave UC a fifth straight state title. That equals the longest girls winning streak in state history. Science won five straight Group 1 titles (1989 through 1993), and Columbia matched that by capturing five in a row in Group 4 (1994 through 1998).
And the 101 points by the Vikings represents the second highest girls total in meet history. Union Catholic owns the girls state record with 105 points set in 2015.
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With its victory, Union Catholic finished the season undefeated in team competition. On its march to perfection, the Vikings also swept the Union County Track and Field and Relay titles, swept the State Non-Public A Track and Field and Relay Championships, and captured the NJCTC title.
UC's latest state title run was sparked by Sydney Tucker, Jerika Lufrano, Leena Morant, and the 4x400 relay team, who all struck gold for the Vikings, who scored in nine of the 10 events.
Tucker, a junior, blasted a 7.15 in both the trials and the finals of the 55 dash (just off her PR and NJ#3 7.13) to finish first and break the meet record of 7.16 set in 2011 by Myasia Jacobs of Paramus Catholic. Tucker also led off the first-place 4x400 relay (4:04.65), which included Avery Jordan, Zamira Ysaac, and Morgan Williams.
Morant, a junior, won the 800 in a NJ#3 2:16.13 and finished third in the 400 with an indoor PR of 57.72. Lufrano, a senior, won the 1,600 in 5:02.92.
In other highlights for UC, junior Chi Chi Nkulume placed second in both the 55 dash (7.21) and the 400 (57.71), sophomore A'Liyah Thomas placed second in the high jump (a PR of 5-4) and fifth in the hurdles (8.69), junior Felicia Quainoo was fourth in the hurdles in 8.44, sophomore Morgan Williams was fifth in the 800 in a personal best 2:18.34, senior Angelique Williams finished third in the high jump (5-0), senior Hope Handlin was second in the pole vault (10-6), freshman Abby Granrath placed second in the 3,200 with a PR of 11:32.67), and junior Ashleigh Patterson placed sixth in the 800 (2:23.23).
The Vikings will be back in action at the Eastern States Championships Tuesday night at the New Balance Track and Field Center in New York, and then will compete at the state Meet of Champions this Sunday at the Bennett Center.