TOMS RIVER, N.J -- The Union Catholic boys track and field team, led by triple gold medalist Elijah Brown and double-winner Conor Reilly, put together a sensational performance when the Vikings placed second at Saturday's NJSIAA Non-Public A Track and Field Championships at the Bennett Center.
The Vikings gave defending champion Christian Brothers Academy all they could handle and nearly pulled off the upset before CBA rallied for a hard-fought 76-72 victory as the Colts captured its ninth straight title.
Brown, a junior, burned up the track to lead the charge for Union Catholic.
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Brown won the 400 in a NJ#2 49.38, led a 1-2 finish for UC in the 800 with a winning time of 1:56.66, and anchored the winning 4x400 relay with a 49.5 carry. Brown is a major contender to win the 800 at the Meet of Champions next Saturday at the Bennett Center.
Reilly, a junior, also had a huge meet for UC by leading a 1-2-3 finish for the Vikings in the pole vault with a PR equaling 15-0, and Reilly also led off the 4x400 with a 52.3 carry.
Union Catholic took a 62-50 lead with just two events to go when Brown won the 800 and freshman teammate Myles Plummer finished right behind him in second in 1:58.00. But CBA countered with a 1-2 finish in the 3,200 and then placed second to UC in the 4x400 relay to win the team title.
In addition to his runner-up finish in the 800, Plummer also split 51.4 on the winning relay.
Several other athletes contributed to UC's strong performance.
Senior Ryan McLaughlin was second in the 55 hurdles for UC in a NJ#6 7.55, which is a new personal record. Connor Cooper contributed a 51.7 split for UC on the 4x400, Obadare Animashaun placed second in the pole vault (12-0), Justin Lopez placed third in the vault (11-6), Elijah Abraham finished sixth in the 55 hurdles in 8.01, and Oluwafemi Asenuga was sixth in the high jump (5-8).