CLARK, NJ -- The Union Catholic girls, led by Leena Morant's stunning course record-breaking victory, threw down a sensational performance to capture its fifth straight title at the Union County Conference Cross-County Championships on Thursday at Oak Ridge Park.
The Vikings packed its first five runners in the top 13 and outscored runner-up Summit, 34-46, to win the Watchung Division title for the second straight year. UC won the Mountain Division championship from 2015 through 2017.
Morant, the only senior in UC's top five, won the race in 18:40 to smash the course record of 19:02 set last year by Victoria Vanriele of Gov. Livingston.
Sophomore Abby Granrath also had a huge performance, running well under the former course record as she led the underclassmen-powered pack for UC with a runner-up finish in 18:48. UC freshman Kathryn Power was sixth in 19:24, freshman Maameyaa Nyinah placed 12th in 19:53, and freshman Elsa Spoor finished 13th in 19:53. UC averaged 19:20 and had a 1-5 compression of 1:13.
In the boys competition, the Vikings finished a very strong third with 74 points in the always tough Watchung Division. Westfield, the No. 5 ranked team in the state, finished first with 36 points and Summit was second with 37.
The five scorers for UC were junior Matt Granizo, third in 16:42, senior Zach Turner, 14th in 16:57, junior Sam Hernandez, 20th in 17:19, sophomore Noah Handlin, 22nd in 17:23, and sophomore Noah Alston, 24th in 17:36.
Next up for the Vikings will be the Union County Championships on Oct. 29 at Warinanco Park in Elizabeth.