STATEN ISLAND, NY -- The Union Catholic track and field teams opened its season by coming up with several eye-popping victories and impressive performances at Friday's Essex County Coaches Invitational at Ocean Breeze.
The Vikings won seven events, three on the boys side and four in the girls competition as UC showed that it appears poised for yet another big season.
Leading the charge for the boys was sophomore Myles Plummer, who won the 800-meter run in 2:00.17, the fastest time in the state so far this season, senior Elijah Brown, the 400 winner in 50.39, the No. 2 time in N.J., and senior Conor Reilly, who won the pole vault by clearing 14-6, tied for No. 3 in the state.
The girls winners for UC were Chi Chi Nkulume, who crossed first in the 200 in 26.29, No. 3 in the state, Morgan Williams, who led a remarkable 1-2-3-4 finish for the Vikings in the 800 with a time 2:22.28, No. 3 in the state this season, A'Liyah Thomas captured the high jump (5-2), and Isabella Gray won the pole vault by clearing 9-6.
There were several other highlights for the Vikings.
For the boys, Oluwafemi Asenuga placed second in the boys long jump (21-1 1/2), was third in the high jump (6-2), and ran 8.06 in the 55 hurdle trials. Justin Lopez placed second in the pole vault (11-6), Matt Axt finished fifth in the long jump (20-6 1/4), Matt Granizo was sixth in the 1,600 in 4:40.67, and Connor Cooper ran 23.40 in the 200 in 23.40.
On the girls side, Avery Jordan was second in the 200 (26.54), Ajanae Thompson placed third in the 200 (26.60), Ashleigh Patterson ran 2:23.51 to place second in the 800, Zamira Ysaac was third in the 800 (2:24.12), Maameyaa Nyinah (61.44) and Aniyah Charles (61.45) finished 2-3 in the 400, Abby Granrath ran 5:22.13 to get second in the 1,600, Felicia Quainoo was fifth in the 55 hurdles in 8.64 (8.46 in the trials) and fourth in the long jump (16-4), and Jada Puryear threw 32-0 1/2 to finish fifth in the shot put.