Union Catholic takes second at NJSIAA Non-Public A State Championships

Union Catholic takes second at NJSIAA Non-Public A State Championships

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Union Catholic takes second at NJSIAA Non-Public A State Championships

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TOMS RIVER

The Union Catholic boys and girls track teams continued their success on Wednesday, showcasing their talents in the Non-Public A state championships at the Bennett Center in Toms River.

The boys team took second place overall with a score of 76, but the team qualified a slew of runners for next week’s Meet of Champions.

Taylor McLaughlin was one of those runners, qualifying for the 55-meter hurdles (7.75) and the 400-meter race (49.46).

“I was a little disappointed after the 400 and the hurdles,” said McLaughlin. “We’ve only practiced once in the last week … Overall, I’m happy but it definitely could have been better.”

Jordan Jimerson took first place in the 400, finishing just ahead of McLaughlin with a time of 49.22, and Obafemi Animashaun took first place in the 55-meter hurdles (7.61) to give the Vikings a ton of firepower headed into next week.

The girls found success as well, as they were able to place second as a team with a score of 51, 14 points behind meet winner Pope John.

Sydney McLaughlin was the standout, qualifying for the Meet of Champions by placing first, and setting a meet record, in the 400-meters (57.01), and setting a meet record in the 55-meter hurdles (8.19). McLaughlin was also an anchor to a 4×400 relay team that set a new meet record (3:58.81).

“We trained really hard,” said McLaughlin. “We just focused on running our race individually and not focusing on what anyone else was doing. The outcome really isn’t important it’s just working as a team and doing our best.”

Janelle Gibbs took third in the high jump (5-2), Jordan Coverson took fourth in the 400 (59.31) and Caitlyn Glynn placed sixth in the 1,600-meters (5:15.90) to complete the slew of Vikings runners who will compete at the Meet of Champions.

The Gill St. Bernard’s girls team proved to be successful as well, finishing second place as a team in Non-Public B with a score of 53, but standout Dana Klein took it upon herself to help her team.

Klein medaled three times, winning the 800-meters (2:20), setting a new meet record in the 3,200-meters (11:02.59), and taking first in the 1,600-meters (5:20.72).

“The first two events I was just looking to have fun,” Klein said. “I’ll be running the two mile next week so it was all about the time. I was just really trying to stay on top and I’m really happy and looking forward to next week.”

Alexandria Benoit took fifth in the 800-meters (2:30.90), and second in the 1,600 meters (5:24.62) to secure her spot in next week’s meet. Benoit also placed fourth in the 3,200 with a time of 12:16.84.

For Klein, the focus now shifts to next week as she prepares to cap off her already widely successful season in fitting fashion.

“I’m actually really excited for Meet of Champions,” Klein said. “This is the first season I’ve ever run the two mile so it’s new competition and different people so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do in a different race.”

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