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Union Catholic Vikings Dominate State Championships with Historic Wins

Boys and Girls Track Teams Capture Titles with Record-Breaking Performances

Union Catholic High School’s track teams have swept the state championships for the third consecutive year, showcasing their unmatched depth and talent. The Vikings boys and girls teams utilized the prowess of 16 different athletes to secure their victories, leaving competitors in their wake.
At the heart of the girls’ triumph was the dynamic duo of Taylor Cox and Paige Sheppard, who led the Vikings to their ninth consecutive title, setting a new state record with a 122-39 win over Oak Knoll. This victory cements their position as the second most successful girls’ team in state history, trailing only behind Columbia and Winslow.

Cox shattered records with a time of 7.84 in the hurdles, surpassing the All Groups meet record previously held by Sydney McLaughlin. She clinched the 55 dashes with a new Non-Public A meet record of 7.02. Only a freshman, Sheppard broke the Non-Public A record in the 1,600 and took home the 800, demonstrating the bright future for Union Catholic.

The boys’ team, refusing to be outshone, secured their second straight Non-Public B championship with a 127-52 victory over Newark Academy. Double winners Marcus McCoy and Avery Atexide, along with standout performances in distance events by Michael Devine and Alex Saldana, propelled the Vikings to a triumphant success.

Despite the absence of Jimmy Wischusen due to illness, the boys’ distance team amassed a remarkable 56 points, highlighting the depth and resilience of the squad. McCoy and Atexide’s victories in the hurdles and 400, respectively, and their contribution to the winning 4×400 relay, were pivotal to the Vikings’ dominance.

Kiara Fleming and Carmela Lo Stuto also significantly contributed to the girls’ team, excelling in the hurdles, high jump, and pole vault. The boys’ team saw notable efforts from Noah Cooper, Kevin Philistin, and others, further solidifying Union Catholic’s status as a state track and field powerhouse.
Union Catholic’s track and field program continues to set the standard for excellence, with athletes and coaches looking forward to building on their historic achievements in future competitions.

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