Cranford gymnasts capture Union County meet championship, preventing host Westfield from winning an 11th straight title; McAuliffe, Infante, Markase help lead the way

Cougars last won event in 1989

Congratulations to the Cranford gymnastics team for capturing this past Friday’s (Oct. 21) Union County meet for the first time since 1989 and preventing defending champion and host Westfield from winning the championship for the 11th consecutive year.
The last school other than Westfield to win the championship was Union in 2005. Westfield won every year from 2006-2015 and has captured the most county crowns with 20.
A team comprised of gymnasts from Dayton and Brearley won the 2004 championship, while Scotch Plains won in 2003.
Cranford finished second in 2003, a year that it hosted the event, and second again in 2007 and 2008.
Cranford’s winning team score was 106.700 Friday, edging second-place Westfield, which came in at 106.150.
Gina Ferdinandi of Johnson had the top all-around score of 35.800, edging second-place Abby Claus of Summit at 35.550.
Other event winners included Westfield’s Nicole Dispensa winning the vault at 9.150, Kate Perez of Scotch Plains first in the uneven bars at 8.700, Hannah Prieto of Westfield first in the balance beam at 9.300 and Ferdinandi winning the floor exercise at 9.500.
Cranford’s Kelly McAuliffe was third with an all-around score of 35.475. She also was tied for fourth in the balance beam with Kaela Azzaretto of Westfield at 9.000 and second in the floor exercise at 9.475.
Erin Infante of Cranford was fourth all-around at 35.450 and also second in balance beam at 9.150
Cranford’s Gabby Markase was fourth in vault at 9.000, tied for fourth in uneven bars with Azzaretto at 8.450 and fourth in floor exercise at 9.325.
Bee Iosso of Cranford was seventh with an all-around score of 34.850.
The team is coached by Michelle Charney-Hulse.
Cranford also captured the Cougar Classic it hosts every year and on Monday, Oct. 24, has its final regular season match, which is at home vs. Union Catholic at 4:30 p.m.
Cranford enters that competition with a perfect 9-0 record.
Cranford’s gymnasts include freshman Erin Blake, freshman Catherine Blowe, sophomore Hanna Capone, freshman Gianna Carroll, freshman Kayla Ducusin, senior Taylor Grant, sophomore Erin Infante, sophomore Bee Iosso, sophomore Jen Kosty, sophomore Maddy Larrabee, sophomore Gabby Markase, junior Kelly McAuliffe, freshman Emily Melise, sophomore Kerry Pollack, freshman Morgan Reitzel and senior Delaney Sciascia.

In the field hockey Union County Tournament championship game contested at Johnson High School’s Nolan Field in Clark this past Friday (Oct. 21) top-seeded Oak Knoll edged second-seeded Kent Place 3-2 to win its seventh straight title and 12th in the past 13 seasons dating back to 2004.
Oak Knoll defeated in-town rival Kent Place in the championship game for the third consecutive year.
The only time Oak Knoll did not win the UCT since 2004 was in 2009 when Johnson won the title for the first and only time. Johnson defeated Oak Knoll 3-2 in the 2009 championship game played at Cranford.

On Wednesday, Oct. 19 at Warinanco, the Westfield boys’ and girls’ cross country teams captured their Union County Conference championships.



GIRLS’ TENNIS: Summit, Kent Place co-champs



Final quarterfinal
Tuesday, Oct. 25

5-Cranford at 4-Linden, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 26
at Johnson

6-Oak Knoll vs. 2-Westfield, 6 p.m.
5-Cranford/4-Linden vs. 1-Union Catholic, 7:30 p.m.
Friday Oct. 28
at Kean University
6 p.m.
Varsity: 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 26
at Warinanco

Girls’ race, 4 p.m.
Boys’ race, 4:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 28
at Kean University

4-Oak Knoll vs. 2-Scotch Plains, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 29
at Kean University

2-Westfield vs. 1-Scotch Plains, 7:30 p.m.