For the better part of six decades, Christian Brothers Academy student-athletes have been breaking running records as part of the varsity track & field program.
On May 7, the Colts broke another record, but this time, it was a special 100×100 under-19 relay record with help from the greater community.
With a combination of current students, siblings and local youth runners, CBA completed the 100×100 relay in 25:22.9. Senior Nick Sullivan was the anchor of the event, crossing the line to high-fives from teammates and cheers from the crowd.
The event was a part of the dedication for the brand-new Dr. George Sheehan Track & Field Complex, located on CBA’s 157-acre campus. A special ceremony preceded the 100×100 relay, featuring speakers from CBA and the Sheehan family.
“The first Brothers here at CBA felt athletics, and specifically running, were essential to students’ overall development,” said President Ross Fales to the crowd. “The education of the whole person has long been a hallmark of Lasallian education. Athletics remains a key part of this holistic development. Students build camaraderie and brotherhood, they learn to push themselves and work together, face adversity, but are then encouraged to recover and press on.”
Over 60 years ago, Sheehan believed in a vision for an all-boys, Catholic preparatory school in Monmouth County. Together with Peter Fleming and John Henderson, the trio founded the Academy with help from the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
In 1962, the Academy cleared an area on campus to create a competition field for the track team. Officially, it was named after Sheehan, who had emerged as a leading voice in the running community and a visionary for the young program at CBA.
Years after his college days, he began to run intervals in the historic Round Barn with the CBA runners, and ultimately, completed multiple Boston Marathons and clocked the world’s first sub-five-minute mile by a 50-year-old. As a profession, Sheehan was a noted cardiologist, but he soon became a best-selling author in connection with the running and fitness movement that took off in the 1970’s.
Standing on the new state-of-the-art track surface, Sheehan’s sons spoke to the crowd about the impact that their father had on them and CBA.
“When my dad got to CBA, he was reborn and so energized with what they were creating,” Tim Sheehan ’65 said. “On behalf of my family, I want to thank everybody for building this in my father’s name. I am so impressed by what has been built for all the young athletes at CBA.”
After the ceremony concluded, runners of all ages were invited to take part in a community mile to christen the new track, ahead of the 100×100 relay attempt.