Student athletes cross finish lines with record-breaking times
By Hilarey Wojtowicz | Correspondent
With 100 meters left in the race, Christian Brothers Academy junior Theo Foster (Brielle) was coming up strong on the second and third place teams, working hard to win the 4x400-meter relay event at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York on Saturday, June 9.
Within the last 50 meters, Foster blew past the anchor legs of New Jersey’s own Union Catholic of Scotch Plains and St. Elizabeth’s, an international team from Jamaica.
“The entire stands stood up and started screaming,” said CBA head track coach Karl Torchia. “There must have been 10,000 people there. The place started rocking it was so loud. It was fantastic.”
CBA’s 4x400 team won the race easily, smashing its own school record by three seconds, setting the new time at 3:15.73. The Lincroft team’s time also allowed CBA to take over the Shore Conference record, last set by Monmouth Regional in 1980.
“It’s been great,” said Foster. “We’ve been working with the same team this whole season and have continued to lower the school record. And this last race was just a massive drop. We went from 3:18 to 3:15. That’s a big drop.”
Foster’s teammates, senior Matt Rodio (Oceanport), senior Kevin Olsen (Marlboro) and junior Zack McDermott (Little Silver), ran splits of approximately 49.7, 49.7 and 48.8 respectively for the first three legs, allowing Foster to finish the race in 47.9, each adding to the new school record.
The Adidas Grand Prix win came as the icing on the cake just a week after CBA earned the title of state champions at the NJSIAA Non-Public A outdoor track and field state finals meet on June 1 and 2. Prior to this year’s first place finish, CBA had not won the state title since 2004.
“It felt great to win again,” said Torchia. “It’s been a long time for outdoor.”
According to Torchia, Union Catholic was seen as CBA’s greatest competition.
“On paper, UC was ahead of us and should have beaten us,” said Torchia. “We went in there thinking we would do the best we could and not make too many mistakes and then we would have a good chance [at winning].”
Despite the competition, CBA had no trouble taking over the track and rightfully earning not only the state title, but a new meet record in 4x400, as well.
The boys may have lowered their time at the Adidas Grand Prix again a week after states, but their time at states on June 2 allowed CBA to set the new meet record, last set by Seton Hall Prep in 2005.
With records broken and titles taken, it seemed almost impossible for the boys of the CBA track team to outdo themselves. But with the times and finishes they accumulated, the CBA track team was able to qualify for the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., which the boys participated in this past weekend, June 14 - 16.
“It was great being able to compete at that level,” said Torchia. The boys of CBA were not allowed to compete as CBA Boys’ Track, but participated as Brothers Track Club instead.
The boys ran in several events, both as a team and individually, including the 400-meter hurdles, the octathlon multi-event race, the 4x800-meter race, the distance medley and the four-by-one mile race.
With top places in each event, Torchia was happy to see even more records broken.
“The distance medley ran a time of 10:02.94, which is the fastest time in the Shore Conference and Monmouth County, and also a school record,” said Torchia. “The team was really excited about the time, but we were just hoping to come out with a win, as well.” The distance medley placed third overall.
With so many records broken over the past few weeks, Torchia is proud of his boys for finishing the year off on the right foot, despite the pressure.
“The boys seem to handle the pressure really well,” said Torchia. “They thrive on it.”
According to Torchia, his team plans to keep breaking records. With the confidence they’ve gained from the past three championship meets, CBA is “ready to rock,” according to Torchia, and he cannot wait until next year to see his team accomplish even more.
For more information on the CBA track team’s finishes in the NJSIAA State Finals meet, visit www.njsiaa.org. For information on the CBA track team’s results from the Adidas Grand Prix, visit www.diamondleague-newyork.com. For information on the CBA track team’s places in the New Balance Nationals meet, visit www.nationalscholastic.org.