11/19/11 – Holmdel, NJ – Adapted from an article by Jim Lambert, Writer for NJ.com
While Christian Brothers Academy knows there’s still some work to be done to be called the greatest team in New Jersey history, it certainly strengthened its case with a performance for the ages on Saturday.
Despite missing one of its key runners, CBA, led by senior George Kelly’s remarkable runner-up finish, still burned up the trails at Holmdel Park with a mind-boggling race that saw the No. 1 team in the state take down the course record average and repeat as champion at the 40th NJSIAA/Star-Ledger/M-F Athletic Meet of Champions.
In extending its state record to 17 M of C titles, CBA averaged a blistering 16:04.4 to break the course record of 16:05.3 it set last year. The second highest M of C victory total is four by Paul VI.
CBA put four runners in the top 20 and all seven in the top 50 as it scored 45 points to give coach Tom Heath a pretty nice birthday gift. Heath, the coach for all 17 M of C titles, turned 64 on Saturday.
No. 2 Don Bosco edged No. 3 Westfield, 111-112, for second place.
There was a lot of talk leading up to the race that CBA could break the course-record average, but when it was discovered that one of its top guns, Tim Gorman (15:54 at Holmdel last month), wasn’t running, it seemed that the record might be out of reach.
But Heath knew it was still possible.
“I knew we’d still run pretty darn fast,” said Heath, a 1965 graduate of CBA who took over as coach in 1971. “We have a pretty deep team and I knew even without a 15:54 guy that they could go out and run well. Our number-one concern is always winning, but getting that time says a lot about how great this team is.”
How did CBA do it?