Eyes on The Prize
2012 CBA Harriers Seek NXN Repeat
Christian Brothers Academy returns for the 2012 season as the defending national champions, and now they are back with the goal to repeat, and already look stronger than the 2011 squad.
During CBA’s 2.05 mile time trial on Friday at their home course, they set a record with a 9:29 team average—a 12 second improvement from 2011. “Theoretically we could be significantly better than last year,” head coach Tom Heath said. “But it doesn’t mean anything right now.” CBA has ran the same time trial for the last 45 years, and only one runner has ever broken the 9:30 mark, according to Heath. Now the team is averaging under 9:30. “We just want to be the best that we can possibly be,” Heath said. CBA is also ranked first in the preseason national poll.
“We try not to pay attention or look at the polls,” said senior Billy Bragg, whose 16:05 at Meet of Champions is the second-fastest returning Holmdel Park time for CBA. “We’re going to go out there and just try and do what we did last year and take it day-by-day.” Junior Mike McClemens returns with the fastest Holmdel time on the team, 15:58, which is one of the fastest for any sophomore in Holmdel Park history. Jack Boyle and Aaron Liberatore join Bragg as the returning seniors.
When they were asked what they were looking forward to most this year, the three responded in unison, “nationals.” “I don’t think any of us will be happy unless we return and win the national championship again,” Bragg said. Boyle added that now they are seniors, they want to leave their own mark on the program’s history. “It’s our senior season so this is our team and our chance to prove what we can do,” Boyle said.
Their season began Tuesday, Sept. 11 with a dual meet against Colts Neck—where CBA extended their national dual-meet winning streak to 316. The first invitational they will compete in will be the Bowdoin Classic in Wappinger Falls, NY on Sept. 22.
“It’s about just getting whatever runners you have and whatever they can possibly run and get them to run as close to that as possible,” Heath said. “We just have to remain focused on that.”
Jack Boyle Billy Bragg Sandy Liberatore