When you think of Christian Brothers Academy track and field, you think of distance running, which is fair. The Lincroft has been a cross country power for decades and is generally known for its proficiency at the distances on the track.
The bread and butter for CBA track is still the distances, but those can no longer collectively stand alone. Karl Torchia, along with assistant coaches Tom Heath and Chris Bennett, have expanded the depth of the program to include standouts in the sprints, as well as all over the field.
Torchia and his staff have gotten their program deep and talented enough outside the distances that across the three All-Shore teams, the Colts have a sprinter, a hurdler, a pole vaulter, two throwers and their 4×400 team among the selections. Of course, they also garnered five of the nine distance spots available.
“We had a lot of balance this year and a big part of that was our sprinters really stepping up their game,” Torchia said. “We’ve always been able to compete with anyone at the distances, but now our sprinters and field event guys are up to par and we feel like we can at least hold our own. A lot of that credit needs to go to my staff, they’re the best in the state.”
The CBA depth ended in an NJSIAA Non-Public A team title, the program’s first since 2004. At that meet, the 4×400 squad won the weekend’s final event to clinch the win with 112 points.
That team title ended a remarkable year for CBA as the cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams went undefeated during the 2011-12 school year. With Heath at the helm for cross country, that season ended with a Nike Cross Nationals team title for the first time in school history.
The win at NXN as arguably the highlight for a program that also registered the top DMR nationally indoors and the No. 3 time nationally outdoors, in addition to a win in the 4×800 at New Balance Outdoor Nationals.
“It was certainly one of the best seasons CBA has ever had and we were fortunate enough to go undefeated across all three seasons,” Torchia said. “We help to motivate these kids, but it’s the history of CBA that really motivates them. They want to be as good as the guys from the past.”