CBA Co-Founder Celebrated, Track Complex to Bear His Name
October 21, 2020
In 1962, the Christian Brothers Academy track & field program was in its formative years, with no championships or national rankings to tout just yet.
The Academy cleared an area on its 157-acre campus to create a competition field for the team. Officially, it was named after co-founder Dr. George Sheehan, since he was an enthusiastic runner with great vision for the young program at CBA.
On October 18, CBA rekindled Sheehan’s love for the Academy with a special outdoor gathering of family, friends and CBA faithful. The reason was worthy of the buildup: the upcoming $1.2 million track & field complex will proudly bear the Sheehan name once again.
“It is fitting that the new Sheehan Track & Field will be more central on our campus,” said President Br. Frank Byrne ’75. “Dr. Sheehan played an integral role in making CBA a reality for generations of young men, not to mention his impact on our running community.”
As part of the ongoing Forever CBA Capital Campaign, the new venue will feature an eight-lane track that incorporates a natural grass infield and the most up-to-date safety and performance technology. It will provide enhanced spectator viewing, a new scoreboard and sound system, and dedicated equipment shed. The complex will be located behind the varsity baseball field, which will make it visible from the center of the CBA campus.
Committed to the values instilled by his own Catholic education, Sheehan worked alongside his father-in-law Peter Fleming and John Henderson to establish CBA for young men in Monmouth County that would develop into one of the best college preparatory schools in the state.
“These men saw a need for their community, they wanted the type of education for their sons that they had growing up,” said Tim Sheehan ’65, the second eldest son of Dr. Sheehan.
In tandem with helping found the Academy, Sheehan was a noted cardiologist, best-selling author, and leading voice of the running and fitness movement that began back in the late 1960’s. A competitive college runner, 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.
Noted friends of Shore-area running Tim McLoone and Elliott Denman were guest speakers at the event, connecting Sheehan’s CBA ties to the greater running community. McLoone’s relationship with the Sheehan family dates back to his high school years, when he ran against both George Jr. ‘63 and Tim, eventually becoming close family friends.
“I still use one of Dr. Sheehan’s quotes in my own coaching,” McLoone said. “He would always say ‘what we do here isn’t important, but it has meaning.’ And Dr. Sheehan’s life had true meaning.”
While Sheehan’s name will forever be synonymous with CBA in the history books, his passion for the Academy and running will soon forever be on display at the Sheehan Track & Field Complex.
“This school is sacred ground to our family,” Tim Sheehan said. “We are so grateful to the Brothers and CBA.”