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Xavier track athletes formed a commemorative BP track team Brooklyn Prep Runs Again!
Xavier track athletes formed a commemorative BP track team

Saturday November 20 marked the the 67th Annual Jesuit Cross Country Championships, held at Van Cortlandt Park, bringing together athletes from 13 Jesuit schools who toed he line on that beautiful fall morning.

The first time that meet took place, in 1944, there were only five schools present - Fordham Prep, Regis, St. Peter's Prep, Xavier and Brooklyn Prep, which closed its doors in 1972.

But what was remarkable about this year's meet was that, for the first time in close to 40 years, Brooklyn Prep was able to run again.

Over the years the Brooklyn Prep Alumni have made their mark in the track and field world and on the CHSAA. Their dedication to their school and the sport was evident in 2009 when they came to the CHSAA Indoor Championships to honor their late coach, Murt Lawerence. This act of dedication inspired the Xavier track coach, Pat Dormer to do something for the Brooklyn Prep alumni.

"Track alumni love to get together and talk about the old days, the great races and the hard workouts," Coach Dormer said. "They love to remember when the coach yelled at them or the successes that they experienced while being part of the team. Then they usually inquire about the kids on the team now. Only in the case of Brooklyn Prep, they can’t do this since the school closed in 1972. I thought that it would be great to have Brooklyn Prep run again. I took the top runners on my team from Brooklyn who, perhaps, would have gone to Brooklyn Prep if the school was still open, and had them don the blue and white of BP. The kids loved the idea of representing their fellow Jesuit brothers.”

Jesuit Cross Country Coaches with Phil Nolan Brooklyn Prep class of 1949.
(From the left: Geogre Feblez, Fordham Prep, Bret Kroeger-Boston College
High, Jose Albornoz-Loyola-Blakefield, Mike Burgess-St. Peter’s Prep,
Todd Stewart- McQuaid(in Back), Phil Nolan BP’49, David Schickler- McQuaid,
Curtis Cockenburg-St. Joseph’s Prep, John Ausema- Gonzaga,
Chris Febles- Regis, John DOnodeo- Regis, Pat Dormer – Xavier (kneeling)


Other Jesuit coaches loved the idea and said they were committed to keeping the memory of Brooklyn Prep alive at this meet. So from now on, Brooklyn Prep will be represented at the Jesuit Championships. Any runner from any Jesuit school who would have gone to BP or is the son or grandson of a BP grad will have the opportunity to run for Brooklyn Prep - symbolically, that is. The goal is to have a complete team at the meet, to have Brooklyn Prep score on all levels, and to wear the white and blue uniforms to remember the school that served the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn for 64 years.

So, how did BP do? As it turned out, the Xavier runners representing BP finished 7th overall in the varsity race, and even snagged 1st among the NYC-area Jesuit schools, including all four original schools that would have competed in 1944.

Mr. John Raslowsky, Xavier President, Mr. Phil Nolan BP ’49,
Rod Walker BP ’71 and Xavier A.D., Mr. Pat Dormer Xavier
Track Coach.

Phil Nolan, BP Class of 1949 was on hand to witness the event and as a special bonus, he handed out all the medals and team awards. Mr. Nolan said that he truly enjoyed the day and was touched by the gesture.

In all, the meet was a great way to end the season. Eliot Kaufmann ’14 was able to go undefeated in all league championships this season, becoming the first freshman in Xavier history to be named Sectional, Intersectional and Jesuit Freshmen cross-country champion.

Congrats to Ivan Caesar ’11 for breaking the famed 15-minute barrier on his last time over the 2.5-mile course.

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