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Chaminade's 4x800 relay team sets state mark

Thomas Slattery of Chaminade competes in the 4X800

Thomas Slattery of Chaminade competes in the 4X800 meter relay finals during the New York State indoor track & field championships at Cornell University on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Credit: Thomas LaBarbera

Time and time again this season, Chaminade has shown that they refuse to be topped. In fact, the only team that seems capable of topping the Flyers are, well, the Flyers. First, it was the CHSAA Intersectional championship. Then, it was a victory at the Millrose Games. If that wasn't enough, they threw in a New York State Federation Championship.

But the boys in red may have finally outdone themselves. And what better a place to do it than at the New Balance Nationals, Day Two of which was held Saturday at The Armory in Manhattan.

Chaminade's 4x800 meter relay team, composed of Thomas Slattery, Andrew Dorritie, Gunnar Nolan, and Sean Kelly won the national championship in seven minutes, 40.80 seconds. The time broke the state record of 7:41.10, set by Boys and Girls at New Balance Nationals in 2012, according to Tullyrunners.com.

"We've been focusing on the relays, pretty much entirely," Slattery said. "We've been focusing on speed and getting that tuned up, working with both the mid-distance and the distance group. The coaches have really worked together on this. The guys responded so well."

The race went out tightly packed, with the whole field jockeying for position for almost the entire first leg. It wasn't until Nolan's third leg when things became a little clearer, with the Flyers and Virginia's Blacksburg battling it out.

"I knew I wanted to stay behind someone," Nolan said. "I hate leading. Luckily, Blackburg happened to be in front of me. I gauged myself off of that. So, I stayed on him. The last lap, I made my move to beat him by a couple meters. I did all I could to beat him."

When Kelly took over, he waited for Blackburg to catch up, wanting someone to push him. And push him they did. Kelly raised his arms as soon as he broke the finish line tape and ran right into the arms of his teammates. The scene was, in many ways, representative of what they believe is the reason for their success.

"We have great chemistry," Nolan said. "Nothing can beat a bond like friendship."

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