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Aug 09, 2022

Shore Athletic Club Relay Squad Sets National Record

By Les Pierce

From left: Marc Bloom, Harry Nolan, Rob O'Rourke and Hugh "Chip" Sweeney

A Shore Athletic Club (SAC) relay squad recently broke the 4×800 Meter 75-79 Age Group Relay national record. The record fell at the USATF National Club Track & Field Championship and 35th annual NJ International Track Meet, held at Monmouth University on July 2.

The SAC quartet turned in a time of 13:23.42, obliterating the United States record of 14:02.20, set by the Atlanta Track Club in 2021. The SAC clocking is just 0.75 seconds shy of matching the world record currently held by an Australian team.

Middletown resident Harry Nolan handled the lead-off role, and it was obvious that a record was within reach as his time was reported. Marc Bloom (Marlboro) took the handoff for the second leg, followed by Hugh “Chip” Sweeney (Jersey City) and anchor Rob O’Rourke (Jackson).

“We had been planning this relay attempt since January,” said Nolan. “It’s not easy to keep four 75-year-olds healthy all at the same time; two of us suffered hamstring issues in the early spring.  Finally. we got everyone healthy and in condition for this meet.”

This was Nolan’s second record breaking experience of recent months. In February, he was invited to run with the SAC 65- to 69-year-old squad at the NJUSATF State Indoor Championships. The foursome of Nolan, Scott Linnell, Harold Leddy and Kevin Dollard set the 4×800 Meter 65-69 Age Group Relay indoor world record at 11:24.41.