New Brunswick

Fredericton High School relay team breaks decades-old record

Four students at Fredericton High School will go down in history as the fastest relay team the province has ever seen. On Friday, they won the 4x400m relay at the provincial track meet in Moncton.

4 FHS runners smashed New Brunswick's 4x400m relay record that had stood for 45 years

Andrew Leblanc, Jack Berkshire, Matthew Butler and Michael Colford make up the relay team that beat the provincial record for the 4x400m race. (Submitted by Andrew Angus)

Four Fredericton High School students finished their track and field careers on Friday by breaking a relay record that had stood for 45 years at the provincial track meet.

"We got to finish off our track careers in high school by getting a nice record," said runner Michael Colford.

The 4x400m relay team of Colford, Andrew Leblanc, Jack Berkshire, and Matthew Butler won the race with a time of three minutes and 29 seconds.

That's six seconds faster than the previous record, which was set 45 years ago.

Butler said beating that record was their goal going into the year.

I was really happy that we could do this as a team because these are my best friends.- Andrew Leblanc

"I thought it was pretty special to have a goal set in mind from early on, from Grade 11, I guess, and then follow through in the end and be able to do it," said Butler.

The four boys have been running together since they were in middle school as part of a running club. They first became a relay team in Grade 10.

Berkshire said that makes the weekend's victory extra special.

"We are all best friends and to do something like that with your best friends, it's pretty special, especially in your Grade 12 year, when we are all kind of finishing up now and going on to different things," said Berkshire.

And his teammates felt the same way.

"I was really happy that we could do this as a team because these are my best friends," said Leblanc.

Last year, they came within a second of the record. The race on Friday was their last chance to beat the record and achieve their goal. 

Andrew Angus, the relay team's coach, said the reason it was such a hard record to beat is because there is rarely that many talented athletes, all in the same age group.

"It's rare to find four athletes in the same age category, on the same team that are of that calibre," said Angus.

"It's been 40-plus years since it was broken and it could be another 40 before it's broken again."

About the Author

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.