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May 17, 2013

Gloucester's 4x400 team runs into elite company

The longtime success that’s followed the Gloucester track program over the years is no secret to anyone familiar with the area’s sports history.

In a program steeped in that much history, any record-book change is, well, a big deal.

To talk to Gloucester track coach Jeff Destino, though, this month’s school-record-breaking 4x400 relay performance by Calvin Kipruto, Everest Crawford, Jacob Holscher and Matt Carpenter hardly seemed out of the ordinary.

Not because of a lack of accomplishment, but more because that group is simply that good.

It all came together for the group on May 1 in a neck-and-neck meet with Swampscott. With the Fishermen needing a win in the 4x400 to capture the meet, the four runners secured the team’s win while cementing their legacy within the program’s annals with a dominant time of 3:32.6, breaking the previous record set in 2010.

“Gloucester track’s focus forever has been on distance,” Destino said. “It still is, but we’ve changed things a little bit. We had a couple of distance guys on there and a couple of sprinters, and we knew that those four guys were a special group and to be able to put them in a 4x400 situation and to see them break the record isn’t really a surprise.

“It’s just a combination of talent and working hard. The guys are clearly talented to be able to run that time and the meet was on the line, so they knew that it was important to win it.”

Crawford, who said he usually doesn’t run first, opened the race for the Fishermen. The group knew that Swampscott was sending its best runner out first in an attempt to establish an early lead and Crawford sought to ensure the Fishermen didn’t fall behind.

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