Brother Edward Kent Keeps Young at Heart

Running track is in the blood of Brother Edward Kent, O.S.F.

So much so that the 76-year-old Franciscan has not been able to give up competing for 60 years.

Brother Edward still runs competitively in USA Masters Track and Field, an organization that holds national competitions for men and women in five-year age brackets starting from age 30.

 Even at 76 years old, Brother Edward Kent, O.S.F., still competes – and often wins medals – in USA Masters Track and Field events. (Photo courtesy Brother Edward Kent)
Even at 76 years old, Brother Edward Kent, O.S.F., still competes – and often wins medals – in USA Masters Track and Field events. (Photo courtesy Brother Edward Kent)

He’s been involved with Masters Track since age 50, and in the 2012 age 75-79 category, he ranked No. 2 in the running long jump, No. 2 in the 55-meter dash, No. 5 in the running triple jump and No. 8 in the 60-meter dash.

“It’s just the chance to keep healthy and flexible which I’m doing,” said the humble Brother Edward.

It’s quite remarkable what he’s been able to accomplish at his age, but again, he’s been doing this his whole life.

In high school at the now-closed Brooklyn Prep, he broke the sophomore record for the long jump with a leap of 19-feet, 11 inches. Two years later, he set the school record with a jump of 22-feet, 3-inches.

Brother Edward also was the captain of the school’s baseball team and president of the Student Council. His brother Don Kent, head varsity basketball coach at Msgr. McClancy M.H.S., East Elmhurst, remembers professional baseball scouts coming to the family’s home to try to sign Ed.

Don compared Brother Ed to baseball Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn, a speedy left-handed hitting center fielder. He might have had a small frame, but Brother Ed would spray line drives all over the field.

Despite his athletic talents, Brother Edward had another calling – a religious calling. After graduating from St. John’s University, he entered the Franciscan Brothers in 1958, taking the name Brother Loyola to honor his Jesuit roots at Brooklyn Prep.

He coached freshman track at St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows, and taught in the Prep’s and St. Francis College’s, Brooklyn Heights, English department.

He’s now semi-retired and teaches continuing education courses in Irish Literature at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus, Queens College and St. Francis of Assisi Church on 31st Street in Manhattan.

But he’s far from retired when it comes to track.

Back in 2004, Brother Edward was diagnosed with colon cancer. However, his background in running allowed him to stay physically fit, which led to successful surgery. Overcoming cancer has been all the motivation he’s needed to continue training and competing.

“The doctors said that it was a good thing that I was in good shape, so I like to stay in that good shape in case anything else happens,” he said.

In 2008, Brother Edward was featured in the “Faces in the Crowd” section of the Nov. 17, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated. He had just won five gold medals – one each in the long jump, triple jump, high jump, 80-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles – at the Masters Track Empire State Games. He was 71 at the time.

His training is ongoing, and he will compete this weekend at the Masters Track Eastern State Championships held Jan. 26 in Providence, R.I. The next two months will be busy for Brother Edward on the track, as he’s competing in the Long Island Championships, New York City Metropolitan Championships and the National Championships.

Brother Edward encourages participation in Masters Track for former athletes who still have that competitive edge. More information can be found by contacting 516-349-9157 or visiting

Masters Track includes indoor, outdoor and cross-country seasons and has age groups that go all the way up until 100 years old. Expect Brother Edward to still be taking home medals in the 100-plus age category someday.

“My brother Bob (Brother Robert Kent, O.S.F., alumni director and varsity baseball coach at St. Francis Prep) laughs at me,” Brother Ed said. “He says I’m just reliving my past. But I told him that I’m actually living the present.”