The GSB 2022 Track & Field squad approaches the spring season with experienced athletes eagerly waiting to compete, and new ones prepared to contribute to the team’s success.
“We have a great mix of young and experienced athletes,” said Head Coach Steve Leo. “The senior class is very strong, and the underclassmen are primed to make an immediate impact this season.”
Those seniors include Princeton-bound Joe Licata, who finished his Indoor Track & Field season as the #1 ranked shot put in New Jersey and #7 in the nation. During his winter season, Licata took home gold in the Conference Championships, Prep B State Championships, Non-Public B State Championships, and New Jersey Meet of Champions. Senior Zach Saunders, who placed 2nd in the Indoor Track and Field Prep Championships and 3rd in the States, will pair with Joe to form the most formidable duo in the state.
On the track, senior Michaela Kroon intends to improve upon last year’s Non-Public B 3200-meter 5th place finish and her Somerset County 1600-meter 3rd place finish, while senior Will Strong plans to leave last year’s 1600-meter 7th place Non-Public B finish in the dust.
Senior and all-around athlete Kellyn Bucceri demonstrated her versatility over the winter season in sprints and hurdles, garnering 4th and 5th place finishes in the Prep and State Championships, respectively. She looks to repeat those successes alongside senior Alex Tulenko, who took home 4th in the Skyland Conference-Mountain Division 100-meter hurdles and 6th in the long jump.
The Knights boast both speed and depth, with notable underclassmen such as juniors Aniya Boston (100 and 200-meter), Tyler Tellalian (800-meter), Laksh Patel (200 and 400-meter), and Will Engelke (110-meter hurdles and 220-meter), and sophomore Samantha Leo (long jump and 200-meter) medaling in past championships.
“Our goal is to be competitive in the Non-Public and Prep B Championships,” said Coach Leo. “We have many individuals that have a chance to medal in those meets, but we are also looking to grow our program.”
That growth will stem from incoming athletes such as freshmen Ema Hercules, hot off her Indoor 4th place 1600-meter Non-Public B finish, Ellie Roslund, James O'Brien, and Sanjay De Silva.
Head Coach Leo enters his third year at the helm of the program and is joined by Assistant Coach Mike Parker, who is also starting his third. Two additional Assistant Coaches, Kristin Licata and Christine Temnycky, entering their second and first year respectively, round out the coaching staff.
“The goal is to compete every day, at practice and at meets. If that becomes a habit, good things will happen,” promised Coach Leo.