Gill St. Bernard’s Indoor Track & Field team has one word on their mind this year – compete.
"This sport always excites me,” said GSB Head Coach Shelly LaBarre. “Our season is a tricky one in that we train outdoors—oftentimes in extreme temperatures and conditions—but we compete indoors. I think training under these conditions is what makes our team so resilient, determined, competitive, and close-knit. We are always one of the top ranked teams in the Preps and Non-Public B's.
This year’s team is headlined by several standout players. Princeton-commit Joe Licata ’22 returns for his senior campaign vying to protect his Prep State Championship and earn his 3rd Non-Public B State championship in the shotput. Last season, Licata threw a personal record of 53'-7.5" in the Adidas Indoor Nationals in Virginia Beach, placing 14th overall in the country.
“Joe should repeat as Prep and Non-Public B state champion,” commented LaBarre. “He’s working toward the Meet of Champions Title and breaking our school record.” Joe’s older brother, CJ, currently holds Gill St. Bernard’s record in the shotput with a throw of 64'5 1/2" in 2018.
Other notable athletes poised for big seasons include state-finalist Kellyn Bucceri in Hurdles and Sprints, Distance Runner Will Strong, Alex Tulenko in Hurdles and Sprints, Delaney Yates in Long Sprints, Sam Leo in Sprints and Long Jump, and Peter Horton in the Mid-Distance and Long Jump. Strong will look to best his personal record of 4:45:48 in the 1600 meters, coming off a strong cross country season.
The team also welcomes a handful of new team members, including Seniors Michaela Kroon and David Frankel, as well as freshmen Ema Hercules and Ellie Roslund. Though new to the sport, each newcomer possesses a handful of speed and transferable talent – Kroon is coming off a 14th place finish in the Non-Public B Cross Country State Championship and Frankel will aim to translate his speed on the soccer field to the track.
“We always have a large group of our returning athletes and then we gain additional multi-sport athletes that are looking for a challenge or trying a new sport to ‘stay in shape’,” said LaBarre. “It's a perfect blend of talents that just mesh on the track.”
LaBarre, who began GSB’s Indoor Track & Field program in 2000, will use her experience as a college sprinter and veteran coach to help her athletes reach their personal and team goals. Assistants Mike Parker, Peter Roslund, and Kristin Licata round out the coaching staff for the Knights.