O.B. girls track squad hoping for big results


The Old Bridge High School girls winter track team has steadily improved throughout the campaign, and coach Steve Gajewski was looking for his team to make a splash at yesterday’s Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Relays.

The Lady Knights have plenty of bright spots this winter. Shot-putter Sandra Jean- Romain, who won the GMC crown last season, has been even better this time around. Along the way, the senior set a new team record with a toss of 37 feet, 53.4 inches, and the coach expects her to add to that before the campaign concludes. She finished sixth at the recent NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV Relays.

Gajewski said he is planning to enter Jean-Romain in either the Nike Nationals or the Metropolitan Invitational to showcase her talents for collegiate coaches.

Another key for Old Bridge is its versatile relay team composed of juniors Chelsea Lodato and Nina Veneziale and sophomores Samantha Bartelli and Jillian Grant. Lodato is coming off a strong cross country campaign that saw her finish second in the GMC meet.

The foursome won the 4×400 GMC title and reached the Meet of Champions a year ago, feats they’re looking to repeat this winter. Their best time in that event this season is 4:03 at the Millrose Qualifier. They also compete in the spring medley, where their top time is 4:18.3, and the 4×200, where they have recorded a time of 1:49.8. In the Central Jersey Group IV Relays, the four took fourth in the 4×400 and sixth in the 4×200.

“They’re ranked in the state in each of those events, and all four of them have worked very hard to get to this level,” the coach said. “I’m very pleased, because they just continue to get better and better.”

Other members of the team include Diana Lawrence, a sophomore shot-putter who regularly throws more than 30 feet. Junior Cassie Campbell, a transfer from Sayreville, runs the 1,600, while juniors Melissa Felicetti and Jessica Thomas handle the middle distance events. Brittany Fuentes, another junior, is a sprinter.

This has been an interesting winter for the Lady Knights. With a new track being installed, the team generally works out on side streets near the school, and Matawan High School permits Old Bridge to work out there once a week.

“It is a little difficult, but it will be worth it in the long run to have a new track,” Gajewski said. “We’re a young team, so the girls will benefit from that down the road.”