Freshman April Antonecchia Places Second for Long Jump at the Glenn D. Loucks Memorial Games
By Eva Mandelbaum
The Glenn D. Loucks Memorial Track and Field Annual Games is one of the largest high school track meets in the country. People travel from as near as Scarsdale to as far as Canada to compete in and attend this prestigious event. This year’s Loucks games were filled with an electrified energy, as it was the first full meet since pre-pandemic. Although the meet did occur last year, it was much smaller, making this year’s event even more meaningful for more participants back on the WPHS track.
White Plains High School has hosted the highly acclaimed games on the Loucks Field since 1968. The games are named after Glenn D. Loucks, an inspiring and successful athlete, coach, teacher, administrator, and community leader who served the people of White Plains and Westchester County from 1931 to 1962. At this year’s meet, many students made us incredibly WP Proud, but one student who particularly broke barriers from her incredible performance at the games was WP long jump star freshman April Antonecchia.
April snagged second place in the long jump event. This is a momentous accomplishment, especially because of the scale and prestige of the event. “All of these kids from different high schools have so much talent. Record times from meets as big as the New York state meet are broken by these amazing athletes!” she said. Knowing that she is one of these talented athletes herself is a feeling that is unmatched. “When I realized that I placed second, I was pumped. I felt like I accomplished something. I went to go thank my teammates that were there with me as well as my coach. Then I went to go see my brother and said “Did you see that?" Knowing that he was proud of me was one of the best feelings ever,” she shared. Her brother, senior Eric Antonecchia, is her biggest inspiration. “My brother Eric has been one of my inspirations to start running. He began hurdling as a freshman and I was inspired to do the same since 6th grade!” she explained.
April’s favorite event is the long jump because she feels like she can “just run as fast as [she] can and get everything out before [she] jumps.” (She explained that with long jump, “You still get the adrenaline rush, but you don’t have to run an active competitive race.”) She also runs the women’s pentathlon, 4x4 relay, and she jumps the 100 hurdles, 200 hurdles, and the triple jump.
As words of advice to fellow athletes and WP students, April said, “At first track can be very difficult, tiring, painful. But, the people you meet, the fun you have, and all the accomplishments you make, will make you see why you joined in the first place. In life things take time. But you have to push in order to make yourself a better person. You wouldn’t be the best you could be without challenges.” With her grit and hard work, there is no doubt that April Antonecchia is taking the track world by storm, one jump at a time.