Our Coaches

The Flyers coaching staff is comprised of a variety of coaches both male and female with a wide variety of track & field and/or cross country experience. Many of the coaches are USATF-certified coaches and some are USATF-certified officials. The coaches are always seeking to learn more about the sport to better guide the athletes. While the Flyers have more than 20 coaches, here is some information about the lead coaching and administrative staff:

 

Michelle Almeida

Michelle joined the flyers program in summer of 2019. Michelle threw for Governor Livingston High school, then went on to compete collegiately at Georgian Court University in New Jersey as a Division 2 athlete. She acquired an Exercise Science and Wellness degree and has since become an NASM-Certified Personal Trainer and a USATF-Certified Level 1 Track & Field Coach. As an athlete, Michelle competed in all throwing events, with a focus on the hammer throw in college. At the Westfield Area Y, she oversees the Flyers program, is the Flyers throws coach, head strength and conditioning coach for the Flyers and Devilfish Swim team, and is an Associate Director of Physcial Programs. She loves being to share her love of the sport with the next generation. In her free time, Michelle enjoys weightlifting, powerlifting, and Crossfit training. 

Wayne Baker

 Wayne has a long history with cross country and track & field.  He first fell in love with the sport watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  The Marathon at the 1972 Olympics in Munich fascinated him and he vowed at that time to run the Boston Marathon.  In high school, he specialized in the two-mile and has raced at distances from 1600 meters to the marathon and also competed in ultras.  In 2005, by running a 3:29:22 at the Long Island Marathon, he achieved his goal of qualifying to run Boston, which he did in 2006.  Wayne has numerous age-group placings to his credit.  Also recognized as a historian of the sport, Wayne regularly assists authors about the 1908 Olympic Marathon and has been acknowledged in two books for this.  He was certified by USATF as a coach in 2003 and has been working with the Flyers since that time.  His coaching focuses on distance running and racewalk events.  Wayne is also a USATF certified official. 

Peter Cronrath​​

Peter joined the Flyers in 2016 to share his experience and love for track and field with the athletes.  As an athlete, Peter competed for Rutgers University track and field team as a thrower.  Later he was the assistant men’s coach and head women's coach at Montclair State University for three years, where he coached two National Champions (women's shot and women's 400m hurdles), over 20 All-Americans, three Penn Relay champions (women's shot, men's javelin, and men's triple jump), and helped guide the men’s team to a third place finish at the Indoor DIII National Championships.  At the same time, Peter completed USATF Level 2 Coaching Certifications in Endurance, Level 2 in Jumps, and Level 2 in Throwing Events.  Peter was then a head girls coach at the high school level for three years guiding two state champions (800 meters and long/triple jump).  Having a ten-year hiatus from coaching to become a college professor of management and economics, he is happy to be back on the field with the Flyers.  Peter is currently a psychology coach to two Olympic athletes, mentally preparing them for the biggest competition of their lives.  Peter is also a USATF certified official.

Shivani Dhiman

Shivani, mother of two boys, first became involved in track & field and cross country in 2016 as a volunteer coach with her sons school teams. In 2018 she became a USATF-Certified Level 1 coach and a USATF-Certified official. She began coaching with the Flyers in the spring of 2019. She also coaches her sons school team (K-8) where she has been on the planning committees for home track & field and cross country meets. Hence, her sons passion became her passion. She believes every performance is a lesson and every practice is a performance.  She has Masters degrees in Economics. In addition to being a wife and mother, she enjoys working out, yoga, running, biking, swimming, and cross-fit training. Shavini has completed the USATF Level 2 Coaching Certifications in Youth Speccialization and the Level 2 Sports Science.

Greg Hatzisavvas

Greg joined the Westfield Area Y in 2008. He was promoted to his current position of Senior Director - Member Wellness & Engagement in 2013.  In this position he oversees the competitive aquatics, health & wellness, and sports departments. Greg still remains closely involved with the Flyers Track Club. Greg is very proud with the growth of the track & field program. During his tenure overseeing the Flyers the program has expanded greatly - now training more than 800 athletes year round.  Greg holds a B.S. in Physical Education and an M.S. in Exercise and Sports Studies from William Paterson University. He is certified as an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Physiologist, a USATF-Certified Level 1 Track & Field Coach, and a USATF-Certified Official. He is an avid distance runner and also coach of the nationally ranked William Paterson University bowling team. 

Jolene Hatzisavvas

Jolene is the head coach of the Flyers program and has been with the team since 2010.  She is a USATF-Certified Level 1 Track & Field Coach and a USATF-Certified Official.  As an athlete, Jolene competed in sprints, hurdles, relays, shot put, and high jump.  Currently she runs longer distances, including half-marathons, but her love is still with her core events.  She believes there is an athlete in everyone and an event for every athlete in track & field.  She enjoys helping each Flyer find their event, meet goals, and reach their full potential throughout the seasons.  In addition to her coaching, Jolene is also a certified group fitness instructor.

 

Christine Licata

 

Christine has a long-standing passion for running and has been competing for nearly 30 years.  A Cranford mother of two young daughters, she believes running is a natural activity that brings balance and joy from an early age.  Through her coaching, she hopes to guide athletes toward a healthy and rewarding running career that fosters a love for the sport.  She thrives on learning new ways to progress while remaining injury free.  Christine enjoyed success in middle distance and cross country at Bentley University, a DII university in Massachusetts, where she received a B.S. in Marketing with a Minor in I.T.  Upon graduation, she worked for various tech start-ups while competing in local 5Ks and training with Central Park Track Club.  Christine has experience across a wide range of track disciplines having competed in everything from the 200m up to the NYC marathon.  She recently began her masters career with Garden State Track Club focusing on middle distance.  

 

Nick Morelli

Nick has been working with children in an athletic setting for over 10 years and joined the Flyers program in 2020. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University with a double major in sports management and marketing, and has since become an ISSA-Certified Personal Trainer and a USATF-Certified Level 1 Track & Field Coach. In his current position as Physical Programs Supervisor at the Westfield Area YMCA, Nick oversees and/or coaches numerous youth sports programs including basketball, soccer, t-ball, tennis, and track. He loves passing his knowledge of sports to the children. In his spare time, Nick enjoys running and playing basketball.

Brian Osborn

Brian ran track at Westfield High School.  In College he ran cross country and was captain his senior year at Centenary University in NJ where he earned a B.A. in Sports Management.  Brian coaches distance running as well as long jump and sprints.  In 2017 Brian became a USATF-Certified Level 1 Coach.  Brian enjoys running in his spare time and competes in distance races in the area.

 
 

Will Smith

Will ran cross country and track for Cranford High School and Rowan University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree.  He earned a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from Kean University.  Will joined the Flyers Track Club as a distance coach in 2017.  He is a USATF-Certified Level 2 Coach in Sprints, Hurdles, and Relays, and an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer.  In his spare time Will enjoys running, golfing, and being active.  Will has completed the USATF Level 2 Coaching Certifications in Endurance.