Track Teams Honor MKA Coach Fleming


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Gene Leporati, Verona High School’s girls track coach, offers personal remarks about the late MKA Coach Tom Fleming.

In the days following the tragic April 19 passing of Tom Fleming, Montclair Kimberley Academy’s head track coach, the Super Essex Conference asked all schools hosting a track meet to request a moment of silence and to read a prepared tribute.

On April 26 the coaches and members of the Verona High School and North Star Academy track teams, along with their fans, gathered at the H.B. Whitehorne track to honor Fleming.

VHS girls track coach Gene Leporati began with some personal words about Fleming, who he knew for 40 years. He spoke about his impact on the sport and then went on to read from the tribute:

Tom Fleming was simply a legend…not only in the MKS hallways and at the Verona Track and Brookdale Park. Hew an icon throughout Essex County, the State of New Jersey and throughout the country. Tom Fleming knew EVERYONE and EVERYONE knew him. Many of you knew him well and we were better off for having him in our lives.

Team captains placing roses in the vase.
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VHS boys track coach Laura Palmerezzi continued to read from the tribute:

Tom may have earned his notoriety as one of the greatest long distance runners in American history (two time New York City Marathon winner) but he was much more. He was larger than life and simply enjoyed watching ALL kids train their hardest, work their hardest and be their very best selves – both on the track, on the course and in life!

That’s simply what Tom was all about…the love for “his” sport and the love for ALL of our kids.

Tom Fleming loved his school, his beloved town of Bloomfield and the many student athletes who tried to attain their “Personal Best.”

After a moment of silence, the captains from both the Verona High School and North Star Academy track teams each placed a rose in the vase under the banner bearing a quote by Tom Fleming “Somewhere, someone in the world is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.”

Captain CJ Lavery, who has been out on injury, placing the last rose in the vase under the banner bearing Tom Fleming’s quote.


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