2008 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
Jim Michelini was born in Queens on October 7, 1946. He started his running career at nearby St. Gabriel’s Grammar School but really honed his running skills on the cinder track just behind McClancy High School. He was part of a generation of runners that started establishing McClancy’s long history of success in track and field.
Information from his freshman yearbook shows Jim getting off to a fast start in 1960 by setting a McClancy record in Cross Country under Brother Walter Doyle, sc and running well in the mile during the spring season.
During his sophomore year, he teamed with his fellow runners Billy Marshall, Marty Farrell and Ricardo Urbina, and others to start McClancy placing well in various Cross Country meets in the city. Jim and Marty were selected Co-Captains for both Cross Country and Track in their senior year. Jim was part of a McClancy team consisting of Brian McKoy, Marty Farrell, Bob Connolly, and Steve Radacinski which captured McClancy’s first Cross Country plaque at the Queens Championships in 1964. Jim went on to establish multiple records in his high school career including an indoor mile record of 4:29 and was awarded the school’s most valuable athlete award during his senior year to cap off his high school running career.
Jim received a partial athletic grant to run at Manhattan College and joined his high school friend Billy Marshall who was a year ahead of him at Manhattan. Jim became a co-holder of the college outdoor 4-mile relay record for Manhattan and also set an individual school record of 14:26 in the Three Mile Run. Jim was a member of the team that won the MET Conference Cross Country Championship in his junior year and was elected Co-Captain of the Cross Country team.
Jim’s life was cut short by an automobile accident in April, 1967 while in his junior year at Manhattan. His memory lives on through his friends, teachers, and teammates at McClancy High School.
His brother knows that if Jim was here today, he would say that the lasting friendships he developed at McClancy is what the McClancy track team is all about and that track records achieved are meant to be temporary and be broken.