Vito Licata was simply just looking to get in shape during his football off-season when he joined the spring track and field team at Revere High School. Vito, a former member of the Revere Patriots, figured participating in track and field would just be another building block into get stronger and more athletic to enhance his football career.
Now a freshman in college, Vito has gelled into a skilled shot put and discus thrower for the UMass Lowell River Hawks. How did Vito become such a talented competitor at the shot put and discus throws? Vito admits he did not elect to compete in the these events; instead his high school coaches gave him the idea to strive in throwing the shot put and discus, both of which events stress the importance of brute strength.
“Becoming a thrower was not necessarily a conscious choice that I made, it was more of a placement,” Vito explained.
Evidently, the Revere High track and field coaches made the right selection for the sturdy bodied freshman. As a walk-on for the River Hawks, Vito was able to participate in the winter and spring Northeast-10 Championships. Competing in these conference championships is quite an accomplishment, especially for a walk-on athlete who was unsure if he even had the talent necessary to compete at the intercollegiate level.
“I wasn’t even recruited by any schools to participate in track and field at the collegiate level because my high school distances were sub-par, but I have been able to transition well into throwing with heavier implements which has helped me a lot,” Vito expressed.
Vito was able to prove to the UMass Lowell track and field coaches that he belonged by demonstrating his forte and ability in the shot put and discus events. At the spring Northeast-10 Championship, Vito was able to post a commendable score of 12.32 meters in the shot put event. He then was able fire the discus for a whopping 31.30 meters. Vito acknowledges that he excels at throwing the discus.
“Although I participate in both the shot put and discus throwing events, I would have to say that I definitely favor discus more for its fluidity and requisition of much more technique than the shot put, although those are both very prominent components of both events,” Vito explained.
Despite all the success Vito has had in these track and field events, it’s clear his focus is primarily on academics at college.
“My decision to attend UMass Lowell was based solely on the fact that they have an excellent engineering program and are also only one of two schools in the United States with an accredited Plastics Engineering program, which I chose to make my current major,” Vito said.
It is uplifting to hear that Vito is a true student-athlete, where education is the chief focus. A determined individual, Vito clearly has his eyes set on his future following his days at UMass Lowell. But for the next three years, Vito plans to work tirelessly in his acclaimed engineering program, while shining at throwing the shot put and discus for the River Hawks.