downtownexpress.com
Volume 19 Issue 39 | February 9 -15, 2007

Youth

The M.A.T. Dragons relay team: Patty Rosa and Jubilee Domonech, left, and Tafari McKenzie and Ashley Thomas.

Dragons break their own record at Millrose

Last Friday was a night to remember for the M.A.T. middle school track team. Competing at the 100th annual Millrose games at Madison Square Garden, the girls relay team of Patty Rosa, Tafari McKenzie, Ashley Thomas and Jubilee Domonech set a school record in the 4 x 150 meter relay.

M.A.T. qualified for the Millrose competition by placing third in the New York Road Runners Foundation Jamboree Track Meet a month ago. It marked the second time in school history that the Dragons have qualified for the elite meet, which features high-level runners of all ages, including the nation’s fastest milers. Replacing an injured Shakiira Harewood, last year’s Region 9 sixth-grade champion in the 100-meter dash, sixth-grader Patty Rosa ran a tough first leg of the race, holding down fourth place behind racers from Bronx Flash, the Public School Athletic League all stars and the Jaguars of Middle School 180. 

“I was surprised by the level of competition,” Rosa said after the race.  “And I was a little nervous, but it was fun just to come here and run.  I can’t wait to do it again next year.” 

In the second leg, Domonech gained ground on the Jaguars. She passed to Thomas for the third segment and McKenzie ran a strong anchor leg to seal the school record, coming in fourth in the race. 

“It took a lot of guts for our girls to come out here and compete as well as they did.  The Garden was packed, there were Olympic athletes everywhere, television crews were all over the place, but our girls kept their composure in the light of such strong competition,” said head coach John DeMatteo. “A lot of the teams at Millrose feature all star teams from different schools, and that was a hard concept for our kids to grasp, considering they were all from the same middle school. It was a night I’ll never forget.” 

The Dragons will compete in at least 12 more meets before the season wraps up, including another indoor Jamboree at the Armory in March.

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