The Millrose Games are about as prestigious as it gets for Track and Field athletes. That said, qualifying for the competition definitely creates scholarship potential for the high school track star who gets to lace up for this historic New York City venue that dates back more than 100 years. But while Fox Lane Track Coach Chris Dossena agrees that his girls 4x400 relay team should take the long view of qualifying for Saturday’s running at the New York City Armory on 168th Street, he believes the opportunity represents something much more tangible.
“They will remember this for the rest of their lives,” says Coach Dossena of Carmela Culhane, Vicky Martinez, Alison Moky and Senaca Warren.
The girls ran a 4:14.63 at the Section One League Meet on January 11, which broke the Fox Lane 4x400 meter record, and got them a berth in the Millrose qualifier on January 14. Their performance then at the Armory landed the foursome a position at the gate on Saturday.
Thus Dossena is certainly encouraging his girls to see the possibilities, while also hoping they can put aside the jitters in favor of riding out the exhilaration of just being there. “We could possibly finish in the top three, but it’s also about having a great experience,” said Dossena. “Because it’s wonderful when you can go to a meet that has so much energy and involves others who have also made running such a significant part of their lives.”
This includes athletes on the collegiate and professional level, and the inspiration will be inescapable. “It’s like going to Yankee Stadium, going on the field and having a catch with one of the Yankee players,” says Dossena.
Even so, Track and Field never creates the kind of buzz in the student body like basketball or football. But the nature of track and the camaraderie contained within takes care of the omission, according to the Fox Lane coach. “I think the lack of attention is made up for by the kids on the team because they are a very tight-knit group,” he says.
The 4x400 relay gives these girls a little something extra in comparison to simply running the 100 meters. “You’re not running as an individual, you’re running for the next person,” says Dossena.