Old Mill framework: Smith, Domneys Girls are strong support for team's postseason bid

January 27, 1993|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Old Mill indoor track and field coach Ron Evans doesn't mince words when explaining how his girls team has managed to win 13 county titles, 12 region crowns and two state championships in the school's 17-year history.

"We've been fortunate to have good coaches who have kept the kids involved until they become successful," said Evans, "and we've had some very talented kids."

Bingo.

For the past three seasons, it has been athletes such as Michelle Smith and Raina Domneys who have pushed the Patriots into the postseason spotlight. After their team victory in last weekend's BTC National Guard Scholastic Games, the Patriots appear poised to add to their list of championships.

"I feel we have a really good chance to win the county and regions, and a fairly good chance at winning states," said Smith, a senior who is expected to represent Old Mill in the shot put, high jump, 55-meter -- and 55 hurdles. "But no matter how we do, we're having more fun this year than we've ever had and that's because we have a group that really wants to be here."

It's no wonder Smith is having fun. A 5-foot-9, 133-pound athlete, she is second in the metropolitan area in the shot put (37 feet, 7 3/4 inches) and is tied for second in the high jump (5-0).

"What's impressive about Michelle is that she competes in four completely different disciplines," said Patriots assistant coach Leon Walters. "She does a --, a jump, a throw and a hurdle, and for her to do as well in all four events says something about her versatility."

And about her plans to become a heptathlete in college.

To prepare herself for the seven-event competition, which comprises the shot put, javelin, long jump, high jump, 200 run, 800 run and 110 hurdles, Smith joined the cross country team last fall, only to see her season end when she injured her hip in the weight room.

"Michelle had a little setback in the weight room, but she's finally getting back to where she was," said Evans. "She's a perfectionist with high standards and, therefore, she gets frustrated a lot. She's always the last one to leave the field at practice. Believe me, I'd be home a lot earlier for dinner if it wasn't for her."

Unlike Smith, who is a senior and trying to make one last positive impression on college coaches and recruiters, Domneys is still a junior and isn't under the same kind of pressure as her teammate. At least that's what one would think.

"There's a lot of pressure running for Old Mill," said Domneys, an honor student who joined the team as a freshman after she was discovered in her physical education class. "I feel pressure to do well because a couple of years before I got here, our teams were winning state championships."

Domneys has posted the second-best metro-area time in the 55 hurdles (8.5 seconds) this season behind Hammond's Kisha Jett (8.3), but with Hammond competing with other Class 2A-1A teams at the states, Domneys is a favorite to win the Class 4A-3A state crown.

"Raina has always had this determination about her," said Evans who relies on Domneys to anchor Old Mill's exceptional 800 and 1,600 relay teams. "She won't quit for anything.

"This year, we know we have a chance to win the states if Rain and Michelle both have good meets. That's not to say they can carry us alone because we have other kids who get us points and it's a total team effort. But, with those two kids on our team, our chances are that much better."

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