2006-08-04 / Sports

Dombrowski Family Wins Gold At Empire State Games

By Elio Velez

Dylan Dombrowski (left) and Brittany Dombrowski.nyDylan Dombrowski (left) and Brittany Dombrowski.ny Dylan Dombrowski is quite familiar with the decathlon, one of the toughest athletic sports to be held last weekend at the annual Empire State Games held in Rochester.

Made up of 10 events in two days, an athlete must compete in running, jumping and throwing events in which their scores are calculated overall to win a gold medal. After the Breezy Point native finished the last event, the 1500 meters last Sunday, the soon to be senior at Archbishop Molloy High School was exhausted.

"I just said thank god it's over. After 10 events at that point, I just said ok and lied down, Dylan Dombrowski said.

It wasn't over yet. Dylan, along with his father Joe Dombrowski, who has a lot of experience dealing with his son not only at home but also coaching track and field at Archbishop Molloy for 23 years, had to wait in limbo for the results.

Joe had unofficially tabulated that his son was leading by enough points to win. He was a little more confident of a happy outcome than Dylan. Competitions are not new to him because he's raced in various catholic high school, regional and national track and field championships.

But this delay in the tabulation of the results got him a bit nervous.

"For 10-15 minutes, I waited for the scores. I was waiting on pins and needle on the end. I felt that I was close to winning. I thought I had won and thank goodness I did when it was announced," Dylan laughingly said.

The gold medal would be his at last and the preparation that Dylan said he has done all year for this event finally paid off.

After competing in last year's Empire State Games, Dombrowski, who is looking at was successful in winning the gold medal in the javelin and finishing third overall in the decathlon.

It was a nice achievement but he wanted to do something bigger. With Casey and Scott Dicesare, the gold and silver medal winners in the 2005 decathlon from Hudson Valley already departed to UCLA, he knew first place was well in reach.

Currently ranked in the top 10 of the USA Track and Field Junior Nationals Division, the 17 year old was almost unable to compete because of his admitted overzealousness while training. "I started training a lit more but a month before, I injured my back and sat at the beach and did nothing for a month," Dylan, who is looking at attending

By nature, he admits that he has a high desire to win and can overexert himself to the point in which he picks up injuries which could have been be prevented. Fortunately for Dylan, the injury disappeared just in time to gain the gold

What is a trait in the family that's apparent is their passion to succeed and win. That's appeared in Dylan's younger sister Brittany, who is also achieving athletic excellence within the family.

Brittany became a star in her own right at the Empire State Games. In her first ever appearance at the games, she was able to easily defeat all of her competition throughout New York State and capture the gold medal in the scholastic javelin competition.

She was even surprised by how easily she beat her opponents, outdistancing silver medalist Kristen Hineman by more than three meters.

"I was a little bit nervous but there wasn't a lot of competition. I was surprised by that. I didn't see the competitions during warmup, but after the first round, I had a feeling I'd win it,"

Adept at the javelin since she picked it up in the second grade on a trip to Baltimore while her brother competed in a meet, Brittany is as talented in other endeavors. As a forward in her freshman year at Molloy, she scored 10 goals and reached the semifinals of the CHSAA playoffs before losing to St. John the Baptist. Music is also a love as she played the bagpipes with the Breezy Point Catholic Club Pipes and Drums at the St. Patrick Day's Parade here in March.

With an talented and diverse family, father Joe has gotten to know his children very well through numerous road trips throughout the eastern seaboard.

So if anyone asks him if his children ever lose that competitive edge, he can tell them this story.

"Traditionally on Christmas morning, these two get up, open their presents and take their javelin and go outside and throw the javelin on the field," Joe Dombrowski says.

"They're competitive and luckily they enjoy it and they're very good at it. And it's easy for me to enjoy," he said smiling as bright as a Christmas tree.

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