Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Athlete of the Week is Floyd's Jariel Macchia


Zariel Macchia has taken the world by storm. She’s been everywhere from Alabama and California to Virginia and South Carolina. In February, Floyd II’s fast feet and rarely matched stamina took him to the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia.

It has all been fun, fast and exciting. And, none of this dampened his enthusiasm for racing at Suffolk. With all of her experience over the past two years, a county championship meet can seem like small potatoes—too local to get the juices flowing for an athlete like Machias.

But, that’s the thing about Machias. She always wants a race and doesn’t care whether it’s down or over in Comack.

That’s why Macchia was so buzzed about running four events at the Suffolk Class AA Track and Field Championships in Commack on Wednesday. There is still something about being county champion.

“I know how important these championships are to everyone,” said Machias, Newsday’s Athlete of the Week. “Everybody works hard when they are at counties. It means a lot to people. Even despite my achievements at national and even world level, I still wanted to show that County is still important to me.”

In traditional machia fashion, she won all four events—the 800 m in 2 minutes, 18.48 seconds, the 1,500 in 4:56.51, the 3,000 in 10:07.10, and running on the 4 x 800-meter relay team. in 9:59.56.

Despite all of Machias’ success outside of Suffolk, he still remembers that the mountain he was most interested in climbing had a 631 area code.

“When I started running in seventh and eighth grade, the goal was to train well enough to win counties,” she said. “I’ve always kept perspective on that.”

The 4 x 800 run with teammates Aaliyah Jordan, Destiny Samuels and Karen Jackson was a double special. Like many racers of his caliber, Macchia often finds himself alone at the top. Along with the 4 x 800, her friends were there too.

“I love Jade,” Jordan said. “He’s one of my closest friends. We run together pretty much every day. I just see him as my friend who’s really good at running.

Now Macchia’s attention turns to the Suffolk State Qualifier Meet, which is scheduled for Thursday and Friday at Comsevogue. She said she plans to run the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 there and — at this point — will run all three at the state championships scheduled for June 9-10 at Middletown High School.