NORTH ARLINGTON – Natalie Negroni remembers her best and her most memorable race while she was a member of the Queen of Peace track and field team.
It came in her freshman year, and it was her first appearance in the state tournament in the 400 hurdles.
“I did the sign of the cross before I run my races and I did it when the man doing the countdown said ‘set,'” recalls Negroni. “I would then false start. The official came over to me and warned me to do it before the race. I guess he saw that I was doing the sign of the cross and did not disqualify me. I would end up winning the race.”
That was just the start of great things to come as Negroni went on to be named to the All North Jersey Interscholastic Conference first team all four years in the hurdles and the jumps.
In addition she would pull off a rare feat as she qualified for the State Meet of Champions all four years.
The now graduated Queen of Peace track and field athlete heads to NCAA Division I Monmouth University this fall and looks forward to not only competing in spring outdoor track and field, but also indoor track and field for the first time. Queen of Peace did not have an indoor team in her years at the North Arlington school.
For Negroni it came down to either Monmouth or Rider University in New Jersey. “I really liked it and I just fell in love with it,” said Negroni. “I felt real comfortable.”
Negroni decided on Monmouth after an official visit to the Jersey Shore university last October.
And she liked that Monmouth is only about an hour from her home in Kearny. “I’m glad because if I am homesick, I can just come home,” said Negroni.
She got the idea of Monmouth from her Queen of Peace head coach Nick Mazzolla and then the Monmouth University head coach Roger Haynes reached out to her.
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