COLUMBUS - "Eight girls, one goal." The words on the back of the McDonald girls track team's shirts says it all.
The eight Blue Devils - two throwers and six runners - can now say their goal has been accomplished as they left Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus as the Division III team champions.
"I'm just speechless at the moment," fourth-year McDonald coach Mary Domitrovich said. "You work so hard to try to get these kids to break out and then be able to compete to the best of their God-given abilities, and today it came together for all of them and I'm real proud of these girls."
Tribune Chronicle / Michael Taylor
The McDonald girls team won the Division III?state title on Saturday. Team members are (front row, from left):?Brenna Rupe, Sara Joseph; (back row):?Iva Domitrovich, Jai’Lyn Mosely, Joya Humphries, Frankie Humphries, Tory Ross and Vanessa Parry.
McDonald needed every last point to win the team title. The Blue Devils battled point-for-point with Tinora and Saint Thomas Aquinas, but when the dust cleared, the Blue Devils were standing atop the first-place podium. They had 45 points to Aquinas and Tinora's 44 points.
"It was a tremendous team effort, everyone did what they needed to do," Domitrovich said.
Most seasons in McDonald track and field, distance and throwing takes precedence, but it was speed that ruled the day Saturday. The girls 4x200-meter relay team and 4x100 team both placed second in their respective events, ran personal-best times and broke the school record in both events. The 4x200 time was 1:43.49 and the 4x200 ran a 49.41.
"We worked so hard, the other three girls in my relay, all they did was work through the offseason," sophomore Sarah Joseph said. "I don't think I could ask for better success this season."
The girls 4x100 and 4x200 teams gave the team 16 points on Saturday, but the girls' victory began on Friday with the girls shot put and discus. Jai'Lyn Mosley and Tory Ross banked in 29 points between the two of them to contribute to the girls' cause.
"They certainly set the tone," Domitrovich said. "There was an incredible amount of energy from the two of them and what they accomplished, and I think that motivation set the tone."
The Blue Devils have come a long way from last season under Domitrovich's tutelage. Last year, the McDonald girls finished 36th in the state meet as a team.
The only relay that didn't place in the top two for McDonald was the 4x400, which finished in last place. However, it didn't matter as the as it was the last event of the day and the Blue Devils already had the state championship locked down.
"On the second leg, I knew where they were and it was just whatever happens from there. I just wanted our kids to do well and compete to the best of their abilities," Domitrovich said.
Mary's niece and McDonald relay leg, Iva Domitrovich, competed in the 4x200 and 4x100, but was pulled from the 4x400 when she sustained an injury after the 4x100. Alternate Vanessa Perry, a freshman, stepped up and replaced Iva in the race.
"On the back of their shirts it says eight girls, one goal, and (the girls said) we got your back, so they lived up to their slogan," Mary said.
Iva stayed in good sprits and cheered for her team from start to finish. Despite her injury, she knew what this meet was about.
"It's all for the team," Iva said. "We work together, we win as a team and we lose as a team."