COLUMBUS - Tory Ross isn't just the other thrower at McDonald. She could be the top thrower almost anywhere in the area, and in the state.
It just so happens the Blue Devils senior is teammates with the best Division III thrower in the state - Jai'Lyn Mosley.
Ross never sees herself playing second fiddle to Mosley, her future teammate at Kent State University - seemingly a pipeline for McDonald's top-flight throwers. Jai'Lyn's sister, Joh'Vonnie is a standout thrower for the Golden Flashes, and McDonald graduate Matthias Tayala, another Golden Flash, is one of the nation's best hammer throwers.
Ross knows she has been groomed by one of the best high school throwing coaches in the state - Mary Domitrovich, the McDonald girls coach, and has one of the best teammates in Jai'Lyn.
"Absolutely not. Jai'Lyn is an amazing thrower," Ross said. "We're going to throw for coach Nathan Fanger. Everything she does, she deserves. Whatever place we deserve, we earn that. I'm blessed to come out and throw every week."
Ross took fifth in the shot put (41 feet) and fourth in the discus (143-3) - her personal best.
"Whatever place I come in and whatever place she comes in, I feel blessed," she said.
Ross and her teammates feel more than blessed to win their first-ever team state championship Saturday. The Blue Devils held off Tinora and St. Thomas Aquinas by one point, 45 to 44.
McDonald came into the girls 4x400 relay needing to get some points because Aquinas was one of the favorites heading into the final Division III event of the day. The Knights, which had 38 points, needed to finish in the top two to surpass McDonald.
The Blue Devils, which saw their 4x100 and 4x200 relays both take second, were struggling in the final relay and eventually took ninth - off the podium and no points.
Aquinas had to get third or lower for the Blue Devils to hang on as Archbold and Minster took the top two in the 4x400.
When Ross, who was a bystander on Saturday, saw the Knights finish third, she immediately thought her team's chances at a state title were finished as well.
"I didn't factor in St. Thomas Aquinas getting third," Ross said. "When we got ninth, I figured we didn't get it. Then, I looked back and saw my coach was crying. That's when it hit me. I knew. I was never cheering or rooting for a team to do bad, ever. I'm so proud of everybody here today."
Ross stood with Mosley high atop the podium with the trophy, as well she should. It was her and Mosley who were the team's top point-getters all season. Friday, it was no different as the Blue Devils headed into Saturday's competition with 29 points - 20 from Mosley and nine from Ross.
"To me, that's the best thing that ever happened," Ross said. "To be a team on top, that's simply amazing. We've had our times being first in discus and shot. She had her day being first, now we can share it together - to be No. 1."
It goes to show how deep this year's McDonald's girls team really was this season.