CORTLAND – Jai’Lyn Mosley looks forward to Sunday nights.
The McDonald High School junior thrower meets with her older sister, Joh’Vonnie, who throws for Kent State University.
The two meet and throw the discus and shot put. No crowds. No competition.
“She takes advice from me and I take advice from her. It helps – sister to sister connection,” Jai’Lyn said.
“We try to make that time to throw together,” Joh’Vonnie said. “We usually go Sunday evenings. Jai’Lyn has so much talent and potential. She does great things. I believe she will break my records.”
“I have all the faith in the world in her. I want her to do the best that she can and I know that she will.”
When Jai’Lyn is in the throwing circle, her familiarity lies with fellow junior and teammate Tory Ross.
The two finished in the top five during last year’s Division III state girls discus.
Ross admits she throws by herself to work on her mechanics.
“I like to throw by myself to clear my head,” she said.
The two begin the venture back to the state track and field meet Wednesday and Friday at the Division III Springfield District in both the discus and shot put events.
“In some ways, it’s good because they feed off of each other,” McDonald girls coach Mary Domitrovich said. “In other ways, they’re watching each other – wanting to one-up them, which is healthy in both regards. It’s very competitive and that’s a good thing for them – to have somebody like that to train with. It helps them to understand what’s out there in the state and try to rise to the occasions.”
So far, the duo has risen to many occasions. Mosley has the fifth best throw in the state and tops in Division III at 145 feet, 4 inches – a mark set to win discus at this year’s Trumbull County Meet.
Ross’ best throw is 133-10 at this year’s Poland Invitational.
However, she displayed her ring knowledge after two fouls during preliminaries at the county meet. Ross stood at the front of the circle, twisted about 90 degrees and slingshoted the discus 121 feet to make finals.
“That kind of relieved some of the stress,” Ross said. “I have a much better whip in the front. I need to work on not being afraid of the front of the circle when I come from the back.”
Mosley had to do the same thing after two fouls.
“I take it as a blessing knowing I can do that. I just need to get into finals,” she said.
Ross knows her mental approach has to be sharp.
“I know what I’m capable of doing,” she said. “If I’m negative in any way I know I won’t be able to make it there. My goal for the rest of the season is to stay mentally positive and make sure every meet I have going into it knowing I am capable of doing it and I’m fully prepared what to do. I need to go in on auto pilot. My main goal is to stay positive.”
Ross and Mosley are close to each other in the shot put – throwing 38-8.25 and 38-6.25, respectively, at this year’s Inter Tri-County League, Lower Tier meet.
“I think they’re getting a little more comfortable with it,” Domitrovich said. “It’s taken a little longer to come around in the shot. I think they’re getting a little more comfortable and getting confidence. That’s the biggest thing right there.”
For both of them, making top four in each event is essential. Only Mosley, who placed 13th in the state, advanced to Columbus in the shot put last season.
“As far as distances and things like that, this time of the year we have worry about moving on,” Domitrovich said. “We want the big throws. You hope to expect them. In some regards, it’s about making finals and making top four and moving on.”
Before Mosley moves on, she’s likely to look back at those Sundays with her older sister, Joh’Vonnie.
“Her older sister, obviously, is a tremendous athlete,” Domitrovich said. “I think she’s a positive influence – a great role model. In many ways, I think it helps relax her a little bit and hopefully take some pressure off and let her do what she does best.”