McDonald thrown into limelight

McDonald High School is the mecca of throwers in northeast Ohio, or a great pipeline to Kent State University’s track and field program.

The Blue Devils program has produced some great throwers in recent years, none better than KSU sophomore Matthias Tayala, who recently finished fifth in the weight throw during Friday’s Division I NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in New Mexico.

Tayala broke his own KSU mark he shattered in December with 72 feet, 6.25 inches in his final throw of finals.

The 2011 McDonald High School graduate and 2011 Tribune Chronicle Male Athlete of the Year has a way of pulling away from his competition.

Take his 196-3 in the discus and 64-8 in shot put – part of his 20 points to help the Blue Devils capture the Division III track and field state championship.

McDonald and KSU teammate Miles Dunlap claimed the other 22 points with top three finishes in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, along with the 200.

Speaking of the Golden Flashes, Tayala wasn’t the only KSU thrower competitor that headed west.

KSU senior and 2010 McDonald High School graduate Joh’Vonnie Mosley went to nationals in the shot put. She finished 13th with 52-0 1/2.

Now most people hear McDonald and the first thing that pops into their mind is distance running.

It’s understandable since the Blue Devils have won seven state championships since 1982 (Class A and Division III).

However, when it comes to track and field, McDonald has run the gamut of events – distance, sprints, hurdles and even throws. I’m sure if the Blue Devils had pole vaulters, they’d be good at that too.

Next year, Jai’Lyn Mosley, Joh’Vonnie’s little sister, and Tory Ross, will be competing for KSU.

The pair have been in the top eight in the state in Division III the past couple of seasons.

The foundation for all of these athletes starts with coaches Mary and Jeanette Domitrovich. They have molded McDonald throwers in recent years.

The throwing isn’t just something that came overnight.

Tory’s mother, Mary Ellen (Billock), a 1983 McDonald graduate, finished second at the state meet in 1983 in the discus.

Now, there’s a new generation at McDonald, a new group of throwers that have set their mark for the Blue Devils.

Take junior Christian Smith, who finished sixth in last year’s Division III discus with 153-4.

Ironically, he and Maplewood’s Stephen Pop are the top two discus throwers returning in the state.

McDonald and Maplewood took 1-2 in last fall’s Division III state cross country championships.

It would be interesting to see the Blue Devils and Rockets be atop the podium in June’s state track and field meet.

If that happens, it will only add to the McDonald throwing tradition.