McDonald, KSU friends motivate each other

Miles Dunlap and Matthias Tayala have a good affect on each other. The two Kent State University juniors have been good friends for some time, going back to their days at McDonald High School.

Dunlap’s day begins with breakfast.

Dunlap, a sprinter and hurdler by trade, ingests some eggs, orange juice, along with his vitamins.

Practice is from noon to 2, while class is 2:15 to 4 p.m.

“I don’t get to eat lunch a lot,” Dunlap said. “The way practice and classes are set up, I have a bunch of fruit. In that span I’m munching on fruit and snacks and a protein shake after practice.”

Dinner usually consists of grilled chicken strips, some kind of white meat chicken on a George Foreman grill. Add to that some rice and broccoli.

Dunlap’s diet has helped him become a more efficient sprinter and hurdler for the Golden Flashes.

“I think the biggest thing for Miles is he is beginning to know what it takes for his body to run fast,” Tayala said. “What I mean is his diet is much better. His sleep has gone up, and his attitude about track has improved also. It’s showing on the track.”

Tayala has vastly improved in the throwing circle. He’s one of the best hammer throwers in the nation. He ranks fifth in the nation after Friday’s heave of 228 feet, 5 inches (usually the distance is measured in meters, but not in my world). Can the McDonald native be ready for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro? Seems like a strong possibility.

Dunlap made last year’s NCAA East Regional last year in the 400 hurdles. He hopes to get to nationals in Oregon this year.

These two athletes, which combined to win McDonald the 2011 Division III Ohio state track and field championship, didn’t get to where they are for the Golden Flashes by accident. It came from determination and will power – plenty of will power. For a college junior, making good use of your down time can be a daunting task.

“We kind of always staying on task and staying focused,” Dunlap said. “There’s plenty of nights we could go out on a Thursday or whatever. We’ll stay inside and do a random ab workout. It’s kind of track first and everything else like fourth.”

But that doesn’t mean the studies suffer. On the contrary. These two know what it means to be a student-athlete.

“If I’m seeing him study for a test, I should probably get off the couch and vice-versa. Me and him have a couple of classes together. It’s kind of like this – we’re all focused,” Tayala said.