All alone in first

McDonald boys win 11th straight district, girls take 7th in a row

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo McDonald’s Malina Mitchell competes in the 1,600-meter run during the Division III Springfield District track and field meet on Friday in New Middletown. Mitchell was part of a Blue Devils girls team that won a district title. The McDonald boys team also won the event.

NEW MIDDLETOWN — The moms could be heard standing on the Springfield High School track.

One takes charge. Others either have phones or cameras in their hands, waiting for the McDonald boys track and field team to come together as a group, surrounding yet another district track and field trophy.

It’s the 11th consecutive time the boys have done so, but nothing is ever taken for granted — especially from this talented coaching staff.

McDonald won another Division III Springfield District track and field title on Friday, easily beating out Crestview, 111 to 63.

A short couple strides down the track was the girls team, who dominated the field — winning with 153 points — for their seventh straight championship. Host Springfield was a very distant second with 56 points.

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo McDonald's Tyler Worrell runs during the 400-meter race on Friday at the Division III Springfield District event. The McDonald boys and girls both won district team titles.

They, too, had their parents taking those keepsake photos.

Never will boys coach Lou Domitrovich take the hoisting of the wooden plaque or the victory lap for granted.

He remembers the Lordstowns, South Ranges, Mineral Ridges, Maplewoods and John F. Kennedys, which challenged his teams throughout the years. JFK is the last non-McDonald boys team to claim the Springfield District crown, back in 2007.

“To keep that streak is impressive,” said Domitrovich, whose team started the string in 2008. “It’s the kids. It’s the kids and their families.

“It’s a culture. It really is.”

The McDonald boys had first-place finishes from Zach Gray (discus), the 4×800 relay team, Brody Rupe (1,600) and Zach Dean (3,200). Dean and Connor Symbolik finished 1-2 in the 3,200 to secure the victory for the Blue Devils.

The McDonald girls had first-place finishes from Malina Mitchell (800, 1,600), Anna Guerra (3,200), Abbie Matig (400), along with wins in the 4×200 and 4×400 relays.

McDonald sprint coach John Fields said those girls put in the preparation necessary to succeed.

They know the legacy of winning seven straight district titles.

“The girls want to continue that tradition as well,” Fields said. “They see what the other kids have done and want to step up in that spotlight. They understand what it takes — dedication, hard work, sacrifice.

“They’re willing to do it and you see the results on the track and in the field as well.”

The points from both teams come from second, third and other top-eight places. Only the top four in each event advance to next week’s Massillon Perry Regional.

During the last event, the boys 4×400-meter relay, the McDonald girls came together, cheering on Blue Devils 4×400 relay.

It’s part of the district atmosphere where McDonald has made Springfield its home away from home.

“It really is a special thing when you see so many kids compete, but also do well and contribute to a team atmosphere,” McDonald girls coach Mary Domitrovich said.

As the two teams blended together as one for a final team photo on the Springfield track, it signified more than a keepsake. It showed the McDonald legacy.