McDonald’s Jack Reckard, Drew Zajack reflect on state track meet

McDonald's Jack Reckard tosses the shot put during the Division III finals. He placed eighth for the Blue Devils.

DAYTON — Drew Zajack expected more from himself.

In his first OHSAA state track and field meet appearance, the McDonald sophomore earned a podium finish in the Division III boys discus and narrowly missed out on another medal in the shot put.

While some would be content with becoming a state placer as an underclassman, Zajack is not one of those people.

“I was happy – well, not really that happy,” Zajack said of his state meet experience moments after placing 10th in the shot put. “A lot of improvement needs to be done in both throws for me.”

Specifically, Zajack expected more of himself in the discus, an event in which he entered with the fifth-seeded throw. In the competition, Zajack edged out his teammate Jack Reckard in the discus with a best throw of 164-0, which he achieved on his fifth attempt.

The throw, while good enough for sixth place in Division III, fell more than 10 feet shy of Zajack’s PR of 176-10, and possibly more importantly, his expectations.

“PRs don’t really matter when you’re going into state. It’s all about how you throw that day,” Zajack said. “Obviously, I didn’t have my best day, but I obviously didn’t have my worst day. It wasn’t terrible for me, I guess. But it definitely was not my best.”

Reckard, a junior, similarly placed eighth in discus last year and missed the shot put podium in his first state meet appearance. This year, Reckard found his way onto the podium in both throwing events by finishing seventh and eighth in discus and shot put, respectively.

“It was huge. It gave me a sense of relief almost,” Reckard said of having previous state meet experience. “I’ve been here, I knew what to expect. Sure, it’s a different area, but it definitely calmed me down… It gave me a boost of confidence, for sure.”

Reckard, Zajack and McDonald throwing coach Mary Domitrovich each attested to the brotherly competition between the two throwers that has helped drive them to statewide success.

“He’s a dawg,” Reckard said of Zajack. “He comes from football to basketball and right into track. He’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever seen. So to have him as a teammate and to push each other, it’s a good bond and it’s always fun to compete.”

Zajack said he has been “blessed” to have Domitrovich coaching him and Reckard alongside him in practice and meets.

“He always pushes me and I always push him in practice,” Zajack said. “It’s always great to have that competitor there. It’s like you’re competing five days a week in practice, plus the meets.”

Domitrovich admitted Zajack’s first two shot put attempts – an initial throw of 49-7.75 and a foul – were lackluster but that he responded well with a final throw of 52-07.50, which fell about 3 inches short of qualifying for the finals.

Reckard, on the other hand, earned a spot in the shot put finals and ultimately hung on to eighth, the final spot on the podium, and set a new personal record on three of his six throws, including his final attempt of 53-5.25. Reckard’s best discus throw in Dayton was 163-2, several feet shy of the personal record he set as a sophomore.

With some states experience under his belt, Zajack said his ultimate goal to return to the end-of-season meet, but that he has a lot of work and time before he can accomplish that goal.

“Going into the offseason, I know I’m just gonna have to work my tail off, day in and day out,” Zajack said. “I got to take it meet by meet, see where that goes. There’s a lot of expectations I think I’m gonna have to have going into next year, but I haven’t really thought of them just yet. But I’m really excited to see where I go.”

Domitrovich avoided giving any predictions for next year, when Reckard and Zajack will both be upperclassmen, but she did admit their potential in 2025 is exciting.

“I think they each know numbers in their head where they want to be, butI really think they can get there,” Domitrovich said. “If they continue to work and stay grounded, stay humble, the future’s bright for them.”

Have an interesting story? Contact Preston Byers by email at pbyers@tribtoday.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @PresByers.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today