McFarland overcomes adversity; joins Cardinal teammate with state honors


Triad’s Dominick McFarland clears a hurdle during the Division III boys 300-meter intermediate event Saturday morning. McFarland, despite injuring his knee during the race, placed seventh in the state at The Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)


Triad High School’s Dominick McFarland is an athlete who knows all about adversity.

What he isn’t, however, is one who is intimidated by problems.

McFarland broke one of his ankles right before the start of the 2019 season.

The injury caused him to miss the team’s first three or four meets and he did not run the hurdles until the second half of his junior year.

“I ran on the 4 x 800 relay after I came back and while I was waiting to begin the hurdles for the season,” he said.

What the ankle problem didn’t stop was McFarland earning a trip to the Division III awards podium Saturday morning during the state track and field meet.

McFarland placed seventh in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 40.17.

He did so despite suffering a possible second injury.

“I was on the third hurdle in the straight-away,” he said in explaining his post-race limp. “I landed kind of sideways and heard something pop.

“I don’t know what it is.”

Despite the pain, McFarland was able to finish the race and come away with a state medal.

He wasn’t the only Cardinal athlete to earn state accolades on Saturday.

Sprinter Eli O’Brien made his way to the awards stand after a seventh-place run of 22.80 in the 200-meter dash.

McFarland and O’Brien were the first two Triad athletes to qualify for the state meet in several years.

“It’s amazing to qualify for the awards podium during my first year here,” said O’Brien.

It was the same sentiment expressed by McFarland.

While pleased with an award, McFarland felt he might have been able to finish higher.

“I went into the finals with the second-fastest (prelim) time (39.62, as compared to 39.08 from Columbus Africentric’s Anthony Tyler),” he said.

“I really thought I’d do better in the finals, but I just ran into some bad luck.”

McFarland said the sideways landing impacted the rest of the race.

“I think I could have pushed harder if that hadn’t happened,” he said.

O’Brien said he ran into a strong head wind during his race.

“I had to stay strong with my speed for the last 100 meters,” he said. “That was the toughest part of the race.”

Now that both juniors have the experience of earning state medals under their belts, their minds will turn to the 2020 season.

They both said they will have to train even harder in order to return to Owens Stadium and surpass their 2019 accomplishments.

McFarland also has one other thing on his mind.

“I can’t break my ankle at the start of next season,” he said.


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