Linn-Mar’s McKade Jelinek is a multi-sport throwing superstar

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 10:57 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - When McKade Jelinek has a strong toss, he knows it.

“You kind of have that feeling once it comes off your fingers that you know it’s gonna be a good one,” Jelinek said.

The senior holds the Linn-Mar record after a discus throw of 183 feet, eight inches, the second best mark in the state. When he first tried to throw the discus, he was inspired by another sport.

“I’ve been a quarterback all the way since second grade,” Jelinek said. “(I) went out for track for running in middle school, then I saw the field events for throwing, I knew I was good at throwing so I thought might as well try it out.”

Sometimes it’s that simple. Plus, it led Jelinek to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where he turned a football visit into a spot on the track and field team.

“I love throwing discus, so I met with the track coach there and asked him if I could join the team,” Jelinek said. “I told him what I hit last year, and they said yeah we can find you a spot here.”

Jelinek also has another season of baseball ahead.

“I throw year round with baseball. track and football,” he said “It builds up arm strength over time, helps throw further.”

With Jelinek’s size, you’d think discus would be all about strength, but his coach disagrees.

“Does strength help? It fits into the equation absolutely, but technique is huge,” said Linn-Mar’s head throws coach Gordon Hackett. “I kind of equate it to a 200 to 300 pound ballerina throwing a 1.6 kilogram disc.”

Jelinek is already a state champion, but he’s yet to win a Drake flag.

“185 at drake is the goal, and get first place.”

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