A Golden Oldie: Maynard setting records in Master’s USTAF division

Published 10:35 pm Saturday, June 10, 2023

John Maynard practices throwing the discus in preparations for the next senior United States Track and Field meet.

By Jim Walker


COLUMBUS — There are those who say that age is but a number.

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For John Maynard, those numbers are record-setting.

Nearly 30 years since ending his college track career for the Marshall Thundering Herd, Maynard is back competing and at an amazing level in the world of senior track and field.

A 1992 South Point High School graduate, Maynard runs Central College Christian charter school and does ministry work in Columbus. He also coaches at Capital University and does private lessons on the side. He still makes time to work out at least 3 hours a day 6 days a week.

An injury forced him to back off of his workouts for 6 weeks but has been pain free for the past 3 weeks and ready to move forward into a new season.

John Maynard poses with his mother, Joyce Maynard, as he proudly wears the gold medals he won at the national championships. Maynard says his mother has been his inspiration throughout his life.

Maynard’s main inspiration to return to the sport was his mother, Joyce Maynard, who in July died 2 years ago. The following September, Maynard returned to his unending love of track and began his workouts and competition.

“I kept thinking about her sitting in her lawn chair writing down distances. I heard about a local master’s level track and field event in Portsmouth. I practiced two days and entered the event,” said Maynard who is now 50 years old.

Maynard said he was just planning to do the event for fun and try to avoid getting hurt. But the competitive juices took hold of his mind and body.

“That only lasted until I saw the track. In an instant, I felt a fire burning inside. I said to myself, ‘I’m about to throw.’”

Maynard enjoyed more than just having fun. He won both the discus and shot put. His performance in the shot put proved to be eye-popping. The 42 feet ranked him No. 2 in the United States and No. 20 in the world.

He was hooked.

A week later, Maynard entered a meet in Louisville and this time registered a throw of 45 feet in the shot put that vaulted him to the number one ranking in the United States and No. 13 in the world.

“I saw that the number one throw in the world was 48 feet at the time so I set my eyes on the indoor season,” said Maynard.

This success only wet his appetite and Maynard began more intensive training. He trained through injuries and began to enter college meets. His first meet was at Capital University and he promptly won the shot put and moved to No.1 in the world forms age group as he threw the 16-pound iron ball 49-9.

But there was a dark cloud that began to rain on Maynard at the meet. He re-injured his hamstring but still continued to throw lesser distances to win college meets.

Eventually, he won the USA indoors title at the LouisvilleUnited State Track & Field  (USTAF) Master’s Championships.

Winning the indoors title was rewarding for Maynard, but he gained more personal satisfaction 2 weeks earlier during a meet at his alma mater Marshall University.

“Felt the culmination of my season was at Marshall. They recently brought back their men’s team,” said Maynard who wears Marshall gear when competing at meets.

“A part of the celebration of the return of men’s track, I had the honor to compete in the meet. We had an amazing alumni event with all the coaches and athletes from my past.”

Not only did Maynard get to compete against his contemporaries, he won the shot put with a throw of 47-feet.

“I was honored centerfield for my past and present accomplishments. I was emotional and I felt I could hear my mom’s voice say, ‘I am proud of you, Johnny.”

Maynard is used to success when looking at his career at Marshall.

John Maynard and medals

He was a 2-time Southern Conference champion in the 35-pound weight throw and also won the conference shot put and discus events.

Besides his first place finishes, he was runner-up twice in the discus, shot put and the hammer.

Maynard set the Marshall indoor record for shot put and discus and the hammer which is an outdoor event. He still owns the 35-pound weight throw record which is an indoor event. The shot put record is now owned by Aaron Trammel, the discus by Kevin Sowers and the hammer by Daniel Hall.

Maynard was the captain of the 1997 Marshall Southern Conference indoor championship team.

“My biggest pride is in that team,” he said.

Since Maynard is now 50 years old, he will get to throw a 13.6-pound shot put which has got him excited.

“The world record and USA record are around 56 feet for my age. It is something I feel I can accomplish on a good day,” said Maynard.

“Later this summer, I also have the privilege of throwing in the Senior Olympics in Pittsburgh where I hope to walk away with the gold.”

Maynard just recently began throwing the discus again now that his injuries have healed. He has enlisted the coaching of local throwing guru Rusty Smith to help him with both the shot put and discus and he’s included Todd Eastham and Todd Davey to also help with the discus, wight and hammer throws.

Maynard has also started using a new technique that has been dubbed whirlwind or hurricane or the Neo spin.

“It’s essentially a spin and a half. Nobody who is big time is using it,” Maynard said of the new techniques. “It is just now taking off. More youth and college kids are trying it.”

And the way he is performing, it may take those youngsters quite a few years to John Maynard.