John Tyler track standout accepts scholarship 11 days after grandfather’s passing


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – John Tyler’s track program has always been one of the strongest in East Texas.

Friday, they had a chance to celebrate sending one of their standouts over the last few years to the next level.

Sprinter Zakarra McAdoo signed a letter of intent to attend Missouri Southern State University, and be part of the Lions women’s track and field program.

MSSU is an NCAA Division 2 school that competes in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

McAdoo was a district and area champion in the 200 meters as a junior, finishing seventh at regionals.

She, of course, had to miss the majority of her senior season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also forced her to have to do her own recruiting.

Ultimately, that challenging task landed her six offers that included TCU, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Oklahoma Wesleyan, Allen (KS) Community College, and Sterling College.

But what also made this day special for her, is that she got a chance to tell her grandfather Johnnie L. Bell who she would be signing with before his passing on June 8.

“It means a lot because he didn’t see me get to walk the stage because of his sickness. He can’t walk that far. He was the first person I told and I’m glad I did tell him before he passed,” said McAdoo holding back emotion.

“I’m glad I signed to this school because I feel like he traveled 48 states and one of them was Missouri. He loved it up there. Since he loved it, maybe I’ll love it just like he did,” added McAdoo.

As for looking for a school that would be interested in her on her own, she admits it was difficult.

It was pretty hard, because you know, at first like I said, some of them weren’t emailing back. So I was just like man, I don’t think I’m gonna get a scholarship. But I had to look on the brighter side of things. I had to start looking on the brighter side of things. Keep looking up because I know God got a plan for me,” McAdoo explained.

McAdoo will continue to run the 200 once she gets to Joplin, Missouri. But she also expects to compete in the 100, and the 400 hundred, as well as the long jump.

Her personal best time in the 200 is 24.9 seconds.

17 feet, 11 inches is her best distance in the long jump.

Watch the video to see the story.

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