Boys Track: Libertyville’s Dziedzic throwing himself into State discussion
Libertyville's Matt Dziedziz lets one fly during the discus throw at the NSC Meet last Thursday. He took second in the event. He placed first in the shot put. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 18, 2012 8:28AM
Junior Matt Dziedzic entered Libertyville High School wanting baseball to be his spring sport.
His baseball days came to an end when he was cut from the team as a freshman, which, in retrospect, was one of the best things that ever happened to him. Dziedzic went out for the track team as a sophomore, and in just two seasons has turned himself into one of the best throwers in the area.
Dziedzic placed first in shot put (55-2) at the North Suburban Conference meet on May 10, and placed second in discus (151-9). He is primed to be a double-even State qualifier when he takes the field at the Fremd Sectional.
“Sometimes I think that if I was in baseball I wouldn’t have pursued track; I’m glad with how it all worked out,” Dziedzic said with a smile.
Libertyville throws coach Parker Rohde was impressed watching Dziedzic in the weight room, and thought he would have a chance to be a solid thrower. It took some persistence, but he finally got Dziedzic and Louis Diamond to come out for the team as sophomores. Diamond also did not make the baseball team, and has become the Wildcats’ second-best thrower.
“Coach (Rohde) would talk about track every once in a while, and I figured, what the heck, I could give it a chance,” Dziedzic said. “A couple of days turned into a week, and then a month, and I kept with it.”
Dziedzic may not have been a natural, but he was a pretty quick study. He was the only non-senior to compete in sectionals that year, and he finished in eighth place.
“That was what showed me that I could do it,” he said.
Dziedzic started the track season as a sophomore at 212 pounds. The 6-foot-5 Dziedzic, also a key football player for Libertyville, now weighs 260 — thanks to intense weight workouts and plenty of (mostly) healthy calories.
“He has a voracious appetite for hard work, as does Lou,” Rohde said. “They’re really competitive in the weight room.”
By the end of his sophomore year, Dziedzic was throwing close to 49 feet in shot put. In addition to his added weight and strength, the biggest catalyst for his improved throws this season is improved technique.
“When he threw at the sectional meet last year, he still wasn’t throwing right,” Rohde said. “This year, he’s throwing much more comfortably.”
His performance at this year’s NSC conference meet bodes well for the sectional.
“He’s really starting to get a feel for being more consistent, and that’s an ultimate goal for him,” said Wildcats coach Jason Schroeder.
“We want to get him Downstate in both of his events,” Rohde said.
Recap: Other than Dziedzic’s work in the throws, there were not an abundance of highlights for Libertyville at the NSC meet.
A.J. Wilson finished second in the 110-meter hurdles, continuing his ascent late in his senior year.
“Meet by meet, he’s continually improving,” Schroeder said. “I’m excited to see how he does at sectionals.”
There was, however, plenty of excitement for Libertyville at the frosh-soph conference meet. The host Wildcats finished first.
“We wanted to challenge for the top spot, and the guys performed,” Schroeder said. “That was something we really focused on.”
On the schedule: The Wildcats are gearing for Friday’s Fremd Sectional.
“Our guys will be rested and ready to go,” Schroeder said. “There’s no reason to think we won’t continue to improve.”