Photo: Kaneland junior Nate Dyer brandishes the medals from recent competition under the USA Track and Field banner. Dyer is bringing talent in four events to the National Junior Olympics in Baltimore. Courtesy Photo
State and Regional totals pay off for junior Olympic-bound athlete
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—One would think that a summer full of footballs and pads would be enough for an ordinary student.
With incoming KHS junior Nate Dyer, there are qualifying factors, however.
Dyer is also dealing in hammers, javelins, shots and discs, and he’s putting up an effort that is extraordinary.
Dyer, who as an impressive aside, qualified for the IHSA Class 2A Track and Field meet in shot and discus, is set to compete at the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympics at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md.
The week-long fest occurs from Tuesday, July 23, through Monday, July 29.
Dyer’s showing at Franklin University’s Regional Junior Olympics in Franklin, Ind., (July 7-8), that included first places in both the hammer throw and shot put, and second places in the discus and javelin, allowed him to make plans to travel with his family to the athletic showcase on the east coast.
Dyer won’t be intimidated.
“Once you get there, it’s more doing what you’re comfortable with,” Dyer said. “You don’t want to try and change up stuff.”
Dyer, who first qualified for the National stage in 2010, made headway in the State Junior Olympics held in Kankakee, Ill., back on June 22-24.
All he did there was take first in the javelin and shot put, plus set the state record in the hammer throw by 19 feet.
That high trajectory of performance is not just sheer talent, as Dyer knows the value of taking mentors advice to heart.
“I listen to all the coaches in every sport and what they tell me,” Dyer said. “A big influence is usually my dad, and he researches a lot. He never played, what I played but he’s organized and looks into details, and that helps. I never have to worry.”
Dyer’s numbers in regionals took place against other elite athletes from Illinois and Indiana in Region 7. He was sponsored by DeKalb Huskies track.
The Knight athlete can expect big things against competitors from the other 49 states if he can duplicate a similar outcome in an event like the shot put, which saw him ace the grouping by three-and-a-half feet.
“There is kind of a lot of pressure. The first year that I did this, I didn’t really know much about it, but I ended up throwing almost 160 with the little disc and placed third two years ago, and we have expectations,” Dyer said.
Next year’s USATF elite national gathering is set for Greensboro, NC, on the campus of North Carolina A&T University, but Dyer elects to attack what’s in front of him at the moment.
For now, that’s javelin marks, followed by Northern Illinois Big XII ball-carriers.
“Once I get through State and Regionals, there’s more competition,” Dyer said. “I just try to qualify and get the job done.”