PDT Sports Writer
WAVERLY — One of the best throwers in the state of Ohio and in the country will not be going far to showcase his talents collegiately.
Waverly senior Dylan Dyke, who is ranked second in the nation in the shot put and fifth in the weight throw, signed his National Letter of Intent Wednesday morning to join the Ohio State track and field team. Dyke, who captured the 2012 OHSAA Division II State Championship in the shot put and finished sixth in the discus, selected the Buckeyes over Washington, Michigan and Indiana.
He has been told there are no plans to redshirt him in his first year in Columbus.
“It’s probably the biggest day in my life so far,” Dyke said. “It was hard to sign, I was shaking so bad.”
A number of factors drew Dyke to Ohio State, who will come to Columbus with an undeclared major. The first he mentioned was the coaching staff that has a focus on total body strength. Assistant coach Ross Richardson will be handling the throwers at OSU and has mentored 11 All-Americans throughout his career.
Familiarity at the school also influenced Dyke to his decision. The state track and field meet is held annually at Ohio State facilities and Dyke has competed in the meet the previous two springs.
“I just felt at home,” Dyke said. “As soon as I got up there and they started showing me campus, I could just feel that I wanted to be there for four more years.”
When Dyke was a sophomore, he started receiving interest from schools during the state meet and kept in contact through social media. It was the step he felt he could parlay into something bigger.
“Well, maybe if I can keep throwing better, maybe I’ll start getting some more attention and getting to go to more places,” Dyke said.
Entering his final season for the Tigers, Dyke’s personal records of 64 feet in the shot put — which he threw earlier this year at a meet held at the University of Findlay — 71 feet, 10 inches in the weight throw, 178 feet in the hammer and 175 feet, one inch in the discus. He has goals of setting the indoor and outdoor state meet records for the shot put and the school record in the discus by the time he graduates.
Dyke’s primary event will be the shot put and will have to make the transition from the 12-pound ball that is used in high school to the 16-pound ball in college. Adjusting to the weight will include bulking up.
“All of your great shot putters are almost benching 500 pounds and squatting 700,” Dyke said. “We’ve still got a ways to go and that’s the big part right now, getting stronger.”
Dyke credits Josh Hobbs as his strength coach, his father John Dyke and Bill Maloy as his throwing coaches. One of the next big meets for Dyke is one in New York before the outdoor season begins.
Waverly track coach Byron Green felt it was a special day not only for the school but also for the region. With less than four years until Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosts the next summer Olympics, Green has faith that Dyke could be participating.
“He’s capable of that caliber I believe,” Green said.
But he did make one warning.
“We’ve got to focus on this year first,” Green said.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 294, or email@example.com.