By Garrett Aleckson —
Her performance on the field speaks for itself.
Lydia Meier (Jr, Middleton, Wis.)—a thrower for the University of Wisconsin–Stout track and field team—has improved a lot in her time at Stout. Meier has broken the school weight throw record twice this season, both occurring in consecutive weeks. The first time she broke the record by five inches, and then a week later she broke that same record by over two feet.
That element of surprise is not exclusive to Meier’s athletic career. Spontaneity is something that is just a part of Meier’s character.
“My friends say I’m spontaneous. I came out the season and hit my mark, then the next time out I hit a mark two feet more than what I hit before,” said Meier. “My friends say I’m always thinking of fun new things to do as well—so, you never know what I’m going to do next.”
Meier did not just have one person that inspired her to get into sports and track. While her mom is an inspiration for her and ran track in her high school days, Meier’s grandfather has also been a huge inspiration ever since she was young.
“My grandpa got me interested in track. He was a huge advocate for female sports. I really look up to my grandpa, as well as my mom,” said Meier. “My grandpa did a lot for the state of Wisconsin. He brought the idea of Title IX to Wisconsin, which has helped make things fair for female sports.” Title IX is a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and has been in effect for around 40 years.
Her grandfather helped spike her interest in sports. So when the opportunities came to get involved in sports, she tried some different sports and found one that she really liked.
“In middle school, you would do every sport you could. I just tried track in eighth grade and liked it, so I stuck with it in high school,” said Meier.
Unlike the average athlete that may have been playing a certain sport for most of her life, Meier didn’t start throwing until she came to college.
“I came here and we try all the events, so I just picked up on the weight throw, and it basically took off,” said Meier.
Meier did not do a lot of training for her events in high school, which is very different compared to her time in college. But she was able to pick up the college training program right away—which is a testament to her work ethic.
“My mom says she doesn’t know where I get my work ethic from. I’m pretty good at listening to coaches, so if they tell me to do something, I just go out and do it,” said Meier.
Improvement was found for Meier through her work ethic.
“I was never the best athlete in high school. So, coming to college and being successful at something I do is a huge motivator,” said Meier. “Just the fact that I can do something I love is also really motivating.”
Being a successful student-athlete takes more than just hard work. It also takes a lot of sacrifices that athletes such as Meier have had to make.
“Our athletic director, Duey Naatz, says we can only be good at two out of three areas: social, school, or sports,” said Meier. “I chose school and sports. But you have to realize that if you want to succeed at something, you need to put your whole heart into it.”
It’s just her junior year and she has already broken the school record twice. With Meier’s competitiveness and a lot of time left, she can only go up from here.