The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

DePaul track and field star Matt Babicz shooting his way to the top

Matt Babicz, shot-putter for DePaul track and field, is having quite a spectacular season. Recently, he earned second-team All American honors, competing in the NCAA Indoor National Championships on March 14 and 15. What qualified Babicz to compete in this competition was his career best throw of 19.43 meters Jan. 31.

Although Babicz is talented, it was his hard work and laser focus that led him to be named among the elite collegiate shotputters in the country. He wanted to come into the season ranking among the best in his sport, and that’s exactly what he did. He had some injuries in the offseason, but that didn’t stop him. Babicz spent much of his time working on the finer details of his throw.

“I did some light weight training and did as much as I can without affecting the wrist. By the time I got back to school, in September or whenever it was, I was able to weight train and throw without much restriction,” Babicz said. “It was a little bad that I wasn’t able to train much of the summer, but what I was able to do was work on more of the finite stuff in the technique of my throw.”

Great athletes also have great support groups, and Babicz had no problem crediting his teammates and coaches on pushing him this season.

“Something that was a little bit different this year than in the past years was our team was a lot more competitive, in terms of our rank within the conference,” Babicz said. “Training had a little bit different feel to it … we were all keeping each other focused and accountable.”

Brandon Murer, DePaul’s throwing coach, has been another inspiration for Babicz and the star athlete appreciates the line of communication they share.

“It’s really open in terms of communication, whether it be about throwing or outside of throwing. It’s a really good relationship where we’re honest with each other,” Babicz said.

Whenever Murer doesn’t like something Babicz is doing he states his opinion. He tells the All American what to do and Babicz appreciates that, believing it really helps that his relationship with Murer is built on trust.

That combination of talent, hard work and trust was the primary reason Babicz was invited to compete in the NCAA Indoor National Championships, but the day of the competition wasn’t Babicz’s day. From the 19.43 throw that got him into the competition, something seemed to be off when he threw an 18.03.

“This year, I didn’t have the best meet that I should have had…it didn’t work out exactly how I would have liked it, but being named Second Team All American, for the first time, was an accomplishment,” Babicz said.

The shot-putter believes his timing was the reason for his struggles, but never made excuses to give it his best. Prior to the competition, he had hyper extended his elbow at a meet in Wisconsin, and therefore hadn’t thrown much in the weeks leading up to the competition. Babiciz still pushed through it and remained positive.

“The practice before the meet actually went really well and I was going only about 80 percent. I was able to build some confidence there,” Babicz said.

Babicz now sets his sights to the outdoor season, but will never forget his experiences at the National Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. toward the outdoor season.

“Matt will become a better competitor for having had this experience,” Dave Dopek, head coach for DePaul’s Track and Field team, said after National Indoor Championships.

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