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Schweickert takes on Fisher track

Cody Schweickert
SPRINGVILLE — In the winter of his senior year, 2012 Springville-Griffith Institute graduate Cody Schweickert had to make a decision: To compete in indoor track, to try to break the high jump record, or play basketball, a sport that he had played, throughout high school.

“What helped make Cody successful, as a high school and college athlete, is he’s being driven to [be] the best he can be,” said Joe Marvin, Schweickert’s S-GI track coach.

Schweickert made the decision to participate in both sports and become one of a few dual athletes, at S-GI. He played basketball, during the week, and was one of the team’s leading scorers. On the weekends, he tied up his track spikes and ended up breaking the school record in the high jump. The athlete is now competing in indoor and outdoor track at St. John Fisher College.

“One major difference between high school and college is the number of events you compete in,” Schweickert said. “When I competed for S-GI, I did four to five different events, at every meet. At the collegiate level, coaches like to find your strength and have you focus on that strength. It is also much more competitive. My first collegiate meet was at Cornell, where I competed against {Division 1} athletes from Syracuse. It was unforgettable.”

During Schweickert’s first meet, the Rochester Institute of Technology Invitational, he finished in sixth place, out of 28 participants, to start his college career. At the meet, Cody was also a part of the 4-by-200-meter that finished in third place.

As a high school athlete, Schweickert played four sports, during his senior year. In the fall, he was the football team’s lead rusher and was selected as first team, all star in Class B South. During his two years playing varsity football, he ran 916 yards, while also starting at cornerback, where he made 78 tackles. In his first game against Salamanca, Schweikert led the team with yards and 2 touchdowns. In his final game against Tonawanda, he scored 3 touchdowns. Those were on a pass reception, punt return and an interception return for a score.

On the track in high school, Schweickert holds the school record in outdoor track, in the pentathlon, with a score of 3,001. He ran the 100-meter, 4-by100, 200-meter,100-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump, triple jump and the pentathlon, among others. In college, he is primarily a long jumper. He qualified for states, in high jump, as a junior, and then qualified for pentathlon, as a senior.

“College track and field is highly demanding,” said Schweickert. “If you are serious about being a college athlete, then be ready to sacrifice time and energy. I am fortunate enough to be coached by an athlete who has a serious shot at the 2016 Olympics. I train under the same program he uses, so the intensity, at practice, can be overwhelming, but it all pays off, when competition rolls around.”

The athlete said that a meet that stuck out to him, in his freshman season of indoor track was the RIT Orange/Brown Invitational. Schweickert said he missed the bus and arrived late to the meet. He was rushing to get warmed up, when he was called for a long jump. That day, he jumped a career high 21 feet, 8 inches, which is 15 inches more than his best jump, in high school. That gave him a seventh place finish, out of 50 participants.

“With four seasons of high school track under my belt, I thought I was coming to Fisher with a lot of knowledge and experience,” he said. “Given this assumption, it was surprising to hear my coach criticize my form. My entire jump group had to ‘re-learn’ how to run. Once we learned how to run perfectly, my coach transformed our jumping technique. This allowed us to compete, at a much higher level.”

Schweickert had the opportunity to play football at Fisher, but chose to compete in track and field, instead. At S-GI, he was a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the student council president, which gave him a seat on the school board, as a student representative.

Instead of playing football during the fall at Fisher, he played a sport that was brand new: Rugby.

“There is a hard-earned fortitude within Cody,” said John Sopko, his former football coach at S-GI. “He competes within himself and that helps him succeed, with external competition.”

When choosing a college, Schweickert said he considered attending Canisius College, the State University of New York at Cortland, Grove City and SUNY Fredonia, before deciding to attend Fisher, to major in political science and English.

He is the son of Tonya and William Schweickert of Springville.


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