Girls Track: Red Devils’ Dusky getting it done
Hinsdale Central's Liz Dusky, competes in the ladies discus event at the Wheaton Warrenville South girls track meet held in Wheaton, IL on April 27, 2012. | Adam Alexander~For Sun Times
Updated: June 4, 2012 11:18AM
When Liz Dusky approached the shot put ring at Friday’s Wheaton Warrenville South Girls Track Invitational, she spotted a familiar face.
Last summer, Dusky was one of six girls to attend the University of Illinois’ camp for shot putters and discus throwers. The camp was full of dozens of boys, but the few girls in attendance created a special bond. Their love of the sport brought them together to compete in events so few of their peers show an interest in.
At Wheaton, Dusky, a Hinsdale Central senior, was pleased to see Glenbard South junior Samantha Howard, another alumna from the Illinois camp.
“I keep in touch with everyone,” Dusky said of her fellow campers.
On a frigid night, Dusky had her best performance of the season in the shot put, but fell short of equaling her personal record in the discus.
She placed fourth (33 feet, 9 1/2 inches) in the shot and fifth (97-10) in the discus at Wheaton South. The Red Devils (49 points) tied for sixth in the 18-team meet.
Hinsdale Central will compete in the West Suburban Conference Silver Division meet at 4:30 p.m. Friday at York. The Red Devils compete in the Downers Grove North Sectional May 10.
Dusky still has ground to make up to reach the state-qualifying mark in both sports: 37-6 for shot and 117-6 for discus. Her heave at Wheaton in the shot placed Dusky among the top 126 in the state, according to dyestat.com. She won the discus in 99-10 at Glenbard West’s Pariseau Invitational April 21, but is still well off the state qualifying distance in that event. Her personal record in the discus is 102-5 from the Devilette meet April 14.
Her former Illinois camper, Howard, did much better at Wheaton by taking third in shot (34-2 3/4) and second in discus (119-10). Each event was won by Naperville Central’s Tina Norris (36-4) and Wheaton South’s Desirae Ranberg (122-5).
At the Illinois camp, Dusky learned better techniques to advance her performances in the weights events.
“I was a glider last year, but now I spin for the disc. I do a variation of the spin in shot put. I have a unique release. I have never seen anyone do one like I do.”
Dusky’s shot-put heave was developed by former coach Janelle Maroni, who also serves at Hinsdale Central’s girls golf coach in the fall. Marconi stepped down from the track team before the season and has been replaced by James Conyers.
“Liz will get up there,” Conyers said. “She always has the talent, we have to just bring out that talent during competition. There are ways to improve each day.”
Hinsdale Central did not have a discus ring due to renovations at the school last season, but this year’s new ring is getting a lot of work from Dusky and some of her best friends in the event such as Paige McClain and Emily Wasz.
Dusky is planning on attending Pittsburgh University and could possibly walk on to the team. She doesn’t have family in Pennsylvania, but her father, Maurice, is from Upstate New York.
Dusky played basketball and volleyball as a freshman, but has stuck with track over four years.
“I love track. It’s the one sport I stuck with in high school. It’s so great,” Dusky said.
One of the marquee events at the conference meet should be the 1600-meter run, which could feature three runners in the state’s top 10: Lyons Township’s Lisa Gordon, Hinsdale Central’s Jill Hardies and Glenbard West’s Madeline Perez.
Hardies (5:04.42) won the 1600 at Wheaton, but Perez won the 3,200. Hinsdale Central’s 800 relay of Laura Culler, Cara Tenerelli, Lauren Paul and Marisa Bronowicki (1:47.16) took second at Wheaton.