Track's O'Such Officially Commits to Duquesne
Track & Field/Cross Country Runner Joe O'Such commits to Duquesne University
A young man by the name of Joe O'Such, a freshman, decided to go out for ninth grade baseball a short time ago. Four years later, a senior now, O'Such has decided to sign a commitment to run both track and field and cross country at Duquesne University. O'Such has received an athletic and academic scholarship to attend and will enter into a prestigious nursing program, which will be his major area of study.
"I think he’s changed a lot since his freshman year," said his winter track head coach Danielle Stauffer. "He came in unsuspecting. The dedication he’s displayed over the years. The fact that I know he runs in the summer twice a day and prepares for the cross country seasons now. Deciding to run cross country, when he came out for spring track thinking he was going to be a sprinter. He’s just moved up. He’s always been coachable, runs whatever it is we ask him to run and puts his heart into it. It’s all been a really big change for him."
O'Such will most likely run distance in college, which he has become committed to over the past two years at Spring-Ford. He said he'd run between 800 meters and 3,200 meters.
His decision to go to Duquesne was not a difficult one when looking at the facts.
"First off, academics is the most important thing," he said. "They had one of the top nursing programs from the three schools that I narrowed it down to. Also, their track and field and cross country coach took interest in my abilities. I thought it was the best university for me."
When asked, everyone in the room at O'Such's signing pointed to two things about his character: well-roundedness and work ethic.
"We have one of our young men who graces our halls in a great way, but also burns up the track and the cross country paths," said Athletic Director Mickey McDaniel. "Not only that, but is a really great individual. He takes care of it in the classroom as well as he does in the athletic endeavor. We’re very proud of Joe and what he’s accomplished and where he’ll be attending school."
Cross country head coach Brian Sullivan had the unique circumstance of only getting to coach O'Such for one year, as Sullivan coached at Pius X and Pope John Paul II for many years. This was his first year at Spring-Ford.
"Boy, I wish I could have been involved in Joe’s career longer than just this past year," Sullivan said. "It’s been a real blessing to have him run for me and to have had the opportunity to coach a guy like Joe. Even though it was my first year at Spring-Ford, I was in the league for the other three years, so I got to see Joe run as a competitor."
Again, the overriding theme became prominent in Sullivan's words. Hinting at his incredible athletic ability coupled with great values.
"He was always one of the top notch athletes in the league," Sullivan continued. "Getting to know him personally this year, I was really impressed about what a fine quality individual he is. He’s a good runner, but a better person. That really impressed me with the quality of person he was."
Another integral part of O'Such's career was his distance coach Meghan Noecker, who has been with Spring-Ford, coaching O'Such and the distance team, for the past two years. Noecker said despite O'Such's high level of competitiveness now, he has the ability to grow even more in the future.
"It’s really exciting to see how much potential he does have and a kid that isn’t overtrained and is just starting out, he has so much potential collegiately although he’s at such a high level right now," Noecker said.
Noecker said last year O'Such decided he would run the 800-meter dash. Realizing how good he was at it, he continued to push himself, running the mile indoors this year, and now the 1,600 in the spring, all preparing for a great postseason and college career.
O'Such's parents are obviously proud of him both in the classroom and on the track, as indicated by his mother, Nancy [Waywood]. His father, Joe [O'Such], said his son is going to be successful in anything he tries and commended his hard work.
"He’s a great kid and has a great future," Waywood said.
The parents also received praise from the coaches and their son.
"They’ve pushed me extremely hard in school, always to get great grades in school and always told me that if I want to be the best, I have to think I’m the best, and to be a good person," O'Such said of his parents. "They’ve taught me what is right morally."
He also paid homage to his coaches over the years.
"It’s been a great experience," he continued. "They’ve molded me into a great athlete by running me in as many events as possible and focusing my abilities in not just one but many events. They really made it a point to be a great athlete on the track and a great role model in and out of the classroom too."
His spring head coach Ken DeAngelo said his hard work has awarded him the opportunity for a lifelong, quality education at Duquesne.
"Joe’s been a great kid," said DeAngelo. "You put the amount of work that he’s put in. It’s nice to see it pay off in dividends other than just a pat on the back."
Overall, O'Such's leadership shows on the track. McDaniel asked O'Such if he could send a message to his team about succeeding, what would it be?
"If I could choose a word: Persevere," he said. "Through everything. Work hard every day and always keep it on your mind. Never stop believing in yourself. It doesn’t matter what other people think about you, you have to believe in yourself to achieve what you want to achieve."