Q&A with Suzy Wojcik

Suzy Wojcik is 76 and knows how to throw her weight around. In 2017, Suzy was age group ranked 4th in the U.S. hammer, 4th in the weight throw, and 2nd in the world superweight competition. In 2018, Suzy is 1st in the U.S in the hammer and weight throw. Suzy was raised in Palo Alto, Calif., and early on played sports, her specialties being swimming, basketball, and volleyball. She lettered in basketball and volleyball. She was an avid cyclist, tennis player, and golfer. After 25 years as a certified volunteer track official, she attained emeritus status.. In 1992 Suzy met Jerry Wojcik at the OTCM annual dinner and later they married.. When not competing, Suzy and Jerry roam the west in their 1987 Westfalia Vanagon.

1. Unusual for girls of your era, you competed for Palo Alto High School against other area schools. In what sports? How intense was the training? With the same level of coaching and support?

I competed in basketball, swimming, and volleyball for the high school and our coaching staff was excellent. We had daily practices and competed on a regular schedule.

2. Any sports or other outside sporting activities during your 29 years of marriage? Were Rich and Rebecca involved in youth sports? If so, in what way were you supportive?

I loved to play golf as an adult and played in club competition. Rich played basketball, and Rebecca played volleyball. Our whole family was active in cycling and did frequent touring and also organized rides.

3. You traveled around the world attending meets for National Masters News, undoubtedly meeting a constellation of geezer gods and goddesses. Name and describe a few of your favorites.

We loved the travel for NMN and I was active in the politics for the USATF masters committee as secretary and then vice chair. We met many of the top masters athletes all over the world and went to meets in Gateshead, England; Brisbane, Australia; Kamloops, Canada; and Durbin, South Africa.

4. You are among an honored gang of serious, loyal, and longtime Hayward track officials. Plainly, there is no Tracktown USA, indisputably center of U.S. track & field that is Eugene without the officials and volunteers. It’s hard work. What’s the inside story that keeps the dedication and excellence alive?

These officials love the sport and most are dedicated to becoming long term officials. Many work for 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years.

5. What’s the usual and/or Wojcik training for senior throwers? What’s a typical week?

Including strength training at the gym, we throw at the local field, often South Eugene High School.

6. What are some of the tough choices you’ve made that made you who you are?

Deciding not to fold after my first marriage ended after 29 years. I made the decision to look forward, not back, and made a new life for myself. I find myself not the slightest bit sorry about choices I have made that opened up my world and gave me a new start and new perspective.

7. Name three of your personal heroes, and why you admire them so much.

1. My father. He was much admired because of his ability to achieve many things ahead of his time, and because he was a multi-sport athlete, champion sprinter and quarterback, and well respected for his devotion to equality for
all mankind.

2. My sister Nancy since she has suffered much through the death of a spouse. She creates wonderful life-sized sculpture with her work in bronze and ceramics, and is gifted with ability to counsel her friends and family.

3. Lance Deal, because he has strength of character, talent, and the ability to focus on the goal at hand.

8. What special moment or insight caused your devotion to track and field?

I worked at the finish line as a timer during the WAVA world masters games in 1989. It was a life changing experience that caused many changes in my life, and a dedication to participation both as an official and competitor.

9. Quotes you live by, or quote often.

“Get on with it” “Go forward, not back.” “Work hard, and have fun doing it.”

10. What stuff do you do, besides throwing, that most people would consider insane?

I take my VW Westfalia out and go on long trips to Vanagon events like Busses By The Bridge in Lake Havasu, Ariz., or go to a gathering of Vanagons and VW Busses to an outing called Descend On Bend, by The Hole in the Ground, with 500+ other like-minded crazy people. We listen to music, gather around the campfire, and examine each others Vans. It’s a big party, really, with a lot of different people who have done remarkable upgrades to their Vanagons.

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