Athlete of the Week: Matt Grottke - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Athlete of the Week: Matt Grottke

Matt Grottke joined the track and field team at Neillsville less than four years ago, but he's quickly become one of the most heralded shotput and discuss throwers in Neillsville history.

He says the key was simple: focusing on getting better in practice.

You've just gotta keep on repping,” Grottke said. “Just constantly throwing. One after another to make sure you're doing every little thing right, and eventually you just catch on to it and you throw."

Grottke caught on so quickly, in fact, that he qualified for state last year as a junior.

It was a great experience," he said. “You know, I never thought I'd make it there. Then next thing i know, I'm there, you know? I'm hoping to go back this year too."

His trip to state didn't exactly go as planned, however. Grottke failed to make the podium.

Since throwing is such a mentally-based sport, it may have been inexperience that hindered him.

It was his first trip there,” his throwing coach, Mike Pekol, said. “It was my first trip there with any thrower. So yeah, inexperience probably. He's younger. He went as a junior."

Pekol says that Grottke is the first Neillsville thrower in his memory to qualify for state. And Grottke will be looking to bring home some hardware this season.

It just makes me want to go harder and try to do my best,” Grottke said. “I've got to be at my best."

If that's truly his goal,” Pekol said. “to make state two years in a row. Yeah, that would be great."

Pekol holds the Neillsville record for the discuss. He said Grottke has broken it in practice.
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