When discussing John Dyar’s signing with Point Park University, Live Oak cross country coach Travis Johnson was to the point.
“I think he found as perfect of a match as he could get,” Johnson said.
Dyar recently signed with the NAIA school in Pittsburgh, where he’ll run cross country and track while also training to run marathons and half-marathons.
“It’s going to be a lot more training,” Dyar said. “It’s crazy to think about. I’m ready for it, definitely.”
Point Place assistant cross country coach Tim Creamer contacted Dyar via email, leading to a visit to campus in February and his signing late last month,
“Just through talking with them, I decided that was the place,” Dyar said. “It was nice. It was right there in the middle of the city, which was totally different from here, but overall, it was nice.”
“It’s just cool to see him going out and researching and going on those recruiting visits and coming back to tell us about it,” Johnson said. “We’re just super-proud of him and wish him all the best.”
“He wasn’t really sure where he was going to go, and then he went up there and got to meet with some of the (assistant coaches), admissions, stuff like that,” Johnson continued. “He got to go on a workout with the team, and he said when he went on that workout, that was it. He was in.”
Maybe the biggest adjustment for Dyar came in getting acclimated to running in Pittsburgh’s weather in February.
“It’s not going to be as hot,” Dyar said. “It’s going to be nice and cool the whole time. I know when I went though, I went for a long run with the team, and we were literally running on ice. We were running on like ice, snow and slush.
“They said it’s going to be harder for the first several weeks … but after that, you’ll be fine,” Dyar continued. “You’ll be running just like normal. That was one of the major questions I was asking.”
Johnson said he knows the conditions were a challenge for Dyar, but he’s confident he’ll make the adjustment to his surroundings.
“To get ready for there, we’re running in 100-degree heat, flat as a griddle or something,” Johnson said. “He’s going up there and he said it’s hilly. It’s obviously going to be cold, wintry, all that kind of stuff. He does a lot of road races, goes camping, Boy Scouts, all this stuff. He’s used to the cold weather, so I think he’s going to find a lot of success.”
Dyar, who finished fourth in the 3200 meters and fifth in the 1600 meters at the Livingston Parish Championship and was 68th at the Division I state cross country meet, said he’s looking forward to running distance events in college.
“I’m happy about doing that, especially the longer distance events just because that’s what I’m better at,” Dyar said. “I’m just good at keeping a faster pace for a long time.”
Johnson said he doesn’t see a problem for Dyar there, either.
“He’s always running a lot of miles a week,” Johnson said. “He puts in about sixty a week, so he’s always running. He’s used to the races that he’s going to be running in college. I know this summer, he’s doing some AAU/USTAF stuff where he can get some more 10Ks on the track and things like that because that’s one aspect he’s never done. We’ll try to get him some experience with that, but … I think the weather’s the biggest challenge so far for him.”
The other aspect is that Dyar plans on majoring in intelligence and National Security, which is offered at Point Park.
“All the TV shows I’ve watched … I’ve always thought forensics and things like that would be cool, and profiling, so I thought that one would just be the best,” Dyar said.
“I’m ready,” Dyar said. “I’m nervous, though, but we’ll see how it goes.”