MOUNT VERNON — Work ethic, determination and practice during the offseason are characteristics of success Matt Vislisel exhibits.
Those traits have led the Mount Vernon junior to the state track and field meet that starts today in Des Moines.
Vislisel’s dedication began back in his first season throwing discus — seventh grade. Since then, he has put in a lot of hours getting stronger in the weight room and working on form.
Former Mount Vernon state champion Tristan Wirfs had a huge impact on Vislisel’s motivation.
“Coming in second to Tristan every meet last year put me in the right mind-set to win meets this year,” Vislisel said.
Wirfs, two years older than Vislisel, was a role model, teaching Vislisel his winning ways. In the 2017 season, Wirfs placed first in the shot put and discus at the state meet.
“He taught me good sportsmanship and how to be a good competitor,” Vislisel said.
Vislisel is seeded first in the discus. He hopes to “keep that spot and come out with a gold medal.”