by Tyler Jezierski
Senior decathlete Peter Delap, from Portland, Ore., continues to be a record-setting athlete who already holds the seventh-best NCAA DIII decathlon point mark this season, and Whitworth record, with 4757. Delap continues to be a competitor, but he is not always concerned about individual goals.
“Team comes first. It’s the reason why we compete and that’s what makes us different from any other team,” Delap said.
Head coach Toby Schwarz continues to mentor and push Delap to become the best he can be. Delap has been committed to his team and naturally brings the team together through his many talents, Schwarz said.
“He is well-rounded, not one-dimensional, and has fun while working hard,” Schwarz said.
When thinking back to one of his favorite memories with Delap, Schwarz said he lost in a wrestling match against Delap on the bus back from a meet.
Coach Schwarz is an influence in his life and an amazing guy to look up to, Delap said.
Delap strives for success, practicing and training four hours a day
Assistant track and field coach, Joey VanHoomissen, said that Delap does not just work hard at practice, but does what is needed to eat right, sleep well and stay in shape to compete as a decathlete.
“Swim [in the morning], school, practice, and repeat,” VanHoomissen said.
That is the routine VanHoomissen sees Delap work with everyday. Delap pulled a hamstring at nationals last year during the first or second event, but toughed out the rest of the race, VanHoomissen said.
Freshman decathlete Cheyne Shiroma is being mentored by Delap this year in training and practice.
“He is a hardworking person who has helped me learn the ways of these events and you can tell his leadership by how he treats all of the other teammates on and off the field,” Shiroma said.
Delap has not only set personal records throughout his time at Whitworth, but he has also inspired many of his teammates to do the same.
“He is naturally talented and a hard worker, which makes me want to be better and follow that example,” junior hurdler and heptathlete Emily Moore said.
Delap works hard and adds a lightness to the team, junior jumper and hurdler Christina Dobbins said.
“[He] makes people feel included and helps unify the team,” Dobbins said.
Delap is always accountable and does the extra work when the coaches suggest it, VanHoomissen said.
“He is an encourager, leader and a true athlete, which extends to each part of his life—not just as a track athlete but with the relationships [he forms], [the attention he pays to] school and as an athlete,” senior decathlete Stephen Cooper said.
When Delap pulled his hamstring in the of beginning of his competition at nationals last year, he chose to battle through the rest of his events and finished 17th out of 20.
This year, Delap has set new team goals for the track and field season. Delap hopes that his team wins conference, scores 300 points in the NWC Championships meet and climbs their way up into the top four in the nation by the end of the season. Delap emphasized the team and how that has been the central focus throughout his years at Whitworth.
“I strive everyday to honor God in training, put my teammates first, and if I have achieved that, then that is my greatest achievement,” Delap said.
Contact Tyler Jezierski at firstname.lastname@example.org