BOSTON — A Wisconsin Army National Guardsman and University of Wisconsin-Platteville student received All-American honors at the NCAA DIII Indoor Track and Field Championships last weekend.
Spc. Cody Faust, a Monroe native and infantryman with Troop C, 1st Squadron, 105th Cavalry Regiment, and a senior at UW-Platteville, scored 5,239 points in the heptathlon, finishing in second place nationally.
The heptathlon is a culmination of seven events competed over two days: the 60-meter dash, long jump, shotput, high jump, 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meter run. Faust had personal bests at nationals in the 60m hurdles, running 8.36 seconds, and the pole vault, clearing 15 feet, 7 inches.
Faust started running cross country and distance races while attending Monroe High School, but realized he had an interest in all of the jumping and sprinting events as well He said he learned all of the events in college, including how to pole vault.
“I learned everything, and within three years of pole vaults, I went from 10 feet, to vaulting [15 feet, 7 inches] at nationals,” Faust said. He added that he won that event by a foot, and had almost qualified to compete individually in the pole vault event at nationals as well.
When Faust was a sophomore in college, he decided to join the Wisconsin National Guard after learning more about it from his friends who serve in the organization. Faust used his athleticism and his studies in exercise science to help not only him, but also other recruits succeed at basic combat training.
“I was the person everyone went to to get help if they were hurting,” Faust said. “I kind of knew how to help them just because of my degree and my track and field history.”
Faust currently balances being a college student, an athlete, a Soldier, and working part time. He said his unit leadership has been supportive and taken an interest in his athletic competitions. Faust has missed several meets that weren’t necessarily important enough to take time off from his military training, and has also communicated with his unit very early to take off for significant meets, such as the conference championships.
While it is difficult to balance it all, Faust said that he is grateful for everything he has accomplished over the past couple years. And well-rounded, Citizen Soldiers and athletes are just the sort of person the Wisconsin National Guard needs to fulfill its state and federal missions.
“I feel like I have one of the best experiences out of most people I know, just because I’ve had the basis of being an athlete, a student and a person in the military,” Faust said. “I’m not sure what else you can add to that list to give you better experiences.”
During the indoor track and field season, Faust broke his own school record in the heptathlon multiple times. He placed second in at the Wartburg Indoor Select in early February and first in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Championships at the end of the month. He also currently holds the eight best heptathlon score in the history of NCAA Division III track and field.
Faust has his first meet for the outdoor track and field season in a couple weeks, and will be competing in the decathlon. Once the outdoor season is over, he plans to continue his training with the hopes of going professional, either individually or through the military.
“I’m just really, really blessed,” Faust said. “I have great coaches and great friends who have supported me. I would love to continue it professionally for the military.”