Mind over matter: Dyer's journey to the Ivy League

Nov 27, 2017 Sports

Cayman's Dominic Dyer says he's fitting in nicely with his new teammates at Columbia University. "They call me Caribbean Jesus" says the long-haired, six-foot distance running specialist as he walks onto the track at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. In previous years his performances have been god-like domestically, but the road to the Ivy League for the former Cayman Prep standout did not come without it's challenges. In spite of his local and regional accomplishments, Dyer went unrecruited. "The beginning of my senior year around September, I just started emailing all the coaches, all the schools, just trying to get a feel for who was interested in me, and honestly there was not a lot of interest at all." One day however, the phone finally rang. It was Columbia University's distance running coach Brian Chenoweth. "He basically said 'look I've used up all my application support slots for this round, if you want you can apply by yourself or can just wait'. So I applied by myself, and it worked out really well." With an acceptance rate of 6%, Dyer was not optimistic. He did however have the necessary grades in the classroom and the qualification times on the track. Dyer eventually gained enrollment based on his academics, joining the Lions distancing running team shortly thereafter. His determination instantly gained the respect of his teammates. "They didn't like see me as any less than them. If anything they admired that I had got in by myself without any scholarship." Dyer says competing at the American collegiate level has required a new approach. "If you go in there with the mindset that you can do the same training with these guys, you can keep up with them, it's amazing what you can do." The 3000 meter national record holder is already seeing results, placing 47th overall at the Ivy League Championships, 7th among his Columbia teammates. Vindication for past rejection. "It's almost nice in a way to see that I would have been the fastest freshman from the schools that rejected me or didn't show any interest in me. So that's just a nice feeling." With the final chapter of this young man's career still laps away, Dyer's journey will certainly be well thought out in advance.