Cedarburg track and field star had to make sacrifice for sport

CEDARBURG -- Every year, thousands of athletes across Wisconsin dream of earning a gold medal at the state competition. Cedarburg athlete Joshua Dixon has done it twice, but it's what he has given up to hopefully earn a few more that really make him shine.

There was never a question Dixon would participate in track and field. Both his mother and father participated in track in their youth, and all of Dixon's brothers and sisters as well.

Dixon, a senior at Cedarburg High School is a two-time state champion in the jumps - the triple jump two seasons ago, and the long jump just last year. "I know it's a good jump when I jump because it just feels so perfect. I just like, soar. It's cool," Dixon said.

Last spring, Dixon was a favorite to earn gold in both events, but record temperatures and fatigue kept him from that goal. This season, he's made some changes to his training that he hopes will help. "He not only took up the jumping, but he studies it. There were times I couldn't answer questions he had, but he would get on the internet and do research and get his own," Dixon's father, Luther Dixon said.

No one could question Dixon's commitment to his sport, but doubling up in those two events was going to be tougher than he realized, which is why he decided to temporarily give up a life-long passion, in order to focus on his craft.

Rhythm and tunes were a part of Dixon's biography long before strides and leaps. Dixon's mother called music innate. Dixon says there is a soundtrack to everything he does. "Even when I'm walking in the hallway, I catch myself making some kind of beat," Dixon said.

That love led Dixon to the school's band room, where he was a decorated member, specializing in the drums. Even though it brought him incredible joy, it also took away from his training on the track, so he put down his drum sticks to focus on his spikes.  "I think that says a lot about him and what he wants to accomplish. I think he's prioritized what he wants to be doing in his life," Dixon's coach, Josh Zielinski said. "It shows a lot of maturity. I don't know if I could have made that decision at his age, but he's been pleasantly surprising us with his decisions," Dixon's father said.

Dixon may have quit the band, but the beats live on. "He uses the music to motivate him, to relax him, to get him focused to compete," Zielinski said.

Dixon has found the cadence of his favorite tunes isn't all that different from his triple and long jump routines. "Even when I'm doing the trip jump, those three jumps - it's a beat, it's a rhythm, so I try to separate them," Dixon said.

Dixon will be attending Arizona State University on a track and field scholarship, while majoring in music production. If he can get gold at state this spring, his sacrifice will have been a sound decision, indeed. "This is what's going to get me to where I need to be," Dixon said.