Siuda leads the team and the DGS school records

More stories from Melissa Weidner


Melissa Weidner

Senior Eddie Siuda finishes his race.

DGS senior Edwin Siuda has been a member of the cross country and track teams since his freshman year.  The past four years have been filled with rewriting the DGS record book; however, Siuda’s role on the team stretches far beyond the fact that he is a front-runner.

Currently, Siuda is ranked #10 in the state by  He holds the sophomore indoor 1600m record for track, the second fastest 1600m in school history for track and the school record in the three-mile for cross country.  

The DGS boys’ cross country team is ranked #2 in the state by  The team also had the fastest time average for top five runners in DGS history with an average of 14:57 for three miles for the first five guys.  Points are scored by the top five runners on a team, so having a low time average heightens the team’s chance to succeed.

Social studies teacher and cross country and track coach Brian Caldwell elaborates on Siuda’s leadership role within both the cross country and track team.

“Just his work ethic, it works its way down to everybody else; everybody is watching him, following him,” Caldwell said.

Siuda’s work ethic allows him to stand out as an individual, yet one reason he is a leader is his love for the team.

“I watch him lead the team and care about the team’s success more so than his individual [success, which is very unique in an] individual sport [like cross country or track].  He definitely cares about his teammates and how we do as a whole. That in general, that team-first mentality, I think is what makes me most proud as a coach,” Caldwell said.

His love for the team is not just seen by his coaches but also his fellow teammates.  Senior cross country and track team member James Weigel has been running with Siuda even before they were Mustangs when both runners attended Jefferson Junior High.

“Eddie, for a guy of his caliber, to care so much about team goals is just impressive.  He could be a guy that just focuses on the individual aspect of the sport, but in reality, he knows that he’s a part of something greater — our team,” Weigel said.

Siuda explains that they have a team culture of being hardworking and that it has helped build him as a person.

“We all really want to improve a lot and just work towards our goals.  That has helped build me as a person and encouraged me to work hard and do my best,” Siuda said.

This desire for improvement is something that many of his fellow teammates and coaches say he has.  What Caldwell describes as his “drive” has lead to Siuda’s success in many ways.

“It’s that kind of drive that makes somebody really good. I have a lot of guys on the team that want to be good, they want to be varsity, but he is not satisfied unless he is the best, so he has continued to strive for that,” Caldwell said.

Senior cross country and track team member George Willer has run with Eddie since freshman year.  

“I think what makes Eddie unique is his drive and his attitude towards the sport.  He is always wanting everyone to be better, not just himself … [He is] always there for people, always giving a hand, just loving them.  It is just awesome to see that,” Willer said.

Recently, at the Peoria Cross Country Invitational, Siuda finished with a 14:35.5 for the three-mile race, at a course that will be transformed into the Cross Country State course in a few weeks.  Siuda’s time makes him the DGS boys’ cross country record holder, but his success was measured in ways that did not surround the record book.

“I was definitely really happy about it.  I don’t really remember the moment too much because I turned around and was more worried about my teammates that were finishing the race.  It was a second of gratification and then I really didn’t think about it much after that,” Siuda said.

This illustrates the fact that Siuda is always looking out for his team.  His coaches also saw what Caldwell calls “the most subdued record-breaking that we have ever seen”, since Siuda was looking for his team once he finished, not celebrating his own success.

“He crossed the finish line and he was obviously excited to run that fast, but what I saw was [that] he turned around and he saw four more guys come in and [the coaches and team] were looking at the watch and it’s like, ‘Where did that come from?’” Caldwell said.

Siuda placed 8th in a race of 236 runners.  The DGS boys’ team placed first at the invite.

This race also shows how humble Siuda is.  Caldwell, Weigel, and Willer explained that “He wouldn’t say anything to boost himself up.”

“I think for him, a guy who has run 14:35, for him to have his mind set on those team goals, it is super impressive and it is awesome that he is on the team,” Weigel said.

Siuda and the DGS boys will be racing Oct. 27. at Midlothian Meadows in Midlothian for the IHSA Sectional.  The team placed 2nd on Oct. 20 at the IHSA regional.