In track and field, a team’s chain is as strong as the links of athletes across many events. Even so, people will often picture only running events when they think of a team. While these components are essential to a competitive squad, Rowan field athlete Glenn Kohles is proving that the throwing aspect of a team can be its strongest link.
Kohles, currently in his second outdoor track and field season, has the opportunity to earn back-to-back New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships in the discus and shot put. In terms of indoor and outdoor seasons, Kohles can make it his fourth consecutive season of winning an NJAC Championship event.
“Winning the awards has been great,” Kohles said. “It is motivational and rewarding to win the conference meet at this level. In my high school career, I won the county meet but never the conference.”
A two-sport athlete in high school, Kohles was originally sought by Rowan as a football recruit. Since coming to Rowan, however, Kohles has shifted focus to track and field.
In his first indoor season in 2013, Kohles secured first NJAC shot put title and 11th out of 19 at the Eastern College Track Conference Championships. He followed up with a stellar outdoor season, grabbing two NJAC titles, the NJAC Rookie of the Year award and first place in the shot put at the Collegiate Track Conference Championships to help the team to second place.
“I want to retain my shot put and discus [NJAC] titles, and I also qualified for ECACs for both,” Kohles said. “I’ll look to retain my CTC mark, too.”
Kohles made back-to-back NJAC titles in the indoor shot put in the 2014 season, improving his distance from 48 feet, 7.5 inches to 50 feet, 10 inches.
In regard to adjustments he has made and continues to make, Kohles cites working with assistant coach Aaron Braxton, a former standout Rowan field athlete.
“Coach Braxton has taught me to stay patient with the technique and technical aspects of throwing,” Kohles said. “Braxton believes in a balance of technique and power. His experience helps — he knows what he is talking about.”
Braxton, Rowan’s school record holder in the discus, seeks to ensure that Kohles reaches his full potential as a thrower.
“I tried passing on some mental strategies for the few bad habits that Kohles had early on, including promoting the use of the lower back in throws,” Braxton said. “Kohles is starting to come into his own as a young player but he is very critical of himself, like I was as a competitor. I do think he can become an All-American.”
Additionally, Kohles has spoken highly of veteran teammates Frank Visconti and Jason Jenkins as being significant in helping him develop his game.
“Working with my teammates has taught me a lot,” Kohles said. “Frank [Visconti] and Jason [Jenkins] have both helped me out with my discus and shot put throws.”
Kohles will get the chance to defend his 2013 CTC Championship shot put title when Rowan begins competition at the 2014 tournament on April 18 at Richard Stockton College. Another CTC win would be one step further in Kohles’ journey of reaching Nationals.
“Kohles is determined,” Braxton said. “We used this phrase before, ‘get a ride or get a ticket on the plane,’ which meant making it to Nationals. And that’s what Kohles wants, a ticket on the plane.”
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