Phot0 by Jim Bogle
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Kodie Bogle’s recent 2,100-mile airplane flight to Track Town, USA, via Birmingham, Omaha and Las Vegas turned out to be well worth the long layovers and time changes.
On June 16 during the Nation Scholastic Athletic Foundation Nike Invitational at the University of Oreon in Eugene, the Gaston High rising sophomore earned a silver medal in the javelin event.
After his three attempts in the open competition of 15 participants qualified Bogle among the top nine for championship round, his first throw of 165-01 feet held up for second place behind Sam Ramerhaus of Oldsmar, Florida (166-7). Bogle edged bronze medalist Mason Lopez of Sweet Home, Oregon, by just one inch (165-00).
Bogle said he was not was not intimidated by performing on a national stage along with the best of the best in his age group.
“I really wasn’t nervous; I was just ready to go to work and see what I could do,” he said. “It was a really nice ex-perience.”
Bogle won the gold medal in the javelin event in the Class 2A state track and field meet this past season with a PR of 165-10 feet, five feet longer than the second-place mark. As an eighth grader in 2021, he finished as the state runner-up with a 150-11 throw.
“Kodie was kind of upset after he came in 20th last year at the USATF championships, and I told him, ‘My gosh, you’ve just done better than you’ve ever done before; you can’t be upset about that,” said Kodie’s dad Jim, a longtime track and field, volleyball and basketball coach at Gaston and current Etowah cross country and track and field coach. “That’s the way I’ve been trying to teach him, to focus on doing his best instead of beating the other guy. As long as he works hard and does what he’s supposed to do, Kodie might be throwing over 200 [feet] by the time he’s a senior.”
For the past two years, Kodie has been training with Curtis Thompson, a world-class javelin thrower based in Birmingham who won the U.S. Olympic trials and competed in the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Due in large part to Thompson’s coaching, Jim said Kodie’s rapid progress this year was just as much mental as physical.
“Instead of me or his mom or his coach telling him to get out there and practice, Kodie now does that himself. It wasn’t that he wasn’t motivated before; it’s that now he understands the reasons behind his workouts. Now he trusts his technique and his training and keeps his composure as opposed to muscling through a throw.”
Kodie, who also competes in the triple jump, high jump and long jump events during the spring outdoor season, has an impressive athletic pedigree. Both dad Jim and mom Tonya played college basketball, while older brothers Jordan, Jeff, Jimmy, Jared, Jackson and Jason competed in either football, basketball or track and field while at Gaston. Sisters Jana and Morgan both played basketball and volleyball in high school.
Tonya, the longtime girls basketball coach at Gaston, is currently the women’s basketball head coach at Snead State.
“It’s really fun to have family [members] that played sports,” said Kodie. “They kind of inspired me always to try and get better.”
Kodie also plays football and basketball for the Bulldogs.
“It’s tough being the son of a coach,” said Jim. “You could tell he didn’t like what I asked of him sometimes, but he never bucked me, and when he started seeing his improvements, he started to buy in to what we were doing. You can’t have confidence if you haven’t put in the work. Kodie’s reached the point where he knows what he’s doing, and that’s Coach Bogle talking, not his dad.”
Next up for Kodie will be the AAU Regionals in Knoxville, Tennessee and the Javfest in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He will round out his summer track and field season next week at the AAU nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Kodie’s primary goal for the 2023 track and field season is not merely to repeat as state champion.
“I want to set the state record [for javelin,]” he said. “If anyone throws farther than me, I’m going to work a little bit harder to beat that [throw].”
“I realize that this is coming from his coach and his dad, but Kodie is a really good kid to go along with being a really good athlete,” said Jim. “He’s also a very humble young man, which impresses me more than him throwing [a javelin] 165 feet.”