A nagging knee injury.
Clear signs of self-doubt.
By no means was his first year at Castleton University “ideal.”
So how does an individual like Trevor Rose find a way to center himself and get back on track for better things in his life in the span of one year?
It was actually an easy answer for Rose: Shot put.
It’s a sport his father introduced to him when he was 5 or 6 years old, and Rose created a unique bond with the small but hefty metal sphere he would launch into the air like a projectile missile.
“I remember him every now and again he would take out his big, 16 pound shot put and he’d see if I could throw it just for entertainment,” said Rose, a physical education major with minors in coaching and health from Johnsonville, New York. “It ended up turning into, as I went through school, I was waiting for the opportunity to join a track team. At my school, we didn’t have it (a track and field program) until the high school level, so I wasn’t able to join until my freshman year.”
Over the last couple of years, Rose has found a niche in the shot put circle.
“Throwing in particular is something that is, like, relaxing to me, because there is a side of me that competes and tries to win medals, win awards, that kind of thing. And then there’s a side of me that a lot of people don’t see, which is when I go into a circle on a weekend just to throw and watch it fly through the air,” Rose said.
In his first career collegiate meet, Rose broke the Castleton record for farthest shot put with a heave of 13.44 meters (44’1.25”). Since then, Rose has consistently tinkered with his technique and approach every time he prepares to explode, as his current personal record stands at 14.49 meters (47’6.47”).
Head coach Jay Condon was impressed from the get-go.
“Trevor has had a big impact since his arrival. When an athlete comes into a program and can break a school record and qualify for regionals in their first college meet, that’s big,” he said.
Rose realized he was different from the rest of the pack when he attended a meet at St. Lawrence University last winter. During his recruiting process in high school, the track and field coach for the Saints told Rose he wasn’t good enough to compete at the college level.
“His senior thrower was ranked higher than me, he was ranked first in the meet, and I had come in and I was determined to beat the whole St. Lawrence team at the very least,” said an inspired Rose. “I ended up coming out of my second throw in finals, so my fifth or sixth throw overall, and I ended up beating him and the whole field by at least a half a meter.”
Raw emotion would pour out of Rose as he and his team celebrated the personal and now team accomplishment.
“Second place ended up being Castleton, but I remember that throw and running up and down the sector line screaming, just staring this coach down, it was very, very fun… it felt fantastic. The rest of the meet was silent and all the Castleton kids were yelling,” he said.
Trevor’s future at Castleton was in jeopardy in his freshman year, facing academic ineligibility. Condon said he is amazed and proud of Rose’s ability to get his priorities straight.
“Trevor has had to learn a lot about being a student-athlete. His first year was rough after the fall semester,” Condon said. “He had to learn how to be a better student in the classroom and a better student of the throwing events. So to answer your question on what he possesses, Trevor has learned to grow and the need to grow. He looks at his studies and his practice different. He now understands what goal-setting means and how the road map to achieve a goal is more important than the goal itself.”
Rose is very satisfied with his progress in the classroom and the support he’s received from his coaches, teammates and professors.
“It’s a very positive environment. Take for example, my freshman year I had terrible academics, and it was a big issue, not only in terms of competing but in terms of me and my life,” Rose admitted humbly. “Everybody on the team, the coaches, people on the team, they all kinda picked me up, kinda carried me through, kept me going and got me where I am now.
One of the most important recognitions Rose is seeking is putting the Spartans track and field team on the national map as a threat.
“It’s a program that is so young that it hasn’t really had any recognition, and like we were talking about when we first sat down, I’ll go on the other side of campus and there’s professors that don’t even know we have a track team,” Rose said. “I encourage anybody who has any questions or thinks that this isn’t a legitimate sport to come to the gym and see what we go through in practice. We don’t have a track, we don’t have throwing circles for indoor. We’re lucky enough to have them for outdoor (track and field season), and those are put in by Dave (Heitkamp), and without his contribution there, we would be completely SOL for lack of a better phrase… It’s definitely something we want to do.”