Senior Megan Smith broke a 23-year-old shot put school record on day two of the outdoor opener.
CONTACT INFORMATION Email: J.Kenneson@tcu.edu Phone: 817-257-7318
Associate head coach John Kenneson enters his 35th season of Division I coaching and his 14th at TCU entering the 2018 season. In the last three decades, he has built a legacy as one of the top throws coaches in the country, guiding 47 All-Americans, an Olympian and countless Olympic Trial qualifiers and conference champions. Kenneson oversees all throwing events for the Horned Frogs and also supervises the strength training for the throwing athletes.
The Big 12 is one of the top throwing conferences in the nation, and the addition of TCU's throws squad under Kenneson four years ago made the conference even better.
Under Kenneson in 2017, two freshmen emerged as top throwers in the nation. Ryan Camp was the No.1 ranked freshman discus thrower at 184' 7" and was the only freshman to qualify for the NCAA championships in the discus. At the Big 12 championships, Camp finished fourth in the discus and scored in the hammer. In the shot put, freshman Isaiah Rogers was one of only three freshmen in the nation to break the 60-foot barrier. Rogers finished third at the indoor Big 12 championships and runner up at outdoors. The men's hammer group ranked 6th in the NCAA, led by Fellan McGuigan's 211'6" mark, followed by Camp (194'7"), Justin Sanchez (190'7"), and Rogers (181'3"). All four are returning for the 2018 season.
In the women's hammer, Paola Miranda qualified for every meet final during the regular season and had four top three finishes. Her season best was 194'7" at the NCAA West Region Preliminary round.
Kenneson's 12th season with the Horned Frogs was one for the books, with three throwers breaking school records and three advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
In the outdoor season opener, senior Megan Smith shattered a 23-year-old school record with a mark of 56 feet 5.75 inches (17.21 meters) in the shot put. Her first-place distance surpassed Stevanie Ferguson, who set the previous record of 56 feet 4.75 inches in 1993. Smith's personal best ranked 12th in the NCAA heading into nationals.
Also etching their name into the record book was Fellan McGuigan, who threw a TCU-best 211 feet 6 inches (64.47 meters) in the hammer throw at the Jim Click Shootout. The freshman from London, England went on to place third in the event at the Big 12 Championships before earning a spot at nationals with a mark of 206 feet 9 inches (63.03 meters).
Kenneson and the throwers would not stop there, though. Junior Paola Miranda also took part in the action as she topped her own hammer throw school record at the NCAA West Regional with a distance of 199 feet 6 inches (60.81 meters).
Adam Damadzic, a junior from Worchester, England, found success in the discus during the 2016 season. Damadzic earned his way to regionals after recording a season-best mark of 185 feet 2 inches (56.44 meters) at the Jim Click Shootout. Damadzic placed 10th at the West Regionals before placing 14th at the NCAA Championships.
During Coach Kenneson's initial Big 12 years, TCU throwers were instrumental in establishing consistent production for the Frogs. The most notable achievements from 2013-15 include:
*2015: Paola Miranda recorded a fifth-place finish in the hammer throw with a school-record mark of 195 feet 10 inches.
*2014: Megan Smith took home silver in both the shot put and discus events at the Big 12 Championships. Smith also notched the school record in the discus with a mark of 181 feet 10 inches (55.42 meters) and earned All-America honors.
*2013: Cameron Tabor finished third in the weight throw at the Big 12 Championships.
*2013: Adam Damadzic found himself in the top three on TCU's all-time discus list, adding a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships.
During TCU's stint in the Mountain West Conference, stretching the 2006-12 track and field seasons, Kenneson guided the Frogs to nine women's shot put titles, including a streak of eight-straight championships from 2006-09. Candis Kelly took four indoor titles and two outdoor titles while Stormy Harrison won other last two of the outdoor crowns. TCU is the only school in league history to accomplish that feat.
Kelly was one of Kenneson's most decorated products, along with her six MWC Championships, she also brought home the Frogs' first Penn Relay women's shot put crown in 16 years with her 2008 victory. Harrison was a force in the shot put and discus, being the previous school record holder in the disc as the first Frog over 160 feet before Smith took down her records.
2012 saw many TCU throwers have success. During the indoor campaign, Kenneson guided Cameron Tabor to a conference title in the men's shot put and helped TCU's throwers earn four All-Conference honors. In Outdoor competition, Tabor completed the season sweep of the shot put conference titles and qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary in the shot put and discus. Kelsey Samuels picked up her first career MWC gold medal at the 2011 indoor championships and followed-up for silver medal standards at the outdoor championships in the shot put.
During the 2010 season, Kenneson helped lead TCU's throws to six school records. Senior Tommy Killen went on to compete at the NCAA Championships in the discus, going on to finish 18th. Killen, the 2009 MWC Outdoor Champion in the discus, is TCU's school record holder in the event with a throw of 192-10 in 2008 at the John Jacobs Invite in Norman, Okla. In 2006, Kenneson led Killen to the NCAA Championships in the throwers debut campaign as a Frog.
One of Kenneson's first stars at TCU was javelin thrower Joe Brown. An Overland Park, Kan. native, he closed out his TCU career by becoming the first TCU student-athlete to ever earn All-America honors in the javelin with his 10th place effort at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Brown made the national championships by upping his own school record to the current mark of 224-0 at the regional meet. He also claimed the Mountain West title that year. Brown was also a star in the classroom, being named TCU's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earning the prestigious Chancellor's Award.
Kenneson has spent the bulk of his career in the SEC. He came to Fort Worth from Lexington, Kentucky, where he served as an assistant track & field coach at the University of Kentucky. While at UK, Kenneson coached his athletes to 23 All-America certificates, 28 school records and logged eight national top 20 finishes.
His only previous stint outside the SEC came when he led the field and multi-events program for both men and women at North Carolina State University as an assistant coach from 1985-86. Kenneson compiled an impressive portfolio with two ACC men's team championships, 11 All- ACC women athletes and 13 All-ACC men's performances, while establishing 10 school records during his two-year tenure in Raleigh.
Kenneson joined the staff at the University of Florida in 1986, holding the position of head field and multi-events coach. While at Florida he assembled one of the most competitive and productive field events programs in the history of the SEC and NCAA track & field. With shot putters Dwight Johnson and Matt Simson owning personal bests of 66-0 and 63-3, Russ Willett claiming a best discus throw of 197-11, Mike Holloway vaulting 18-8 3/4 and Dion Bentley long jumping 26-9, Kenneson's corps of field event athletes led the Gators to seven "Top Five" finishes in the NCAA Championships.
With Kenneson on board, the Gators won the SEC Triple Crown (cross country, indoor and outdoor track) in both 1987 and 1988. During the 1991-92 seasons, three Kenneson-coached athletes teamed up to form the top three shot putters in the NCAA. Simson went on to win a silver medal at the World University Games in 1992. Another world-class athlete, Tom Pukstys, to whom Kenneson served as a personal coach, is a former American and current collegiate record holder in the javelin (273-3) and was a finalist at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Pukstys held the American record from 1994-2004 before Breaux Greer set the new mark with a throw of 287-8 in 2004.
Kenneson joined the Kentucky staff in 1992 and began to build a nationally-regarded field events program from scratch. Two of Kentucky's All-Americans were U.S. Junior National Team members and another, Matt Kavanagh, was the gold medalist in the hammer throw at the 1997 Junior Pan America Games. He spent one year at Auburn University (1997-98) before returning to Kentucky the following year.
While at Auburn in 1998, Kenneson helped Nakeitra Jones set the SEC women's high jump record with a leap of 6'-05".
Under Kenneson's tutelage at Kentucky, Jeff Chakouian was the only collegian shot putter to reach the finals of the 2004 United States Olympic Trials. Chakouian was the UK record holder in the shot with a mark of 66-3, was the Southeast Regional champion and finished third at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Chakouian is also one of only three SEC athletes to ever win four consecutive SEC indoor titles. Chakouian was only beaten outdoors by current Olympians Reese Hoffa (Georgia) and Edis Elkavis (Auburn). Kenneson also coached Ildiko Varga, who placed seventh in the women's discus throw at the 2004 NCAA Championships.
Kenneson is a member of the National Throws Coaches Association, and the NCAA Track Coaches Association. He is also a certified personal trainer and a certified strength coach.
M.ED C.S.C.S. Strength Certification NESTA Personal Trainer National Throw Coaches Association