Athlete of the Week — Jake Kohn

16 11 2011

You know, it’s easy to highlight players in say, football, basketball or baseball, on a weekly basis. Mostly, because we have numbers. I take statistics and make them into a story, no problem. And I can make it sound good because, well, the numbers are usually good.

Every once in a while though, as a writer you get a nugget, something different. It truly is priceless because there are thousands of great athletes out there with great stories you’ll never hear about. So, this week, we got an email about this kid, Jake Kohn, a runner at Crystal Springs Uplands school. And we chose him as our Athlete of the Week not just because he won CCS, but because he’s got a great story of perseverance. So, read on. Picture here belongs to Margeret Gallahger.

Cross Kohn-try champion
By Julio Lara, Daily Journal Staff 

All Jake Kohn wanted to do was finish. 

Every year, hundreds upon hundreds of runners take to the cross country course at Crystal Springs in Belmont — the hilly terrain serving as a 2.95 mile test of endurance and athletic prowess. And time and time again, that finish line is conquered. 

But for Kohn, a senior on the Crystal Springs Upland cross country team, the finish line on said course was more than white chalk marking the finale of another race. It was a symbol. A lesson. A dream.

“I always imagined what it would feel like to take the lead in a race,” Kohn said. “I’ve always wondered that when I’ve watched  other races. I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be out front. It’s an exhilarating experience and I was very fortunate do that.”

Saturday afternoon at the Central Coast Section championship, Kohn lived his fantasy, ending a race that began not at the start line, but two years ago as a sophomore lying in bed battling the swine flu. And then a year after that, nursing a stress fracture in his foot. Kohn had to watch as two of his seasons ended with illness and injury. 

But last weekend, with the clock reading 16:48 and everyone in Division V behind him, Kohn finished his race, his two-plus year journey, before everyone else in CCS. He finished it as a champion.

For his efforts, Kohn is the Daily Journal Athlete of the Week.

You can read the rest of the story here.

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