If Robert Rose has one regret during his senior season at Glenville High School, athletically speaking, it’s the fact that he didn’t start throwing the shot put one year earlier.
Rose finished second in the Austintown Fitch Regional last weekend and he’ll be in Columbus this coming weekend trying to help the Tarblooders win their fourth-consecutive state track championship.
“I think about it all the time now. I know right now I’d be going for the state championship if I would have did this last year,” Rose said. “I would have been following in the footsteps of Curtis Smith and I would have been the state champion this year, hands-down, no questions asked.”
But the shot put just wasn’t his thing last year, or so he thought.
“I thought track was a boring sport, it wasn’t for me,” Rose said. “I wasn’t doing any running, I didn’t want to throw a little metal ball, I didn’t want to waste my time, I wanted to have fun.”
Oh what a difference a year can make.
“Now it’s not about having fun,” he said. “Doing this is going to add more to my resume and it’s going to make a whole lot of people look at me different now.”
After what Rose did in the U.S. Army All-American game back in January, it would be hard for people to respect him any more than they do already. And when you throw in the fact that Rose helped lead Glenville to a city championship on the hardwood and he’s already exceeded all expectations for himself this track season, his senior season has gone even better than he ever thought it would.
“Yeah it’s better,” Rose said, “but I’m never satisfied and I’m never happy. I think I always can get better.”
And now that he’s had a real taste of success in the shot put at the regionals, Rose naturally wants more of it at the state meet. But at the same time he’s trying to be realistic about his chances. Probably all of the guys throwing the shot put in the state meet this weekend have been doing it for some time now.
“The only way I can win is if I jump seven feet. That’s the only way that I can win,” Rose said. “Right now I’m tied for eighth going in so I’m just trying to place. If I place, I win. I’m just trying to place, finish in fourth, third, second or first. As long as I place it’s good thing. It’s all about getting points now.”
Rose has truly come a long way in a very short period of time. Just the fact that the team has a shot at getting points from Rose in the state meet is a testament in itself to his inner drive and determination as well as his athletic ability.
“Before we went to the districts we were having a team meeting and Coach Ginn put how we can win the state championship on the board for all of us to see. He put all of the points on the board and he left me out,” Rose said. “He didn’t put no points down in the shot put or the disc. So when he did that, I felt like I wasn’t even a part of the team, like I was left out, and I wanted to contribute to the team the best way that I could.
“It didn’t insult me or anything, because I know, coming from Ginn, it’s all love. He was being realistic and it kind of motived me.”
Rose went on to win the district meet at Eastlake North with a throw of 52-09.00 and then proceeded to finish second in the regional meet at Fitch with a throw of 55-10.00, for an increase of over three feet.
“It was a big difference but I credit my coach, he really works me hard,” Rose said. “We get a lot of throws in every day and we lift real hard like it’s for football. I owe it all to my coach, Coach Chin (Matt Chinchar). His technique is pumping me up and I just bought into it.”
It’s all about getting on the podium for Rose now. The top eight finishers in every event get a place on the podium and earn their respective teams points in the process. Glenville is going to need every single point they can manage to hold off Trotwood-Madison and win another state title.
“It’s not just about me it’s about everybody,” Rose said. “It’s about our whole school, our community and everybody. As long as I place than I’m all right. With Kyle (Jefferson) not getting in the 200 that leaves those points up to me so I have to get those points.”
Glenville earned 100 points to win their region while Trotwood-Madison finished with 82 to capture their regional title. But the pressure will still be on Glenville as the three-time defending champion.
“There’s never any pressure on us, we’re just going to go out and do what we do,” Rose said. “It’s real important, it’s import for any team to win a state championship but there’s never any pressure on us. We just have to go out there and do what we do best and leave it in God’s hands.”
That being said, Rose admitted that he’ll be really happy to win the state championship if it works out that way.
“I’ll be real happy,” he said. “I’ve never won a state championship before in anything so I’ll be real excited.”
Rose graduated on Wednesday and after the state track meet he’ll be back in Columbus on the 11th to get ready to play in the North-South game on the 17th. The next day he’ll officially become a Buckeye.
“I move in on the 18th so right after the game I’m just going to stay down there and move in,” Rose said. “I’m really excited. I was talking to Coach Tressel and he told me that if I come in and compete than I have a real good chance at earning a spot.”
As if Rose needed to hear the head coach tell him that!
“I’m going to play,” he said, “trust me.”
If you want to see Robert Rose compete in the shot put, the Division I shot put (preliminary and then finals) is contested on Saturday, June 3 at 12 p.m. The shot put and the discus events take place in the grassy area west of Jesse Owens.
Photo Gallery : Robert Rose at the Fitch Regional