Training at the Pendleton home keeps Koch on track

J. Patrick Eaken

Ashland University athlete Noah Koch (Genoa) appreciates the assistance he’s gotten from Genoa throwing coach Mike Pendleton, who continues to work with him at training facilities the coach has set up at his residence.
“It’s definitely good having him as a high school coach, but it’s good to be able to come home during break in the summer and have him to be able to help me train and go back to the basics — work on little things. He also knows a lot of tricks up the sleeves to help me out and those are things I can take back to school with me and have both ends from (Ashland) coach Jud (Logan) and coach Mike, so it’s really nice,” Koch said.
Pendleton responded, “We have a throwing facility at my house, and he’s been doing very well there. I’ve been in contact with Jud and we get together once or twice a week and we train. When he’s not training out here, I’ll call him and ask, ‘What’s going on, Man?’ I’m just keeping up with him. It’s been a real good experience. I don’t have any sons, but if I did, I would be very proud to have a kid like him. He’s just a good kid.”
Genoa head track coach Luke Hodulik sees where Koch is headed, and he could not be prouder.
“Noah is just scratching the surface of his capabilities. With Noah’s work ethic, he will see exponential growth under Jud Logan at Ashland. And best of all, no one deserves it more than Noah. He is a wonderful young man,” Hodulik said.
At Ashland, Koch was redshirted his freshman year, which Pendleton says was the best thing to happen.
“In high school, you throw a 12-pound hammer. In college you throw a 16-pound hammer. Discus goes from a 1.6 kilo to a 2 K, which is a lot heavier and shot put goes from a 12 pound to a 16 pound,” Pendleton said.
“Normally, if a kid hasn’t been to a really good weight lifting scene, they redshirt them, and with the coronavirus, red-shirting him actually worked out for him because he didn’t really lose a season.”
Under Logan, Koch is in good hands. The 2018-19 season was one for the record books, as Logan led the Eagle men to the first NCAA Division II team national championships in program history. Ashland's men won both the 2019 indoor and outdoor team national titles, becoming the first D-II men's program in five years to accomplish the feat.
Following both titles, Logan was named Division II national men's Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Since 2005-06, Logan's Eagles have finished with 40 top-10 national team placements and 54 individual national champions.
Koch said if there had been a track season this year, the throwers he was under would have done well.
“We definitely had a good amount of competition. We had great numbers that actually would have qualified us for the nationals,” Koch said. “Obviously, I wouldn’t have been there (at nationals), but it would have been nice having that mark. It gets me a good platform for next year.”
Koch is joined at Ashland by junior Makayla Wagner (Oak Harbor) and senior Tyler Sievert (Oak Harbor). Wagner, who was a regional qualifier as a high school senior, has top times of 2:29.42 in the 800 meter run, 5:48.61 in the mile and 5:17.95 in the 1,500.
Sievert won the USTFCCCA All-Region indoors team in 2017 and outdoors team in 2016. He was on the distance medley relay team that placed sixth in the NCAA meet, earning All-American honors. His top times are 1:53.13 in the 800, 4:40.38 in the mile, 50.96 in the 400, and 3:57.64 in the 1,500.


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