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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Finishing strong

A few weeks before his freshman year at Texas A&M, Josh Tiemann received a phone call. It was the football coach at Blinn College and he was wondering why Tiemann didn’t show up to start practicing with the team.
“I was like, ‘I’m at A&M, I got into A&M,” Tiemann said. “I can’t go to Blinn.'”
Tiemann was offered a scholarship to come to Texas A&M, but it wasn’t for football. He was going to the school his father and sister attended to throw discus.
It all started for him when he was in eighth grade and he heard about track meets from his friends. Before, he had just been a football player.
“I remember they were saying they needed big people to be throwers,” Tiemann said. “Some of my friends had talked about going to track meets and dropping shot puts from the stands into the mud and it would bury down six feet and they’d dig it back up. It just sounded like track meets were a fun thing to do.”
Tiemann tried out for the team and was chosen to go to the meets. After placing fourth in his first meet, he said he recognized he had potential and decided to stick with it.
Tiemann continued to improve year by year. One rival in particular, from Yoakam, Texas, kept him focused.
“He kept getting better and I didn’t, so I kind of started to emulate what he was doing and that’s what made me throw farther,” Tiemann said.
Midway through his senior year of high school, Tiemann began to realize he could throw discus at a high level. After advancing to the state track meet, the La Grange native began think about throwing in college.
Tiemann is now a fifth-year senior and a leader on the nationally ranked track & field team at Texas A&M. But he’s faced many obstacles along the way.
His freshman year at A&M, not long before the season started, Tiemann’s appendix ruptured. He had to have an emergency appendectomy, and coaches decided to red-shirt him.
Tiemman said that first year on the bench turned out to be a blessing in disguise. During what would have been Tiemann’s senior year, he tore his pectoral muscle lifting weights.
“We were maxing out on bench and I was going for 440 [pounds],” Tiemann said. “It went down and didn’t go back up. It hurt, man; tore the pec right off the humerus. It was just hanging there.”
Tiemann had surgery and was out almost three months, missing out on crucial repetitions and took his time to regain his strength. However, because he red-shirted, he had the motivation to recuperate and throw discus his senior season.
“Some people have injuries and are done,” Tiemann said. “But there was no way I was going to stop, especially if I had a senior season. I was like, ‘I can’t, I can’t give up.'”
Tiemann said he subscribes to the notion that what does not kill him only makes him stronger. That was especially true following his two major injuries.
“It’s not just a physical thing,” Tiemann said. “If I tear my pec I may never be as strong, but it’s a mental thing. If I can go through this and three months of rehab, then I can get through anything. It’s just another day at the office for me.”
After injuring his pectoral, Tiemann was able to focus on strengthening his legs. He said this helped him immensely after focusing so hard on bench press because most of the discus throw is with the legs.
The Texas A&M coaching staff has provided indispensable guidance in Tiemann’s improvement year after year. Tiemann said the coaching helped break bad habits he formed in high school and greatly improved his technique.
In his senior season, Tiemann has embraced the leadership role as one of the most experienced athletes on the team. Because of his experience competing in the Big 12 and going to the regional meet every year, Tiemann has stepped up as a leader.
“In the past I haven’t been able to step up because I hadn’t physically been there yet,” he said. “I felt like, because I’ve been here so long, I can really help the younger kids with technique questions.
“I really do feel like I’m a grandpa. I’m 23 years old,” Tiemann said. “I know there’ve been people older than me, but it feels like I’ve been here a long time.”
Tiemann has now set his sights on becoming a Big 12 champion. Every year he’s done just what he has needed to do to make it to the next level and he feels this is his year to make it to nationals.
“This year it just feels like destiny,” Tiemann said. “I feel like I’m going to do what I need to do to make it to the next level here.”
Individual goals are not all he’s eyeing. Tiemann understands the team aspect of the sport and playing on a team motivates him to do his best to support the team.
With his team in mind, Tiemann has worked tirelessly to improve himself and hopes to get on the A&M Top Ten list along with many collegiate greats.
“I want to be on that list for a while so kids can say, ‘I want to shoot for Josh’s record, I want to go for that 200 [feet] that he threw,'” Tiemann said.
Many collegians give up on the sport after they graduate, but Tiemann plans to continue to work on his technique after he graduates. He said he hopes to qualify for the Olympic trials and perhaps compete in Europe.
“I don’t want to just stop when I get done with college. I want to keep going,” Tiemann said. “I’m going to be that feisty little sucker that doesn’t go down without a fight.”

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