Interview: Kyle Kaufelds talks Rankings, Season before SCISA

South Aiken Christian's Kyle Kaufelds talks with scrunners before the final week of the SCISA track and field season.

"My biggest challenge has been not having an in person coach for my career so far. Just staying motivated for eight years is difficult but it has worked so far." - Kyle Kaufelds

What does it mean to be one of the top ranked throwers in the state and to be in the top 50 nationally for javelin?
It means a lot and feels good to have accomplished that ranking, but there is still a lot in me then just a top 50 ranking.

Do you have any goals set for when you are attending Samford University?
My goal is to work hard academically, and athletically and hopefully throw very far, and help the team with scoring.

What made you choose Samford?
What made me choose Samford is the throws coach Tom Pukstys. His knowledge of the event is far greater than most any coach, and his athletes prove that. I chose the school because of a Christian environment and uplifting student body.

Who has been your biggest inspiration throughout the years?
My parents have been my biggest inspiration with keeping me positive about the sport and keeping me inspired to work hard.

What steps do you take to prepare for a meet?
Have a consistent training schedule with actual javelin throws and strength, and flexibility training.

Javelin rankings | 2023 SCISA track and field championships hub

What are your thoughts before a meet?
Don't think. That's the main thing to do. A meet is when you let your body take over and trust your training. If everything lines up you will probably throw good.

What is your favorite memory from the four years you competed in track and field? 
My junior year I competed at a javelin only meet in Pennsylvania and threw in competition two days in a row. I threw very poorly the first competition, but made a few adjustments and had several experienced throwers give advice along with my coach. The following day I threw near a personal best. This shows how the environment and help from others helps you as a thrower, and they inspired me.

Where do you see yourself in the year 2035?
This is not an easy question to answer since God's plan for us is never what we think it is. For me I would love to have graduated college and have a full time job and help coach throwers with the experiences as a top college athlete.

What hobbies do you have outside of track and field?
I enjoy to hunt, fish and upgrade trucks.

Is there an individual who inspired you to try javelin? If so, who and how did they execute it?
It really just came about during practice and I wanted to try something different so I tried it and was pretty good, so I worked hard at it. Since I had no coach I used YouTube. Thomas Roehler, the German Olympic champion helped me a lot on YouTube watching him train and compete. I always loved his style in throwing and it made the most sense to me as a fellow thrower. So In the end he is my inspiration.

What has been your motivation for this season?
Staying healthy and strong for the future college season has been my motivation.

What challenges have you had and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge has been not having an in person coach for my career so far. Just staying motivated for eight years is difficult but it has worked so far. Physically I've been challenged with a separated acromioclavicular joint in my shoulder, this has reduced my mobility in my shoulder, so finding ways to make it work has been a challenge but with extra stretching and positioning my shoulder at a different angle has helped me keep throwing hard. 

The last challenge I had was a severe sprain to my left ankle, which is my block foot. This took seven months just to be able to block while throwing. I am recovered now but it was definitely a challenge.