by Audrey Yost
Taking on college is one thing, but to take on an Ivy League university and play a sport is another battle- a battle that senior Kennedy Gochenour is more than ready for. Gochenour was recruited for javelin throw and discus by Dartmouth College. Dartmouth is one of the eight Ivy League schools and is located in Hanover, N.H. “The whole end goal is to always succeed in a way that is defined by me. When I was 8, I thought that succeeding meant I should try for the Olympics when I was older. Now that I’m 18 though, success means getting into my dream school,” Gochenour said.
Dartmouth fell into Gochenour’s lap. Since her junior year, Gochenour thought she wanted to throw for the College of William and Mary in Virginia, but one of her club teammates, a ’16 Creighton Prep graduate, Ethan Ruh, ended up at Dartmouth. After hearing how beautiful the campus was and how great the students and coach were, Gochenour decided to take a visit to campus and meet with the coach. “Coach Forino made me an offer like a week after the visit and I had to hang up the phone so my parents and I could cry and hug each other. It was surreal to see my work pay off. In retrospect, I feel like it was destiny and all the signs were there pointing me towards Dartmouth,” Gochenour said.
Even though the coach knew her through her friend Ethan and his parents, Gochenour had to market herself well. On her first visit to campus, she set up a visit with the coach to introduce herself. Even after her initial visit, Gochenour emailed Coach Forino training videos and kept him updated with her meets. She believes that marketing oneself is important in showing a school interest. “If any freshman wants to get into an Ivy League, that would be my advice: learn your strengths and market them. Also, be persistent about it,” Gochenour said.
Gochenour is extremely excited for what’s to come at Dartmouth. She is anticipating an atmosphere where she can have intellectual conversations with people and continue to be pushed to excel. Gochenour’s intended path is the creative writing track, which she is extremely enthusiastic about. “Dartmouth has a history of great writers such as Dr. Seuss, Robert Frost, Shonda Rhimes and Mindy Kaling, to name a few,” Gochenour said.
Gochenour is currently co-editor of the literary magazine “Burn.” This magazine consists of artwork and photography all submitted by Marian students. She has had a passion for creative writing since she was a kid.
“I think the pivotal moment for me was the summer between my sophomore and junior year when I went with my dad to hear Stephen King talk at Kaneko. King is one of my idols; Between loving horror, loving writing, andwatching this absolute legend sit there and talk I guess I just decided that I wanted to go for it” Gochenour said.
The college transition is tough for anyone, but Gochenour knows she is ready to take this on. “As a student-athlete, I will already have that automatic social niche with the track team. Another bonus is running into people you know from your past at track meets. I might even be able to see my sister, who competes for Duke University, at a few meets out of the year,” Gochenour said. Gochenour also has family living close by in Maine who will be there to give her family support if needed.
Gochenour is anticipating a new adventure, and Dartmouth is just that. She said that the Ivy League networking is crazy. She has been asked to get dinner with alumni she has not met before when she arrives in the fall. Gochenour has felt completely welcomed into the Dartmouth community and is ready to take on the East Coast.