Highly Decorated Student-Athlete and State Champ Timmy Kinney to Continue Sports Career at D&E

By Jeff Toquinto on April 20, 2017 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

The honors and accomplishments for Bridgeport senior Timmy Kinney in cross country and track and field are a fairly well known commodity at the high school. So it probably isn’t surprising to know that Kinney was recruited by several colleges to continue his efforts at the next level.
What may be surprising to some who believe that student-athletes are only looking out for the next great athletic achievement, isn’t that Kinney doesn’t fit that mold. Instead, what sold him on the school where he will continue being a student-athlete in college was the classroom.
The classroom, or classrooms, in question are at Davis & Elkins College. This afternoon, Kinney was joined by family and coaches as he signed a letter of intent to be the next member of the Senators cross country and track and field programs coached by Jason Pyles.
“What sold me the most was the college itself. The academic programs were just outstanding. I talked to professors and was able to go to a calculus class to see things academically from an inside perspective,” said Kinney. “When you see the classroom setting and know what you’re getting into there, it helps tremendously with the decision.”
Kinney is looking at focusing his education with a double major of history and political science with a minor in education. His goal is to become a history teacher.
Of course, Kinney also was impressed with the athletic side of things. He’ll be competing for Coach Jason Myles in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
“He’s an incredible coach and he’s an incredible runner. He won the Turkey Trot in Shinnston and just was incredible,” said Kinney. “What I am impressed with most is the intelligence and knowledge of the sport he commands in his position of leadership. I hope that translates into me being able to go great things while I’m there.”
He’s definitely done great things at BHS. He was a starter on the 2014 and 2016 cross country state title teams and the 2015 cross country runner-up squad. Kinney was a member of the school record setting 4x800 meter relay team in 2015 and 2016. Along the way, Kinney earned co-Harrison County Cross Country Athlete of the Year in 2016 and was named Harrier of the Year for the Big 10 Conference in Cross Country in 2015.
“I think Timmy has outstanding potential.  Given the right team chemistry and solid focus on his part, I believe he can be a contributor,” said BHS Coach Jon Griffith. “Coach Pyles is doing an outstanding job with the D&E program and I know he can help Timmy reach his potential.”  
Griffith said Kinney is already physically strong for distance runners and his speed in the 400 meters will be a benefit. He added that the key is to keep improving on the cardiovascular endurance bases and continue to develop on the mental aspects of distance running.
“He has come a long way over the last three years, but still has lots of room to grow and improve,” said Griffith.
Kinney also knows there room for improvement.
“I have to work on speed. My foot speed needs to get better,” said Kinney. “I feel confident with my endurance and physical strength, but I can always improve on it.”
In both sports programs at D&E, Kinney will have new events to choose from in track and field. He could see time in the 5000 meters, 10,000 meters, the 3000 meter steeplechase and others, including decathlon.
“As for what I get into, they’re actually leaving it up to me as to what I want to try. I know I want to try the steeplechase and also the 400, 800 and 1600 and perhaps long jump,” said Kinney.  
Kinney said it will be tough to leave the BHS program. He talked about his teammates, his friendships and the importance of Griffith in his growth and a student-athlete.
“Coach Griffith has done more than I could ever ask for,” said Kinney. “He’s there at practice, meets at school and he’s there when you need him; he even is there outside of school for assistance if you need it.
“He’s more than a coach to me and I mean that wholeheartedly,” Kinney continued. “He’s like another father figure to me. I have so much respect for me and I don’t’ think I’d be where I’m at without his guidance and the support of my family, friends and teammates.”
Editor's Note: Pictured, front row, from left are father Chris Kinney, Timmy Kinney, Diane Kinney and sister Sarah. Back row, from left, is Zachary Kimble, grandparents Jim and Debbie Kinney and Coach Jon Griffith. Bottom two photos are of Kinney in competition.

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