Oct. 31, 2012
The Golden Gophers' first 2012-13 track and field meet is not until January, but GopherSports.com is doing a series of previews to get ready for the season. First up are the Gopher throwers.
Minnesota's throws group graduated two seniors in DeAnne Hahn and Shanna Campbell. Hahn, a former Big Ten champion in hammer, qualified for the NCAA preliminary meet in hammer last spring. The Gophers return eight throwers from last year's roster, including two redshirt freshmen, and sophomore Christina DeLakis, who had a breakout season in her redshirt freshman year. GopherSports.com sat down with throws coach Lynne Anderson to talk more about her group of student-athletes.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about who will be stepping into DeAnne Hahn's place in the hammer throw?
A: Right now our seniors are Amy Kubat and Jeri Johnson-Chambers. Those two will stepping up and taking over for Dee's place. They're training really well right now. Caitlyn Dongoske's working on it. Those guys are really working hard right now. Jeri and Amy seem to really be catching on to what we're trying to do, so it's working out for them.
Q: Talk about Christina DeLakis's development over the past couple years, and about what you expect to see from her in the spring.
A: She's learning the hammer from square one just like everyone else. She has excelled greatly in the shot. She placed third at the outdoor Big Ten meet in her freshman year. Right now we're just working on her strength levels to get her up there. She has very good technique, so the variables we work with are the strength, the speed, the understanding of being able to repeat it more and more with heavier shot puts. That's what our training is, and she's responding pretty well to it. She's still very young, though.
Q: Which other returners should we watch for this upcoming season?
A: I think Devin Stanford did a good job last year. She held herself together in a lot of the meets. She came back ready to go. She and Tina and Jeri and Amy and our redshirt freshmen, Lyndsey Thorpe and Becci Osterdyk, are working very hard also. My true freshmen are learning everything, from a new event to enhancing what they already have. I have a really nice group of people.
Q: Tell us a little bit about those incoming freshmen.
A: Angie Guenther is from White Bear Lake. She was a runner-up in the discus several years in a row. She's been a very big surprise and very happy surprise for me in that she learns so quickly. She is extremely fast, and sometimes when they're fast like that, it's very hard to adjust. But she's doing a great job. Another freshman is Autumn Miller. She's recovering from surgery, so it's been slow go, but she's making some progress every day. And Kailee Kamps has probably been my biggest surprise in the freshman group. She's from Wisconsin, learns very quickly, and is also very fast. She is learning the hammer, and Angie Guenther is learning the javelin. Angie and Kailee are both discus throwers, and they're each learning a new event. It's going to be very interesting to see how they do this freshman year. They're very, very athletic.
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Due to inclement weather, Thursday's competition at the NCAA West Prelim is postponed until Friday.