Austin junior Andrew Hagan has had a strong season in the shot put and discus. -- Rocky Hulne/
Austin junior Andrew Hagan has had a strong season in the shot put and discus. -- Rocky Hulne/

Hagan is throwing big for the Packers

Published 6:24pm Monday, May 27, 2013

Austin junior thrower Andrew Hagan has made some big strides this season and he’s hoping to go even further.

Hagan recently took second in the shot put and third in the discus at the Big Nine meet and he racked up plenty of first place finishes during the regular season.

Hagan started this season throwing at his personal best distance from last year and he has thrown the shot put as fara as 51 feet and six and a half inches and he’s thrown the discus as far as 143 feet and 10 inches.

“It’s been pretty fun to get some first place finishes,” Hagan said. “Last year I was satisfied with second place and I found out this year it’s more fun to be on top. My goal every meet is to go out there and try my best whether I know if I’m going to win or not. I just want to throw my personal best.”

Hagan credited the coaching of Lynn Gulbrandson, who helped him improve his distances this season. Hagan also attended a throwing camp last summer in Lakeville and he threw over the winter at the University of Minnesota on Sundays.

All of that work has paid of this year as Hagan’s best shot put throw is the 11th best throw Class ‘AA’ this season.

Austin head track and field coach Tony Einertson has been challenging Hagan to hit a 200 day, which would mean his combined distances must add up to 200 feet in discus and shot put. Hagan is hoping that time will come when the Packers compete in the Section 1AA meet in Lakeville North, with preliminaries taking place Thursday and finals taking place Saturday.

“Every day that we have a meet coach Einertson comes up to me and says let’s have a two hundred day today,” Hagan said. “We’ve come close a couple of times, but we haven’t quite gotten there yet. I’m hoping at sections that two hundred day comes around.”

Hagan credits his teammates and parents for giving him great support and one of his biggest fans has been his friend and teammate Omot Okello, who went to state in the 300-meter hurdles for Austin last season.

“It’s always great to have support in a field event, because they don’t get the recognition that running events get,” Hagan said.

If Hagan wants to get to the state meet, he’ll have his work cut out for him as Section 1AA has two of the best throwers in the state. Ben Krynski of Lakeville North has thrown the shot put 56-6.5 and the discus 163-4 and Owatonna’s Andrew Stelter has thrown the shot put 56-6 and the discus 150-5.

Still, Hagan has enjoyed throwing so much this season that his considering giving it a try in college.

“It’s a relaxed sport,” Hagan said. “You show up and you throw and it’s a fun event compared to football, which is a hard, physical high demand sport. I love football and it’s hard to decide which one I want to pursue.”

Rocky Hulne is the sports editor of the Austin Daily Herald. Follow him Twitter @RockyHulneADH.

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