Throwing with the best: Austin grad Amber Hansen makes strides in first year at UND

Published 9:30 pm Monday, June 25, 2018

Austin grad Amber Hansen learned a lot in her first year with the University of North Dakota track and field team, and she learned it from some of the best throwers in the Big Sky Conference.

Hansen, who holds the Austin high school shot put and discus records, competed in the discus and the hammer throw for the Fighting Hawks this season and she finished the year with a 21st place finish in the discus with a distance of 132 feet at the Big Sky Meet in Moscow, Idaho in May.

UND had three of the top four discus throwers at the Big Sky Meet and UND junior Molly Detloff, who was the Big Sky MVP, a national qualifier and All-American, has established herself as big role model for Hansen.

Austin’s Amber Hansen lets go with a throw in second flight action of the shot put in the 2017 Minnesota Class AA State Track and Field Meet. At UND Hansen has dropped the shot and picked up the hammer throw. Herald file photo

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“I learned a lot about dedication to the sport,” Hansen said. “You know who the very good throwers are and you’re constantly looking to see who’s doing well and how they’re doing it. Getting to watch those throwers is pretty spectacular.  It’s pretty incredible to have such an awesome team.”

Hansen has put her training into high gear this summer. Besides working a 40-hour per week job, she’s spent a lot of time at Wescott track and field and the weight room.

“[Competing with the best] definitely pushes you a little bit harder,” Hansen said. “You start to realize that you’re not the best anymore and a couple of times it knocks you down, but then you get back up and you work even harder and you perform well. It kind of becomes your life. You’re around it all the time and it’s like your job. It’s definitely a lot more intense and eye-opening with the time and effort that you put into it.”

Hansen had to learn a lot in her freshman season. Not only did she rise to a higher level of competition, she also had to drop the shot put and learn a new event in the hammer throw. It’s an event that Hansen has taken a liking to.

“It’s a lot of fun to compete in both events, but I think hammer is my favorite of the two right now,” Hansen said.