Hannah Ringel just graduated from Sedona Red Rock High School, but that did not mean she went on summer vacation from throwing.
Ringel represented Arizona and competed amongst throwers from around the country and Caribbean Islands at the Great Southwest Track & Field Classic on Saturday, June 3 at the University of New Mexico.
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The University of Idaho commit followed up her third consecutive Arizona Interscholastic Association state shot put title with a lifetime-best throw of 42-36 to claim fourth overall.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Ringel said. “It’s kind of weird being done with high school track, but I’m going to college [to throw]. It’s not really a sad feeling but I’m excited to end that way.”
In the discus she finished 15th after throwing 119-13, just over eight feet further than the distance that secured her second place at this year’s state meet. It was the furthest she had thrown since her lifetime best 124-08 back on March 22 at the Friendship Invitational at Red Rock.
“I was so happy, I couldn’t have asked for a better day of competition,” Kali Gajewski, Red Rock’s throwing coach said. “She exceeded my expectations, which for her last competition of high school, isn’t a bad thing.”
Helping push Ringel to greater distances was the higher level of competition. During much of the high school season she did not go head-to-head with throwers of her caliber. She owned the second-best shot put in the entire state from start to finish, behind Mountain Pointe High School’s Kayleigh Conlon, who took second on the June 3 meet.
“I finally had competition,” Ringel said. “I had a bunch of people throwing where I’m at and a bunch of people over me.”
To prepare for the competition, Gajewski and Ringel worked for a couple of weeks one-on-one to refine her throwing technique.
“We managed to sneak in a tough couple of weeks of training before tapering,” said Gajewski, who traveled to the meet with Ringel. “It really helped to get to the point where she needed to be.”
Before the meet Ringel got an entire week off to let her body rest, during which she said day by day she felt her body get better.
Gajewski said that a number of school and state records were broken at the meet.
The meet was Ringel’s last competition before heading off to Moscow, Idaho in the fall to begin her collegiate career with the Vandals.