Although still early in her collegiate career, Sedona Red Rock High School 2017 graduate Hannah Ringel is beginning to find success during the indoor track and field season.
As one of the few freshman to not redshirt, Ringel is already measuring up against throwers of equal or higher caliber.
She tied for first place in the shot put at the 16th annual Washington State University Open Indoor Meet on Saturday, Jan. 20, in Pullman, Wash.
“I’m happy because it’s the beginning of the season,” Ringel said. “Because I’m starting how I ended in high school.”
Her competition came from the host Cougars and other schools ranging from the NCAA Division I, II and III levels, to community college, a local youth club and a Canadian university.
Her best throw in the shot put came in the first round, at 41-09.25, and she sat in first place the rest of the way. It was her second-best throw in her life. But, in the end she tied with Washington State junior Chrisshnay Brown, who equaled her in the final round.
“I didn’t know she had tied. I knew her distance was close, but I wasn’t sure,” Ringel said. “I was kind of upset to not win it, but it was definitely a good experience because I’ve never had that kind of competition before.”
In the weight throw, Ringel finished 18th with a 39-08, four inches farther than her NCAA debut. The weight throw is not an Arizona high school event, meaning she has been thrown into competition while still learning it.
“It’s extremely frustrating because the technique is nothing like something I’ve done before,” Ringel said. “I’ve seen other people pick it up so quick. It’s irritating because I know I can be good at it, and I know I can do better, but I’m getting better at it every day.”
After a nervewracking first meet at home on Jan. 13, the nerves still did not subside going into last weekend’s competition. But, the results were better as a result of greater confidence.
“I was really nervous because I was working since graduation to compete,” said Ringel, a three-time high school state shot put champion. “Working that hard for that long, I wanted to do well. My first collegiate meet was really terrifying.
“I was just as nervous [at the second meet]. It was a bigger meet with different schools, but I was definitely able to focus because I knew what to expect.”
Ringel will compete twice more in Washington, with a home meet sandwiched in between. Her goal is to qualify for the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships, which will be held at Northern Arizona University Feb. 23 to 25.