Seeking a milestone
Molli Detloff had no preconceived track and field notions when she came to UND as she wasn't heavily recruited out of Elk River, Minn. "I just wanted to throw far," said the UND junior. "I was a chance (recruit)." UND is glad it took a chance on ...
Molli Detloff had no preconceived track and field notions when she came to UND as she wasn't heavily recruited out of Elk River, Minn.
"I just wanted to throw far," said the UND junior. "I was a chance (recruit)."
UND is glad it took a chance on Detloff, who could become the Fighting Hawks' first athlete to qualify for the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships. Today, Detloff begins that quest as she's competing in the NCAA West Preliminary meet in Austin, Texas. Detloff ranks 15th among regional throwers in the hammer and 18th in the discus. The top 12 advance to the national meet.
"It's been a really great year," said UND track and field coach Kevin Galbraith. "To get someone to the national meet (Eugene, Ore., June 7-10) would be great. We're close but we have to do it on the day of the meet."
Detloff's best throw in the hammer this season is 202 feet, 6 inches, a throw she unleashed on March 17 at the Charleston Southern Invitational. Arizona State's Maggie Ewen has the top throw in the NCAA West Preliminary at 238-8.
Detloff is the only athlete in UND history, men or women, to throw the hammer more than 200 feet.
Detloff prefers the hammer throw. "The hammer has a different technique and it's more thrilling," she said. "My chances in the hammer are more realistic."
Her strength is factor in both the hammer and discus, said Galbraith.
"Molli is somebody we thought, two years ago, could be pretty good," said the UND coach. "Now, she's really good. She's naturally strong and her throwing coach (Drew Jones) has capitalized on that. Three weeks ago, she was in the weight room and bench pressed an insane amount, like 200 pounds. Drew said, 'You should throw the shot (in the Big Sky meet)'
"She did and wound up scoring more points than anyone in the Big Sky meet."
Detloff finished first in the discus, second in the hammer and fifth in the discus at the Big Sky meet.
Detloff said Jones has made her into the thrower she's become.
"He's taught me almost everything," she said. "He's built me into what I am today."
To become UND's first track and field athlete to qualify for the Division I meet would be something special, she said. But she's not putting too much pressure on herself.
"But like coach Jones says, 'The hay is in the barn. If you do what you did to get there, you'll be just fine.' "
Detloff is one of three UND athletes that made the trip to Austin.
Katelyn Weber qualified in the shot put while Kyley Foster qualified in the pole vault.
Weber qualified in the shot put with a school-record throw of 49-04.5 at the NDSU Tune-Up on May 5. She ranks No. 46 in the West Preliminary.
Foster ranks 44th (13.3 ¾) in the pole vault and also holds the UND record in the event.
"The goal this year was to make it there," said Weber of the West Preliminary. "Now we'll see what we can do next year."