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First time All-American shows continued improvement

March 29, 2007

Representing UW-River Falls for the second time in two years at the Division III indoor track and field championships, junior Krista Hasselquist earned NCAA All-American honors for the first time.

It was the fifth time overall she has competed in a Div. III championship in a collegiate career that includes one year at UW-Stout and two at UWRF.

Hasselquist didn’t get into track and field until her freshman year at Osceola High School in Wisconsin, where she already played volleyball and basketball. She says she joined track and field to be “a better all-around athlete.”

By her senior year Hasselquist said she was being recruited by Div. I schools, including UW-Madison and Georgia Tech. She turned those down and decided instead to go to Stout for their graphic design program.

She said she realized, after two days of class, that it wasn’t for her and transferred to River Falls the following year. As for basketball and volleyball, she still plays, but only on an intramural level.

Hasselquist is majoring in health and human performance with a minor in coaching and business administration. She plans on graduating in May 2009.

Since coming to River Falls she has been one of the top track and field performers in the shot put, weight throw, discus and hammer.

Head coach Martha Brennan said Hasselquist works hard and is “a good, positive role model for incoming freshman and underclassmen.”

During the 2006 indoor season, she won the shot put at two meets, placed third in the WIAC meet and ninth in the NCAA Div. III championships, missing All-American honors by one spot. She also won the weight throw at two meets.

For the 2006 outdoor season, Hasselquist placed third at the WIAC meet again and went to the championships, but did not make it to the finals. In the qualifying meet at UW-La Crosse, she set a school record for the outdoor shot put with a throw of 44-6.

This indoor season she’s stayed consistent in the shot put, winning two meets and placing second in the WIAC meet. At the WIAC meet, she set another school record, this time for the indoor shot put, with a throw of 53-9.

The NCAA Div. III championships were held March 9-10 at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind. Hasselquist competed in the 20-pound weight throw and the shot put. She did not qualify for the finals in the weight throw but placed fifth in the shot put with a throw of 44-8 to earn her first All-American honor.

”Since I’ve been there before, I use that to my advantage,” Hasselquist said of the championships, adding that there is still pressure.

Coach Brennan said she has noticed improvement in Hasselquist’s performance at meets throughout her career.

“As she’s gotten older, she’s gotten better and better at competing in big meets.”

The outdoor season started for the track and field team with the Rhodes College Open March 17 in Memphis, Tenn. Hasselquist earned fifth place finishes in the shot put, discus and hammer at the event.

Coach Brennan said she expects Hasselquist’s outdoor season to go pretty much the same, though she will continue to get better.

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