MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Outdoor season openers, according to North Dakota head coach Kevin Galbraith, can be a “mixed bag” of sorts, with teams not only returning from a multiple-week layoff but also having to adjust to the elements.
For Galbraith and the Fighting Hawks, this weekend’s Shamrock Alan Connie Invitational served its purpose.
Freshman thrower Destinee Haas won the discus on Saturday afternoon, one of several standout performances for UND during its second and final day of competition at the meet.
Haas won the event with a throw of 147 feet, 6 inches (44.95 meters). She and a pair of sophomore teammates battled a strong tail wind to finish 1-2-4 in the event. Makala Keefe was the runner up at 142-1 ½ (43.31) and Kauri Hochhalter was fourth with a throw of 134-8 (41.04).
Galbraith was pleased to see Haas’ effort right off the bat to start the outdoor season.
“She’s a freshman, so that’s the nice thing, too. It’s nice to have a mark like that as a good starting point.”
In the men’s throws, redshirt freshman Matt Culhane was the runner-up in the discus with a throw of 165-01 ¼ (50.32).
“That was a good throw for him,” said Galbraith. “It can take the guys a little while to figure out the heavier weights and Matt is starting to put things together.”
Galbraith said his younger throwers took advantage of their opportunities during the indoor season and that carried over into this weekend’s outdoor opener.
“We’re having two older guys redshirt, so this is a chance for some of the freshmen and sophomores to get that trial.”
On the track, sophomore Hannah Oscarson finished third in the mile run with a personal-record time of 5 minutes, 4.72 seconds.
“That’s a good mark for her out of the gate in the opener. It’s a very good start,” said Galbraith.
“We need someplace to start,” Galbraith said of this weekend’s effort. “These meets are always funny because it’s a mixed bag. Some people have a bit of a modest start, but sometimes somebody will stand out who you might not have expected.
“It’s one of those things where you have to knock the dust off and get started. We had a lot of positives this weekend.”
UND will return to action March 31 at the Mondo Team Challenge in Sacramento.