DeAnne Hahn making her mark at University of Minnesota


DeAnne Hahn of Brick is revamping her style in the shot put as she trains for the start of the indoor track and field season at the University of Minnesota.

“I’ve switched to a spin (move),” said Hahn, whose glide move in high school rated her among the best in the nation and a perennial Meet of Champions medalist. “In practice, I’m hitting anywhere from 40 to 50 feet. I just started working on it in October.”

The new move takes some of the strain off her knees, she said.

“It’s brand new, but I’m not expecting a miracle,” Hahn said.

She will put it to the test in her first indoor meet Jan. 9, a four-team invitational at Minnnesota. It’s the only meet until the Big 10 championships in March.

“By outdoors, I’m hoping to throw in the 50s,” Hahn said. “The farthest I’ve thrown was 48-11, and that was gliding. Hopefully this will put a lot less stress on my body. I see better things coming from spinning than gliding.”

Although Hahn had her quietest indoor season of her career as a freshman at the University of Minnesota, she started recapturing the spotlight by the outdoor season last spring.

In the Big 10 championships, Hahn was third in the hammer throw with a measure of 176 feet, 6 inches, which put her 3 feet away from second place. She hit the best throw on her second attempt in the preliminaries. It was short of her 181-foot measure earlier this season that put her in sixth place on the all-time list at Minnesota.

“I felt good,” Hahn said. “It was a pretty decent throw.”

She also got the last medal spot in the shot put with an eighth-place distance of 46-6. In the discus, Hahn threw 137-1 for 13th place, leaving her short of reaching the final round.

Hahn’s efforts helped Minnesota finish in third place in the team championships. In the Midwest Region of the NCAA championships at the University of Oklahoma, Hahn fell short of advancing in the hammer throw with a 165-7 best for the day and in the shot put where she got off a fine throw of 46-9½.

Now, she is getting ready for the weight throw, an 8.8-pound weight on a metal trianglewith two chain links. Then, she gets ready for the outdoor season for the shot put and hammer throw, which has become her favorite event, as she had expected after graduating from high school.

Her interest in the hammer throw has prompted her to abandon the discus that she competed in for Minnesota last spring and where she perennially ranked among New Jersey’s high school elite outdoors. The hammer is a 20-pound weight on a 2-foot wire.

“You have to have a stronger back, a stronger core and tighter turns,” said Hahn, who remembers her high school days when her strength helped her get off some explosive throws in the shot put that electrified the crowds at the state meets.

She credits her development in the shot put to the coaching staff at Minnesota.

“(Bill) Brunner (her coach at Brick Township High School) was great and helped me get over the humps,” Hahn said. “I miss him so much. But here, I have a throwing coach and a weightlifting coach. I can’t ask for a better staff to help me move on to the next level.”