Student-Athlete of the Week

February 11, 2013

Athlete of the Week

Mollie Dahl

You've enjoyed a great indoor season to this point, breaking your all-time best shot put with a 48'1.75," the ninth-best distance in UW indoor history. What are your goals for the indoor championships and the outdoor season?

It has been quite a unique experience for me. Coming to Wyoming and working with Coach Barrett has let me increase my throws significantly and I'm certainly not done yet. I have had a slow start this season, but Barrett has me ready to start increasing my personal record for conference so I am definitely looking to move up the indoor list more. I'm being a little ambitious for my outdoor season looking for a throw over 51 feet and hopefully making it to NCAA First Round again and finals in Oregon. I want to leave my mark at Wyoming and do the best I possibly can before I'm done.

How did your two years at Bethany College prepare you for Wyoming?

My experience at Bethany College was a great experience. I went to NAIA Nationals as a Freshman and Sophomore and did rather well. I didn't have the coaching and I knew that I wanted more from my throwing career. I always enjoyed competing with the NCAA girls at other meets and could keep up with them. So I took a chance on moving up and Wyoming turned out to be a great opportunity for me.

Growing up in Lander, did you grow up a big UW fan? How does it feel to represent your home state with your throwing talents?

Actually, I didn't grow up in Lander, WY. My parents moved up there after I graduated high school in Arvada, CO and being a Wyoming Cowgirl was one of the last things on my mind. I actually wanted to be a CSU Ram growing up, but I think my decision to be a Cowgirl was a better choice. Turns out I have lots of support from my friends and family back in Colorado to succeed at Wyoming as well as my immediate family here in Wyoming. When I decided to transfer, my Dad told me that I had no choice but to be a Cowgirl and I completely agreed with him.

Last season, your first as a Cowgirl, you qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. How did that help your confidence heading into your senior year?

I was excited to be able to represent at the NCAA Championships. It was a goal I set for myself to make it to NCAA First Rounds just to justify that I belonged at Division 1. It is definitely a great confidence boost meeting your goal and it makes me want to make finals that much more for my last year at Wyoming.

When did you get involved with track and field, and when did you realize you had a special ability in the throwing events?

I think I started in 6th grade as a 400m runner. I really wanted to throw, but my middle school coach had some 8th grade girls at the time that he thought was good. A girl got sick at a meet and my coach let me finally throw so he could fill all the spots we were allowed for our school. Turns out I beat them all and finally got to stop running the 400m. I didn't mind the change because no one likes running the 400m.

Wyoming has a great group of throwers on both the men's and women's sides. How is Coach Barrett helping you improve, and how do the throwers help each other out?

Coach Barrett has just been incredible to work with. I had met Barrett in high school at throwing camps and worked with him a little and liked his coaching style. Coming to Wyoming was a completely different experience than a camp. He spends the individual time with me focusing on the details in the weight room or with my throwing technique. I wasn't getting that kind of attention at Bethany, so I just grew as a thrower with Barrett. The throwers are a great group of people. I love going into the weight room on max out day and everyone is so intense! Every girl wants to see someone put up a big number and it becomes incredibly encouraging with them backing you. The boys are also awesome at every meet being down at the throw ring cheering the girls on and we love to cheer them as well. It's kind of like a little family we have among the throwers.

What is your thought process heading into a throw? Is throwing a mental game as much as it is technique?

Throwing is completely mental. I like to be a social butterfly at meets because all the throwers are encouraging and friendly, which you don't see with other events as often. Even though this is nice, it is easy to get caught up and lose focus on the goal. I've really had to work on focusing on my throw at meets. I spend time in-between the throw picturing good technical throws. When I'm called up I go through my "good" throw again and get focused on my throw. I try not to think about much when I am throwing and leave that to Barrett. I trust his eyes more that what I "feel" during my throw.

What are your career plans following graduation? What has been your favorite class within your major?

As of right now, I am waiting to hear back from graduate programs. I want to pursue a master's in Microbiology focusing on animal science in my master's degree and use that to go into research when I'm done. I think my favorite class has been my absolute hardest class at Wyoming called Immunology. I completely struggled and put countless hours into that class, but learned the most from it. Dr. Adamovicz takes no prisoners in that class and I thank him for that.