AMES, Iowa – Iowa State’s Danielle Frere will be competing in the women’s shot put at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships this week at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Frere, a redshirt junior, placed eighth at the NCAA West Regional last week, in which she threw 53-8.
“The goal going into the regional was just get into the finals, and then from there they take the top 12 from each region,” Frere said. “All I really knew going in was that I had to be consistent and hit a decent mark and I was going to be in, and I did that. I had a couple throw that probably would have placed me higher, but it doesn’t matter, I just had to get to nationals.”
The Muscatine, Iowa native goes into the week’s competition with momentum after not only qualifying at the regional, but also throwing a personal best of 54-6 ∏ at the Big 12 Championships on May 12, placing fourth in the event.
Cyclone throws coach Grant Wall projects Frere’s continued improvement from the personal best she posted last month.
“The last few weeks we’ve had some big practices, the best ones she’s had all year, so the biggest thing is just to keep it simple,” Wall said. “When you’re at the level she’s at, you keep it simple and try not to mess with what is working for her.”
Heading into the event, Frere has set some big goals for herself, as she hopes her performance will stand out while competing against the top collegiate shot putters in the nation.
“My goal is to be in the top five,” Frere said. “You never know how people are going to come out and compete on the day of the event, so I don’t really like to set distance goals for myself. I just want to get out there and be consistent because a big throw will come if you’re consistent. I want to go in there with intensity and just let it fly.”
Wall said that there is no reason to doubt that Frere can place in the top five at the NCAA meet because he has seen what she can do in practice and the work ethic she brings to her training.
“She’s just a really dedicated athlete and really focused on what she wants to accomplish,” Wall said. “I don’t think there is anybody that works harder than Danielle. She sets the standard for our group of throwers.”
Frere comes from a Cyclone family, as her older brothers Nate and Nick both played football at Iowa State. She said that her decision to be a Cyclone was not about her brothers, but about what she felt she could do at Iowa State.
“When I was making my decision, I kept my brothers out of it,” Frere said. “I wanted to make a name for myself and I just happened to fall in love with Iowa State, just like my brothers did when they made their decisions. It was nice to have my brothers here, but I wanted to make the decision for myself.”
The 2012 NCAA Track and Field Championships are Thursday through Sunday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Frere will be competing on Friday at 5 p.m. CDT.