Sudbeck finding her way in the hammer throw


SIOUX FALLS—Abby Sudbeck loves competing at the Dakota Relays.

Three years ago, the former Mitchell Kernel set the school record in the shot put at the 90th edition of the annual meet.

On Friday, Sudbeck was showing her skills in a new event—the women's hammer throw—for South Dakota State University. The junior thrower ended up taking second place in the event with a toss of 176-feet, 7 inches.

"It's good to be back," Sudbeck said. "I love this meet."

Despite her second-place finish, Sudbeck was a little disappointed with her performance as she was hoping to record a personal-best. Entering the meet, Sudbeck had a career-best throw of 182-5, which she hit last year. That mark is the sixth-best throw in SDSU history.

"This season has been a little frustrating because I've been working really hard in the weight room and making a lot of gains. This week, I kept progressing with my throws and I'm just waiting for it to come through," said Sudbeck, who added she'll hope to beat her personal-best next week at the Summit League Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

During her freshman year, Sudbeck competed in both the shot put and hammer throw for the Jackrabbits. The past two years, she's focused solely on the hammer throw and she's enjoying learning how to thrive in the unique competition.

"It's a lot to get used to. There's a lot of different changes," Sudbeck said about the hammer throw. "In practice, you always work on something different and one change, changes everything. You learn to work through it."

Sudbeck took seventh in the weight throw in the Summit League Indoor Championship in February. In 2017, she placed 12th (163-1) in the hammer throw. As a freshman, she finished ninth (163-5) and she said she's learned a lot about the hammer throw in the past three years. "A big difference is the amount of turns. In shot put or discus, you do one turn. This is three or four (turns)," Sudbeck said. "It's a lot faster and harder to control. It's hard to hold your positions."