Tanner Berg finishes Northern career with National Championship in Hammer Throw
Watertown native sets sites on Olympics next
ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -When Tanner Berg entered the Northern State Track and Field program five years ago, he only had a small amount of experience in field events in high school. But his coaches saw that he had the potential to be something special. “Mariah just said, ‘You’re going to be good at this.’ And here we are. I kind of didn’t have any choice but to throw it. Started to hate it right away, then things started going well, then I eventually learned to love it.” Berg said.
Even though he had rough patches first learning the fundamentals, he started on the right foot as a freshman. “First ever throw was like 53 or 54 meters, which actually broke the school record on my first collegiate throw.” Berg said.
Five years later and Berg now has personal bests of over 70 meters and has been one of Division II’s best in the hammer throw for years. Northern State’s Track and Field Assistant Coach Mariah Mougey said his climb to be one of the best in the nation was steady. And she said no matter how he’d do in his last chance at becoming a national champion, that they’d be proud. “He’s made be proud for the last five years. We’ve worked through a lot of stuff, and I’ve watched him mature from a 17-year-old all of the way through basically. He’s come a long way. So no matter what the outcome would’ve been, I would’ve been very proud.” Mougey said.
Berg has been the top seed entering a national championship final before, but failed to seal the deal. But he had no issues in Allendale, Michigan this time, doing enough to win with his third throw. That made his final throw of 69.61 meters, and his last in a Wolves uniform, that much sweeter. “That was probably my favorite throw feeling-wise out of my last five years. It didn’t go as far as I’d really liked it to, I mean it went far. Just the feeling that I was the national champion and I was throwing my last college throw was pretty great.” Berg said.
His time at Northern State may be over, but now Berg has bigger goals in mind; to compete internationally. “I’m going to try and go throw professionally for a little bit, see where that takes me, and shoot for the OIympics.” Berg said.
Following the arrow that’s helped guide him so far.
In Aberdeen, Cooper Seamer, Dakota News Now.
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