Although Western Kentucky University cut its track and field budgets in half, Tessa Krempel’s scholarship appeared to be safe.
But to make ends meet, the Hilltoppers had to do away with some coaching salaries. That included Krempel’s throwing coach, Raigo Toompuu, who is going back to his native Estonia.
With her coach leaving, Krempel decided to move on as well.
The Columbus North graduate is transferring to Iowa State.
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“They said that (my scholarship) wouldn’t be touched, but because they were trying to save the scholarships, they would have had to cut two salaries, and I wouldn’t have had a coach,” Krempel said. “They were very understanding, and they did a good job of making sure that none of the athletes were going to be taken advantage of with the budget cuts. There are no hard feelings whatsoever.”
Krempel, who has two years of eligibility remaining, visited Belmont and Iowa State. She was impressed with the Cyclones’ program, facilities and coaches.
Especially impressive was Iowa State’s indoor throwing area.
“Being able to have an indoor facility will be a nice perk because it does snow in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and it does snow in Nashville (Tennessee, where Belmont is located),” Krempel said. “It will be nice not to have to throw in bad weather. Ames, Iowa, just felt more like home, like Columbus, Indiana, than Nashville, Tennessee, did.”
At the Conference USA meet this spring, Krempel finished 13th in the discus with a throw of 40.83 meters. She also took 14th in the hammer at 48.50 meters and 16th in the shot put at 12.05 meters.
Iowa State throwing coach Fletcher Brooks is planning to have Krempel, the Bull Dogs’ school record holder in the shot put and discus, focus on the hammer and shot for the Cyclones.
“Coach Brooks is a very experienced hammer coach, and he is very invested in his athletes,” Krempel said. “This past year was a transition to the hammer throw, and he was very pleased with what he saw. Having to throw three events, it’s really hard to excel at any one of them, especially of you’re picking up a new one, so this year, we’re really going to focus on two and spend more time with them.”
This summer, Krempel is back home in Columbus. She has been working out at North with Katrina May, this year’s The Republic Girls Track Athlete of the Year, who is headed to Purdue to pole vault.
Krempel and May are working on strengthening their core muscles, working on getting quick and being explosive and building up stabilizer muscles.
“I am very excited about being a part of another Division I program,” said Krempel, who is majoring in biology and wants to be a physician’s assistant. “I would love to be able to go to the NCAA finals eventually.”
Meanwhile, Krempel’s twin sister Mara is staying at Western Kentucky, but will not continue with the track and field program. She is majoring in pre-pharmacy.
After living in separate rooms as freshmen, the Krempels roomed together this past year.
“(Being apart) will be a shock, but it will be good for both of us to kind of spread our wings a little bit,” Tessa Krempel said. “We don’t intend to grow apart from one another, but we intend to grow as individuals. This will be a big test for us, but I think it will be good for us.”
Name: Tessa Krempel
High school: Columbus North
College: Iowa State (transfer from Western Kentucky)
Year: Will be a junior
Events: Shot put, hammer