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Tessa and Mara Krempel can look back on a summer trip to Atlanta as the catalyst for a Division I track and field opportunity.
The Columbus North twin seniors participated in the Throw 1 Deep Camp in June in Atlanta. One of the coaches at the camp was Western Kentucky throwing coach Ashley Duncan, and she persuaded the Krempels to commit to the Hilltoppers.
“The athletes made us feel at home, and the coaches really wanted us,” Tessa said. “It wasn’t the fact that we wanted to go to a D-I school. It’s the fact that they wanted us to go to their school, so that was a nice feeling.”
The Krempels, who can sign national letters-of-intent beginning Feb. 5, visited Western Kentucky last weekend. Both had considered Miami (Ohio), University of Indianapolis and Lake Erie College (Ohio), and Tessa also had considered Bowling Green (Ohio).
As it turned out, they landed in Bowling Green, Ky.
“The campus, we loved it,” Mara said. “We loved all the athletes. We fit in perfectly. We think the school in general is the right fit for us.”
“I felt like I was home there,” Tessa said. “It’s not a big city, but it is a big campus. I don’t feel like Columbus is a big town, but we have 40,000 people. At Western Kentucky, you can go an hour away and go to Louisville or Nashville. It’s kind of like a little gem amongst all these hills and everything, and it reminds me of Columbus.”
Mara plans to major in chemistry, while Tessa plans to go into the medical field. They will be on partial academic scholarship their freshman year.
“Athletically, since our (throwing) numbers aren’t crazy good, we are on book scholarships right now,” Tessa said. “We’re going to have to work and prove that the potential that they see is true. She said that depending on how we do as freshmen, (the scholarship money) can go up or down.”
Tessa threw personal-bests of 40 feet, 8½ inches in the shot put and a school-record 130-1½ in the discus in the spring. Mara has PRs of 36-6 and 113-8.
At Western Kentucky, they’ll throw the shot, discus and hammer outdoors and the shot and weight throw indoors.
“We’re not state winners, so we’re not going to get full rides automatically,” Tessa said. “But because (Duncan) coached us at the Throw1Deep Camp, she knows our potential and she knows how good we can be. It’s awesome to have a D-I coach have that much confidence in us.”
The Krempels, who have been lifting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and throwing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, said they didn’t necessarily plan to attend the same college.
“It was convenience, and it just worked out that way,” Tessa said.
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