Reder a real record breaker

Senior hammer thrower Lynden Reder has broken the school record 5 times.

Lou Raguse

April 2, in the Texas Relays, Minnesota men’s track and field thrower Lynden Reder heaved the hammer 62.67 meters ññ a new school record.

But for Reder, the new record was not that earth-shattering. It was his own record he broke – a record he’s rewritten five times.

At the Oregon Invitational this weekend, Reder will look to rewrite the record once again, as he will in each meet for the next five weeks leading to his biggest meet of the year, the Big Ten outdoor championships.

“In my five years here, I’ve seen the Big Ten become the best throwing conference in the country,” Reder said. “What I’m throwing now would have won the Big Ten a few years ago.”

Reder came to the Gophers as a walk-on in 2000, fresh off the Minnesota state championship in the discus as a senior at Luverne High School.

Minnesota coach Phil Lundin saw more potential for Reder in the hammer and indoor weight throw – two events nonexistent in Minnesota high school meets.

Reder redshirted that year. Each year after, through intense practice and weight training, he built himself into one of the Gophers’ premier throwers and a team captain.

“If you ask Phil how much size I’ve put on, he’d probably laugh,” Reder said. “I came here wanting to be a D-1 thrower at 6-1, 185 pounds. Now, I’m closer to 255 pounds.”

But Lundin said the amount of time Reder spent learning the technical aspects of the event had more of an impact in his success than his increased size and strength did.

“You don’t have to be a monster to do well in the hammer,” Lundin said. “Technically, he just studies it – he’s a student of the sport. Through sheer hard work and will, he’s basically molded himself into a national-caliber thrower.”

Reder began to out-learn his competition. As a sophomore, he first broke the Gophers’ indoor weight throw and outdoor hammer throw records.

Last year, as a junior, Reder earned his first trip to the NCAA Championships.

“He’s one of the most dedicated people I’ve ever met,” fellow Gophers thrower Karl Erickson said.

Erickson witnesses Reder’s motivation firsthand when they train side-by-side. But he said he can only speculate how much more he puts into the sport in his own time, such as coaching the throwers at Hamline University.

Reder’s teammates honored his hard work by electing him co-captain this year.

And Reder rewards them by putting the team’s goals ahead of his own.

“I worry less about winning and more about showing up and earning us points,” he said.

Shooting for the win

The Gophers will be competing against three teams – Oregon, Washington and Colorado – at the Oregon Invitational, and Lundin said he looks forward to seeing his team participate at Hayward Field, one of the greatest tradition-rich track facilities in the country.

“In the big picture, it’s one of the bigger meets we go to this spring,” Lundin said. “It’s always a great experience for the kids to go to Eugene, Ore. – track city.”

Lundin anticipates a crowd of 5,000-7,000 fans.

“This is a big meet for Oregon,” Lundin said. “So I expect them to be very tough.”