Reporting Shane Kitzman
Disclaimer: Male readers especially, unless you are eager for a self-conscious day at the gym tomorrow, I’d advise you to stop read right … about … now.
When Hamline’s three-time All-American thrower Becky Culp hits the weights, she’s been known to bench 200 and squat 335.
Yep, you read those numbers right.
Thanks to that natural strength, dedicating herself to the sport beginning in seventh grade, and the guidance of throwing coach Drew Jones, Culp has an honest shot of coming home with a crown at the NCAA Division III Track and Field championships next weekend, as her distances currently as some of the nation’s best.
“Without him (Drew Jones), I wouldn’t be where I am,” she said. “He was Regional Coach of the Year, and has sat me down and watched numerous videos with me to make me better.”
As her collegiate career nears its bookend, she’s has certainly left her mark on Hamline and the MIAC.
The Youngstown, Ohio, native broke legendary Piper Misty Bahr’s discus mark this season when she tossed a 153-10. Then Culp’s shot put of 47-10 topped Bahr’s previous mark, a MIAC meet record.
Oh, and the Centennial High School product is also a brainy physics major, smoothly plays the saxophone, and has been weight training since middle school.
Moving to Lino Lakes, Minn., her during her high school years was a blessing
Within a year I loved Minnesota, and the people here. They offered better schooling, the chance to play in an All-Conference band, and then there’s the National Sports Center, too. They were a lot of opportunities that weren’t available in Ohio.
She (thankfully) ditched the 800 and hurdles back in seventh grade
I was really bad at them. My coach was my next door neighbor, and he had seen me throw a football and baseball and figured I would be a natural at shot put and discus.
I then started weight lifting on my own right away because I wanted to be the best I could be.
Her love of track derives from the simplistic ideal of “you get out what you put in”
Your numbers are pretty self-explanatory in this sport. I love how my hard work away from competition would make those numbers better.
She’s demolishing her personal goals, so far
My goal in the discus this year was to break the school record and to throw over 150 (check and check). I also wanted to throw 45 feet (check).
She’s a virtual lock to compete in the discus and shot put at the NCAAs
My goal is to throw the best I can, and to PR in both my events. If I do my best, I can’t complain. I would like to come home with two more All-American titles. I want to be a five-time All-American.
Her physics major is even more impressive considering her 3.75 GPA
I really like learning. I’ll go to grad school for engineering at the U of M after this.
I did do a two-year internship at Toro, and I really liked working on lawnmowers.
She represents Hamline not just in athletics
I play alto saxophone for the Hamline wind ensemble. I’ve been playing saxophone for about 10 years, and I’m pretty competitive about it. Obviously things have changed, but in high school I would practice a half-hour a day.
Tunes most likely pumping through her earbuds?
I’m a huge 90s alternative person. My all-time favorite band is Smashing Pumpkins — saw them in concert a couple months ago. I also love Nirvana and Third Eye Blind.
She still laughs about being stronger than the boys she went to high school with
A lot of the boys I was interested in … I could lift more than them. It was always sort of funny.
That’s what made it so nice when I met my boyfriend Blake on the Hamline track team. He could lift more than me, and is one of those guys who always pushed himself to the max. He’s one of my biggest inspirations.