Since her freshman year, Hannah Ringel knew that she would be a pretty good thrower for the Sedona Red Rock High School track and field team. It was her first year as a thrower, but she was already reaching further than the average ninth-grader.
Four seasons and three state championships later, Ringel dawned the black and purple for the Scorpions for a final time at the Arizona Interscholastic Association State Championship on Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6, at Mesa Community College.
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But it did not mark the final time she will throw; Ringel recently signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Vandals of the University of Idaho.
“I’m really excited but at the same time really nervous because it’s a big change,” said Ringel, who also considered Northern Arizona University. “I wanted something different. I know Flagstaff, I know people there. I wanted to leave and start over, and I really liked the coach and team.”
After a disappointing second place in the discus on May 5, Ringel bounced back with a third straight title in the shot put the following day. She is the first ever Scorpions track and field athlete to have won three consecutive state titles in the same event.
Despite claiming the top spot on the podium, with a throw of 39-11.5 Ringel had higher standards set for herself, an attribute that will surely help in the future.
“I’m definitely happy, it’s not something many people do,” Ringel said. “But winning today, I’m kind of disappointed, I was hoping to throw a lot further.”
But track and field is not the only sport she excelled in.
Ringel was a force on the basketball court as well, one of two pivotal senior forwards on the girls basketball team that reached two straight Final Four appearances at the AIA state tournaments in 2016 and 2017.
Her accolades in basketball are extensive: Second Team All-2A Central Region in 2017, Honorable Mention All-Division IV and Second Team All-Division IV Section I in 2016, and Honorable Mention All-Division III and Second Team All-Division III Section III in 2015.
Acknowledging a bit more affinity towards track and field, given that she will compete in it in college, Ringel pointed out what she liked and learned from each of the sports.
“Track is individual and you learn a lot about yourself,” Ringel said. “Basketball is team oriented and it’s nice to work as a team.
“I learned how to work hard, definitely. Everyone is different, everyone I work with. It taught me how to work with people and manage my time a lot. I never really get a day off.”
Sophia Perry, fellow 12th-grader and teammate on both teams, recently said that Ringel was a shy person. Through sports she begun to open up.
“Sports taught me to be better with that [shyness],” Ringel said. “I’m a bit more confident now.”
There was not one thing that she could easily point to that she will miss most, either. From basketball, it will be the ferocity.
“I’m going to miss all of it, even the hard practices and frustrating days, but I learned a lot about myself,” Ringel said. “I’m going to miss making it in state. I’m going to miss the practices before because they were so intense.”
From track and field, it will be the coaches.
“I got really close to them, they taught me so much I know I’m going to use in the future,” Ringel said. “I’m going to miss not being able to see them at this time next year.”
Her best distances from this season in both shot put and discus are already climbing into the competitive range with her future opponents in the Big Sky Conference.
If history is any indicator Ringel will be successful in the near future, this time wearing black and gold.