Call it the spring cleaning of the record books. UNH had yet another long-standing recording broken this semester by standout sophomore thrower Emily Wernig. Wernig’s discus throw of 145 feet 10 inches shattered the old record of 144-7 that stood for an impressive 27 years by Carol Weston.
Wernig, who is approaching the end of her sophomore year, has been impressing the team since her freshman year. Finishing fifth at both the America East Championships and New England Championships last season, she has developed even further into an elite thrower.
Growing up in the New Hampshire lakes region and attending Gilford High School, Wernig knew she wanted to do track since she was in elementary school.
“Well my dad threw when he was in high school, and then I have an older sister, she’s four years older than me. I’ve always looked up to her and I wanted to do what she did,” Wernig said on how she got involved in track at a young age.
Wernig wasn’t sure if a big school was for her, but after attending a throwing clinic hosted by UNH one summer to help with her discus throws, she met volunteer coach George Liset. Wernig saw great improvements the following years in her throws and knew what she wanted.
“Ever since I went to that camp he’s helped me so much. He’s kind of coached me since then so I knew that I would get that kind of coaching here. I knew that I wanted to do track throughout the whole year,” Wernig said.
A notable aspect of Wernig’s success involves her family and her coach George Liset.
“Well I think it was a great accomplishment primarily because it was a great record, and it had been there 30 years and I had coached the girl who had the record before,” Liset said.
Aside from coaching the previous record-holder, Liset even coached Wernig’s father at one point. “She’s worked hard. I actually coached her dad when he was here so that makes it very special,” She said.
Wernig displays great knowledge of the sport she participates in, and she enjoys all the perks that can come with it.
“I like how it’s more of a friendly sport,” Wernig said on what she loves about the sport. “It’s nice to have a friendly camaraderie between teams, at least for throws. I don’t know how much talking you can do at a starting block but we have a lot of waiting around time at the throwing circle.”
Aside from the good nature of the sport, her favorite moment comes from within the circle.
“Throwing the discus, if you have a good throw and know instantly. It looks pretty, it feels great; it’s just one of the greatest moments because you work hard for so long and then it clicks at the competitions at the right time,” she said.
With the conference meet right around the corner, Wernig hasn’t had time to nail down new goals, but she does know she wants to do as well as possible.
“I’m currently ranked first in conference so I definitely want to try to do as well as possible at the conference meet and help the team out with points. I qualified for [the New England Championships] so I want to try do well there again like last year, even though the competition is a little stiffer than last year. Everyone is doing really well so far,” she said.
This probably won’t be the last time you see the name Wernig in the headlines at UNH. With all the success Wernig has had thus far, she knows she made the right decision to compete for UNH.
“We have a great program here and I have benefitted so much from the great coaching staff, the athletic training room, and everything. I’m really glad I came here and had this experience so far and it’s been great, it’s only been not even two years,” she said.