From France to the U: A hammer-throwing 'rock star'

Quentin Mege, with dual citizenship in France and the U.S. (and a 3.92 GPA), is an emerging star in both countries in the hammer throw.

hide

Quentin Mege recently set a Gophers school record in the hammer throw at 220 feet, 1 inch. If he could add 10 feet to that mark, he might return to the U for another year to pursue further glory. He trained above with a weighted hammer.

Photo: Richard Sennott, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Gophers assistant track and field coach Lynden Reder found hammer thrower Quentin Mege, a native of suburban Paris, via a message board and had some initial communication with him on Facebook.

Getting approval for Mege's transfer from the National Institute of Applied Sciences in France took nine months. But it was worth it -- a sentiment punctuated this month when Mege broke the school record in the hammer throw in winning the Big Ten title for the second consecutive year.

Even if the record was previously held by the man who recruited him.

"In coaching, you recruit as hard as you can and then you've got to get lucky," Reder said. "With Quentin we got incredibly lucky. He is an outstanding teammate, a leader, a [great] student. He is just a rock star."

After two spins of the 16-pound hammer over his head and four quick full turns of his body, Mege threw 220 feet, 1 inch to top Reder's record by more than four feet. Of course, he was unhappy with his record throw -- until he heard the distance -- because of a bad finish on his last turn.

The throw made him the No. 3 seed in the NCAA preliminary meet starting Thursday and underscored how far he has come. But it also showed how much room there is to grow even as his college career draws to a possible close. This is his 11th year trying to master the complex technique.

"We say it takes up to 10 years to be a really consistent, technically sound hammer thrower," Mege said. "I am finally there. I can see it this year."

Mege compiled a 3.92 GPA in his two years at the University of Minnesota and graduated earlier this month with a degree in mechanical engineering.

But Mege, 23, will compete for the Gophers at least one more time this weekend at the NCAA West preliminary track and field meet in Austin, Texas. The top 12 finishers there qualify for the NCAA meet June 6-9 in Des Moines.

"If [Mege] throws what he has been throwing, it won't be a problem for him to advance," Reder said.

The 6-2, 220-pound Mege is the leader of a trio of Gophers hammer throwers who qualified for the NCAA preliminary meet. Micah Hegerle is seeded ninth and Jon Lehman is 18th, giving the Gophers "one of the few programs in the country that has three guys over 200 feet," Reder said.

"The fact that I am not practicing alone and I can practice with two friends [for this meet] is just great," Mege said. "And it is possible we all could go to the next round."

Mege is hoping for a third sizable leap in distance on his throws before the college season ends.

"My previous [best] coming into this year was 207," he said. "Then I threw 215 in Iowa and then 220. I would like to get one more of those big jumps."

If that happens, Mege would achieve another of his goals: making the U.S. Olympic trials. Now he is on the bubble.

Mege has competed in the French national championships the past three years -- placing eighth in 2010 -- and already has met the standard for their Olympic trials. But he won't be there. Instead Mege, who was born in New York City and has dual citizenship, wants to face the tougher competition and be in front of the bigger crowds at the U.S. trials.

And if he does throw the hammer another 10 feet, Mege said, he would consider returning to the U for another year to keep throwing. He would put his work career on hold and attend graduate school.

"Ten feet [more] would be over 70 meters and you start knocking on the door of an NCAA championship," he said. "You start knocking on the door of another selection for the French national team or even the U.S. national team."

Said Reder: "We want him to keep throwing far and stay in Minnesota another season. But he kind of has the world by the tail."

  • related content

  • NCAA West Region preliminary meet info

    Wednesday May 23, 2012

    The Gophers have 23 men in 11 events and two relays and 16 women in the same number of events at the meet, held Thursday through Saturday in Austin, Texas....

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco 1 Top 2nd Inning
Kansas City 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 56 3rd Qtr 3:48
Orlando 65
Brooklyn 44 3rd Qtr
Boston 58
Washington 50 3rd Qtr
New York 51
Cleveland 23 2nd Qtr 9:54
Memphis 20
Minnesota 33 2nd Qtr 10:20
Milwaukee 27
Atlanta 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Portland 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Phoenix 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 2 1st Prd 5:22
Pittsburgh 1
Washington 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Anaheim
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Chivas USA 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close