Runar Arnorsson and Sean Donnelly posed for pictures and smiled as if they knew each other. They had never met, though, only knowing they were both Gophers record holders.
They shook hands and made small talk about their achievements.
Arnorsson is an average-sized golfer from Iceland who broke a 17-year-old school record for the lowest round. The sophomore shot a 10-under 62, with eight birdies and one eagle, in the first round of the Barona Collegiate Cup last week in San Diego. He went on to win his first collegiate title.
Donnelly is a well-built track and field athlete from Ohio. In his first outdoor event with the Gophers, the senior transfer from Division III Mount Union shattered the hammer throw school record with a 74.35-meter toss in Tempe, Ariz.
The newly crowned record-setters chatted with the Star Tribune’s Jason Gonzalez:
Q When did you realize you set a school record?
Arnorsson I had no idea what the school record was before the round. It was when I finished the last hole. I made the putt and my coach came up to me and told me I set a school record.
Donnelly After I threw it and it landed I knew it was pretty far. Then they called off the number and they said, ‘74.’ I said ‘Wait, what?!’ And they said ‘74.35’ and I was just running around in disbelief.
Q Have you ever thrown a hammer?
Arnorsson I don’t think I have the body to do that. I’ve never thrown, what you so say, a hammer? But I’ve picked up a shot put. That’s really heavy and big. My hands are too small.
Q Have you ever golfed? If so, have you ever shot 62?
Donnelly Yeah. I caddied when I was younger and played a couple rounds of golf. Can’t say I was good. Maybe on eight holes [I shot a 62].
Q Do you have a favorite golfer?
Donnelly It’s been a while. I’m 23 and when I caddied I was 13, so I can’t say I know that much [about golf] to say I have a favorite player. Phil Mickelson, he was pretty good back in the day.
Arnorsson He [Mickelson is] still hanging in there.
Q What do you know about track and field? Do you have a favorite thrower?
Arnorsson I know quite a bit. I always consider myself to be a sports fanatic. I just love watching sports. Summer Olympics, usually my favorite thing to watch is track and field. … Gerd Kanter. There was an Icelandic coach training him when he won the Olympics or world championships. So I know a little bit.
Q Runar’s home course in Iceland is surrounded by a lava field. Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever thrown a hammer?
Donnelly Off a basketball court. I was in the middle of a park wanting to get a practice in and there was a concrete basketball court.
Q What’s the farthest you’ve ever thrown a golf club? That’s kind of like a hammer.
Arnorsson I’ve never thrown my club because of frustration. … I don’t get too excited or too angry. I’ve tossed it just a little bit. So I guess I can’t answer that question with any good numbers. These are my tools. I need to make sure I can use them on the next hole.