Soaring through the air

Senior takes on unique sport, ranks nationally

A spear flies through the air before stabbing the ground yards away. Senior Sabine Hallerman started competing in the javelin toss last year and has developed quickly as an athlete. During the summer of 2022, Sabine attended the Junior Olympic Nationals meet where she was ranked 23rd nationally.

“I hope to gain a new personal record during meets this year,” Sabine said. “I would also like to go to the Olympics one day, but my main goals are throwing 40-meters and then improving my ranking.”

Sabine started throwing javelin in September of her junior year and has continued working with different coaches to pursue opportunities to throw at a collegiate level.

“I expressed some interest in throwing javelin with my dad, and since my dad works at the University he started asking people if they would be willing to teach me,” Sabine said. “I’ve worked with several people at Texas A&M who are associated with the track and field team. It has been a great experience because not too many people do it, so there are scholarships out there if someone is willing to put in the work.”

When Sabine’s parents first found out she wanted to pursue javelin toss, they said they were a little shocked because it was so far out of left field.

“From day one, I was amazed at how Sabine did her personal workouts on her own to train for the sport,” Sabine’s dad Detlef Hallerman said. “Sabine puts in incredible work on her own without support or supervision. She takes full responsibility and deserves full credit for how she does throwing. I get the biggest kick out of seeing her surprise at how well she does.”

Sabine’s current coach, Texas A&M University student Sam Hankins, said he has been impressed with the way she has handled herself on and off the field.

“The most impressive thing about Sabine has been her ability to be coachable, which is not a widespread characteristic in most athletes,” Hankins said. “If you tell her something or show her something, she is extremely quick and efficient with implementing it into her training.” 

Hankins said he appreciates the work and effort Sabine puts into her training and expects her to continue to accomplish her goals as she throws in the future.

“I have seen Sabine improve tremendously over time not just as an athlete and a javelin thrower but as a student as well,” Hankins said. “She is incredibly quick to pick up on complicated subjects when it comes to throwing and is able to not only understand them but implement them into her throw.”

Sabine’s parents have enjoyed watching her grow as an athlete and be competitive with other girls who have been training much longer.

At some point I realized that my daughter is as good as her coaches have told me she is,” Mr. Hallerman said. “I think I realized that when she qualified last year for nationals, but my best memory was the first meet she competed in when she showed up in the PE shorts with the white leg trim and a ratty T-shirt. All the other girls showed up in spandex team uniforms and throwing coaches. She won by 5-meters and the other girls had no idea who this girl was who was not even in a track uniform.” 

Wherever the javelin toss event takes her, Sabine has the support of her family and takes each new challenge in stride.

“On meet days Sabine came up with a motto,” Mr. Hallerman said. “We go. We throw. We win. We collect our medals. We go home. Keep it simple.”