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Four-time NCAA All-American cherishes memories while looking ahead

Steven Hermsen finished his indoor career at Carroll as a four-time United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American, earning titles twice in the discus throw and twice in the weight throw. Jimmy Naprstek photo

By  Mallory Allen

Contributing Writer

GREEN BAY – When Steven Hermsen joined his middle school’s track and field team, he never imagined that 10 years later, he would be crowned a four-time NCAA All-American.

And yet that’s exactly how it happened.

Now that the 22-year-old’s collegiate indoor track-and-field days have come to an end, Hermsen is looking back fondly on all the memories he made and goals he achieved, while also looking ahead to what’s still to come.

Early days

The origins of Hermsen’s track and field career can be traced all the way back to seventh grade, when he first joined De Pere Middle School’s team.

“My older brother was involved in track at the high school, so I decided that I wanted to follow in his footsteps, as I did with almost everything growing up,” Hermsen explained.

His passion for the sport continued to grow as the years passed, with Hermsen competing in throwing events throughout his time at De Pere High School, where he was a captain for both the football and track and field teams.

However, Hermsen said that he “didn’t have too much success in high school as an athlete” because it wasn’t until college that he “really grew into” his body.


As the time came for him to decide on his post-graduation plans, Hermsen once again considered following in his brother’s footsteps and attending UW-Madison.

“When I was first looking at colleges, I never even thought about Carroll,” Hermsen admitted.

But then Pete Delzer – Carroll University’s Associate Head Track and Field Coach – reached out to Hermsen during his senior year at De Pere. The two talked about the track and field team, as well as Carroll’s Direct Admission Physical Therapy (PT) program.

“After that talk, I decided that it would be a good idea to take a visit to the school to see if it would be a good fit for me. After meeting with Coach Delzer, the team, and seeing the school, I knew that this could very well be the place for me,” Hermsen explained. “So when I was accepted into the PT program, I knew it was meant to be and made my decision.”

Giving his all

Throughout his five years on Carroll’s track-and-field team, Hermsen has racked up a great deal of honors, accolades, and records.

He competes in four throwing events personal best: weight throw (19.04m); shot put (16.32m); discus throw (58.60m); and hammer throw (54.85m).

The individualistic nature of track and field is something Hermsen said he enjoys. “I’m more likely to see the results of the work that I put in. That has been my driving force during my college career.”

Still, Hermsen said that one of the things he loves most about the sport is “the relationships that I have built with my teammates, coaches and administration. These are the people that challenge me to be the best version of myself every day and are always there to pick me up if I’m down.”

Hermsen said that Delzer has played a particularly influential role in his track and field career, with the two developing a tight bond over the past several years.

“When I first came to Carroll, I was not a stellar athlete and I was a hot-head who let his emotions get the best of him. But Coach Delzer told me in my first year that he fully believed I could be a national champion. I had never had someone believe in my athletic ability like he did,” Hermsen explained. “That, along with some life coaching, have changed my mindset towards athletics and helped me reach heights I never thought were possible.”

Delzer spoke just as highly of Hermsen “Steven is the definition of what a student-athlete is. He is an extremely coachable athlete and his consistency of trying to get 1% better every day has led to his success. Seeing Steven mature and grow as a man has made me extremely proud.”

Becoming a champion

Hermsen finished his indoor career at Carroll as a four-time United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American, earning titles twice in the discus throw and twice in the weight throw.

Surprisingly, Hermsen said that indoor track and field is not something he’s always enjoyed.

“During my first two years of indoor track, I dreaded it because I honestly just wasn’t very good at it. However, Coach Delzer believed in my ability and knew that I could become an All-American,” Hermsen said.

He went on to say that competing in the 2023 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships last month was bittersweet because it was the final indoor meet of his college career.

“It was amazing to see my years of work come to fruition with another All-American honor, but I was sad knowing I would never have the opportunity to compete indoors again,” Hermsen explained. “But I have no regrets. I left it all in the circle that weekend and I have nothing but positive memories.”

When asked for his favorite memory from his time on Carroll’s track-and-field squad, Hermsen said it was almost too difficult to choose, as he’s made “hundreds of lifelong memories” he will always cherish, but ultimately decided on his first national championship in the discus throw.

“That was my first ever experience at the D-III national championships, and I was coming into the meet ranked number one in the nation. Those two things added together to give me a week-long bout of anxiety leading up to the meet,” Hermsen recounted.

“However, when the competition finally came, I was able to overcome my fears and with the support of my family, coaches, and teammates, I pulled out the win. I still remember the feeling of starting my last throw when I knew I had won the meet. It was pure happiness. I will never forget that day.”

Looking forward

Hermsen received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Carroll in 2022 and is now a second-year graduate student in the Pioneers’ physical therapy program.

He plans to find a job as a PT in the Milwaukee area after graduating and continue training with Delzer, as his lifelong goal is to one day represent the United States at an international track and field competition.

“I am beyond grateful for the unwavering support I’ve received from so many people throughout my career,” Hermsen said. “It has helped me reach goals I never thought were possible.”

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