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Anna Haak makes transition from volleyball to high jump

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Anna Haak makes transition from volleyball to high jump

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

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When Anna Haak decided to transfer from the University of Miami, it was to play volleyball at Marquette. Now she is also suiting up for the track and field program.

The 5-foot-11 senior from Angelholm, Sweden, said she’s trying to make the most out of her last semester at Marquette. She said the track and field program reached out to her because she had a high-jump ability.

“They saw that I could jump, and they needed more people,” Haak said. “I thought, ‘Why not? This is my last semester here. I might as well have fun with it.'”

Head coach Bert Rogers said the technique is the most difficult part of this transition. She’s going from jumping on two feet in volleyball to one foot in the high jump and learning how to put her body in the right positions.

“It’s a lot of new information to learn and practice,” Rogers said. “Some pick it up quickly and others take a long time, but her athletic ability will help her with the process.”

Haak said she has been trying not to think of it as difficult, but she knows it doesn’t come fast, and therefore she is trying to stay patient through the learning process.

Rogers said the goal is to see if Haak can help the team score some points in BIG EAST play.

“We’re not asking her to come in and be our best athlete,” Rogers said. “If she can add some depth and maybe snag some points for us, that would be a big help.”

Haak has competed in two meets so far for the program. The John Tierney Classic on Jan 19. where she tied for fifth in women’s high jump. The other meet was the UW-Parkside Classic on Jan. Feb. 2  and placed fourth in women’s high jump. She said the second meet went a lot better than the first, and some things clicked for her while competing.

For now, though, she said she will only compete in more local meets until it comes time to possibly compete in either of the BIG EAST meets Friday and Saturday.

Haak said a big reason why she joined track and field was one of her former volleyball teammates, alumna Jenna Rosenthal, Rosenthal also competed in track and field. But Rosenthal’s story is a little different.

“Anna talked to Jenna, and Jenna had a fun experience with the team,” Rogers said. “We’ve had athletes from other sports, but typically they’re more like Jenna having had more experience. Anna is learning everything from scratch.”

Rosenthal began competing on the track and field team in the 2016-’17 season in events such as discus, hammer throw and the high jump. Haak will be competing in the high jump as well.

Haak said volleyball remains her first priority. Rogers said her role on track and field is more of a “we’ll see” type of project, but he is optimistic about the opportunity.

“She’s a very talented kid who works hard,” Rogers said. “If it doesn’t work out, no harm no foul, we gave it a shot, but we’re all really enjoying the process so far.”

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