Perseverance On & Off Track Makes DWU’s Kamber Lamer A National Champion
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MONTROSE, S.D. — Celebrating athletic achievement is something Kamber Lamer has grown used to in her family.
“Oh yeah we definitely know how to celebrate stuff that are really important to our family!” Kamber says.
One of five siblings, Kamber was born into a rich wrestling tradition led by her grandfather, father, uncle and younger brother Caden, the fourth prep wrestler in South Dakota history to win five state championships.
“Kamber used to wrestle in AAU and I think she won state a couple times in AAU when she was younger too. So she’s tough!” Tri-Valley Senior Caden Lamer says.
“I made him strong!” Kamber says of Caden.
Eventually Kamber’s passion switched to the track. A talented long jumper at Tri-Valley, coaches at Dakota Wesleyan saw her as multi-event athlete.
“I was messing around at practice one day. I didn’t know my coach was watching me but I was going over hurdles at practice, just messing around, and he’s like hmmm, I see potential in you!” Lamer says.
With her family watching, Lamer fufilled those expectations at the NAIA Indoor Meet in Brookings in March by winning the National Pentathlon Championship.
As the outdoor season moved along she was the favorite to capture the heptathlon title and was preparing for nationals prior to being called in for a meeting.
“I was told that I couldn’t compete from something I had no control over.” Kamber says.
Her coach had failed to fill out a registration for the national meet because the email had gone to a spam folder, and it appeared that accident might cost Kamber the chance to compete.
“I don’t even know how to put it into words but it definitely broke my heart at the moment. It was just not real. I thought it was a bad dream.” Lamer says.
48 hours before the national meet began a third appeal was granted by the NAIA allowing Kamber to compete. The mental and physical toll of the two day competition in humid Alabama would make her sick.
“I was puking in between every event. I had to really just tell myself I’m not sick, I can do this, you put all your hard work into this.” Lamer says.
As she’d always done, Kamber pushed through, claiming her second national title, and a well earned rest to celebrate.
“I succeeded in a lot of things that a lot of people probably wouldn’t be able to do in getting over the whole week that had happened before and come back and win a national title with some of the best in the nation.” Lamer says.