DURHAM, N.C. – Duke field hockey head coach Pam Bustin and the Blue Devil program are set to welcome five freshmen to Durham for the 2017 campaign. Midfielder Kira-Lee Gmeiner will join the Blue Devils from Wagin, Western Australia.
Midfielder l Wagin, Western Australia l St. Mary's Anglican Girls' School
Prior to Duke: Gmeiner joins the Duke program from Wagin, Western Australia, where she has been a member of her country's U15 and U13 teams. She has also represented Western Australia on the U21 and U18 national indoor teams, captaining the U18 squad both years. Gmeiner was an all-star game selection her senior season and received athletic colours, the highest sporting recognition, from her school each year.
Bustin's Take: “Finally we can welcome Kira-Lee back to campus! The anticipation for her arrival has been high as we await her smooth yet aggressive style of play to the front half of the field. Kira-Lee's advanced level of experience, love for the sport and her excitement of this new adventure will prove to be a key addition to our squad."
What is your best field hockey memory?
KLG: Winning the national championships in under 13s.
When did you start playing field hockey?
KLG: I have always played field hockey. Both my older sisters play therefore from the time I was born I have been around the hockey field. My early days of playing field hockey consisted of me winning an under 13s club championships as a nine-year old.
Who has had the largest impact on your life?
KLG: My mum has had the biggest impact on my life. This is as she is the one who got me involved in field hockey, which is now such a huge part of my life. She has also hugely influenced me with her constant support and encouragement for me to pursue my dreams. I would not have achieved or done many of the things I have if it weren't for her.
Why did you choose Duke?
KLG: I chose Duke for its academic and athletic strength. North Carolina also seemed to be one of the warmer states to play field hockey in Division I, which is obviously important for me coming from such a warm place. The field hockey coaching staff and team seems like a very nice group that I feel I will fit into very well.
What are your goals for your collegiate career?
KLG: By the end of my college career I hope to be a key member of the team and a playmaker on the field. I also hope to win a championship with the team.
Favorite athlete: Hope Munro
Hobbies: My favourite hobby is playing indoor hockey; however, I also enjoy going to the beach and park with my dog, catching up with friends, travelling and reading.
Favorite book: The Sweet trilogy
Favorite movie: Shutter Island
Favorite TV show: Riverdale
Pre-game ritual/superstition: Pregame I always have to listen to music that helps hype me up. I also tap my right leg during team meetings before games. On tournaments when we win games I will continue to wear the same complete uniform (but I will wash it between) until we lose a game.
If you were to play another sport, what would it be? If I was to play another sport it would be cricket. I really enjoy watching cricket and playing games in my backyard with my family.
Hidden talent: Limbo
Best advice you've received: The best advise I received was simply to always follow my dreams.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In 10 years I hope to be building a name for myself as a successful lawyer. I also hope to have seen more of the world, travelling to places such as Africa and Europe.
To be a part of the Duke field hockey program is … to be a member of a very special group of highly talented and motivated student-athletes. It is a chance to push myself and expand my boundaries.