Dexter's Abby Tamer is competing on the international level as she represents Team USA
Dexter native Abby Tamer is competing for a chance to be in the Olympics as she has added another team name to the field hockey jerseys she’s worn in her time; from Dexter High School to the University of Michigan and now the United States of America.
Tamer is part of the United States Women's National Field Hockey team, which represents the U.S. in international field hockey. The Sun Times News (STN) caught up with a very busy Tamer to ask about this awesome opportunity.
“Making the national team has been a dream of mine, pretty much since I started playing - when I look back on different memories of the team back then, I remember being so amazed by the things that they were able to do and the things they represent,” Tamer said. “To be able to be in that position after years of looking up to these women is something that I'm so grateful for.”
Her journey to be part of the team began in December 2022, when she was invited to join the national team on a training tour in Argentina because they were short numbers given the college season and various injuries. So she said she went and learned a lot while enjoying the experience, but then she was invited back for a more formal tryout in January of this year in Chula Vista, California, which is where she officially joined the team.
She and the team are currently working toward the Olympics and its various qualifiers.
“Our first step and primary focus right now is on the Pan American Games (PAG) which is in Santiago, Chile in late October/early November,” said Tamer. “Winning that tournament would mean an automatic bid to the Paris Olympics.”
This opportunity does mean she does have to take time off from school (U of M) to train with the team so she’s basically missing her junior season. However, she will be able to get that back and have a fifth year.
“Following the Michigan team from afar has been so fun, but definitely different - watching from a screen or from the bleachers is tough but it's looking like Team 51 is going to be special, especially with some of the freshmen talent who are doing so well right now,” Tamer said. “I'm definitely looking forward to being back in the Maize and Blue but am enjoying the present down here in Charlotte.”
As a member of the national team, Tamer said it’s interesting because they have so many athletes who are still in college. There's essentially two different ways to be a member.
She said there’s centralized and decentralized: “the decentralized athletes are usually still in college or playing overseas, which are huge commitments on their own - the centralized athletes live and train in Charlotte on a day to day basis. No matter what avenue an athlete in the program takes, the commitment and dedication to this team is huge and everyone's role is integral to the success of the program.”
A normal week for those in centralized training usually looks something like this: practice from 8-11 a.m. daily, lift/conditioning from 12-2 p.m. on Mon., Wed., Fri., with weekends off.
So how’s it going?
“Training for something like this has its challenges and its rewards on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, but we have grown so much as a team just over our first month together,” she said. “One of the most important things for a team is the connections within the team, and being in this centralized environment has really allowed us to build trust in each other and the program itself.”
In thinking about what are some cool moments she’s had so far, she said their first game in Charlotte was quite the experience. They played Canada on Sept. 8th, as a part of their preparations for PAG, in front of a home crowd for the first time in her career.
“A lot of my family was able to make it out for the game- it's always so nice to be able to play in front of your support system and know that you have those faces in the crowd,” said Tamer.
Another cool moment from her first year on the team “was definitely my first cap - we played at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, which is a phenomenal stadium in the field hockey world.”
“We played the number 1 ranked team in the world and the stands surrounded the field and were packed,” she said looking back. “My mom, Keely, my sister, Emma, and my high school coach, Trish, were all able to see that game, which again was so great to be able to play in front of people who were so integral to my journey. It was a special place to start my career off and while the game didn't quite go our way, it's definitely a fond memory.”