His silhouette is intimidating. A shadow standing 6 feet 6
inches tall. Scales cower in fear as his 300 pounds lumbers near.
Children weep as he flexes his balloon-like biceps, but freshman
Magnus Lohse is not your average hulk.
His half-moon smile is constant and his speech is rarely
serious, a demeanor more Seinfeld than Schwarzenegger.
This winter, Lohse left his native Sweden to become a member of
the Colorado State track and field team. The 19-year-old has wowed
coaches, crowds and teammates in just two short months.
“He’s made an outstanding adjustment,” head track coach Del
Hessel said, “coming to college at mid year. He’s an outstanding
young man to have on the team.”
Lohse wasted little time in making his presence felt. He broke
the school record in the shot put, with a toss of 63-2, in just his
second inter-collegiate meet. Since then, he has quickly ascended
to the upper echelon of national throwers. He currently has the
sixth-best throw this season.
“He has tremendous potential, world-class potential,” Hessel
said. “He has speed, quickness, the competitive mentality and is
Lohse has competed in track events for six years, but it was
mostly running events. As an early teen he medaled in nearly every
event below the 800-meter run. It wasn’t until two years ago that
he began to throw.
“I have this biological thing that makes me gain weight between
November and February,” Lohse said. “I was only 265 last
Aiding the rapid pound increase is his propensity for weight
lifting and good genes.
He started competing in Olympic weightlifting two years ago. In
August, Lohse placed sixth at the European Junior Championship and
won the Nordic Championship two months later. He set a personal
record in the clean and jerk, lifting 396 pounds, at the European
His dad (6-6, 280 lbs), who medaled in Olympic sailing, and Mom
(5-10) are both police officers in Gothenburg, Sweden. As the years
passed, Lohse not-so-slowly fit his parents’ mold.
Not just a thrower
Lohse’s bear-like broad shoulders do not limit his athletic
prowess to a field house.
Ping-Pong is among the latest exploits for this man-child. A few
years ago he began playing with his mother and his friends and has
been paddling it like Forrest Gump ever since.
“He’s dominant,” hall mate Scott Lichtwardt said. “His serves
are impossible to return and his shots just got the power.”
He speaks rough English and is half a world from his home, but
his easy-going personality, steady humor and intensive schedule
have allowed for an easy transition into an American lifestyle.
Before coming to CSU he had spent time at home for eight months
eating, sleeping and training. Now he has no free time, he
Lohse weighed many factors before deciding which university to
attend. Ultimately, it was between Colorado State and the
University of Georgia.
“I knew more about CSU,” Lohse said. “Also it was too hot and
too many bugs in Georgia.”
The Rams were happy to add Lohse to the tradition of great
throwers at CSU, a tradition that includes Olympic hopefuls Drew
Loftin, Casey Malone and Brian Trainor.
Lohse accompanies his teammates to Colorado Springs this weekend
to compete in his first Mountain West Conference championship.
Suffice it to say, it won’t be his last.