Feb 252004
 
Authors: John Teten

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

very coachable.”

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

August.”

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

Championship.

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

said.

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.

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