Going into his sophomore year at the University of Northern
Colorado, Drew Loftin took on a new hobby called the hammer throw.
He decided to spend his free time hurling a 16-pound,
softball-sized, metal ball dangling from a 4-foot-long metal
He liked it.
Loftin, the 6-foot-5 New York native, quickly found he could
make the hammer defy the laws of gravity.
Loftin then transferred to CSU where his skills continued to
“CSU had a better track program and a better school program,”
said Loftin of his decision to transfer from UNC. “I also wanted to
change my degree to pre-medicine so I transferred to CSU.”
The adjustment from Division II at UNC to Division I showed
Loftin that he still had a lot to learn.
“Physically he is one of the most talented guys I have ever
coached,” said CSU throwers coach Brian Bedard. “I thought he
looked pretty good at UNC, but he didn’t know what he was
Under the wing of Bedard, Loftin started learning the ropes of
the hammer. He redshirted his first year to gain some more
experience and his progress started to show.
In 2003, he was the NCAA runner-up after throwing the hammer 3/4
the distance of a football field, or 232 feet, 10 inches to be
After four years of becoming one of the top collegiate hammer
throwers in the nation, he has set his sites on a new goal: the
Olympics. Loftin qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on May
16, 2003, at a meet in Albuquerque, N.M., when he threw the hammer
“I always wanted to do it, but I did not know if it was going to
be possible financially,” Loftin said. “But I have been saving up
and it is working out.”
He will now test his talent against the best in the nation on
July 10 and 11 in Sacramento, Calif. There will be 24 throwers in
the field and the top three will go on to the 2004 Olympic games in
Athens, Greece, as long as they meet the Olympic A-qualifying
standards of 253-0. Loftin’s career best is 237-0 to date.
“I think he has a good shot at placing in the top three at the
trials, but it will be a challenge to hit the A-qualifier,” Bedard
said. “He has very good explosiveness, good speed, he is a really
good competitor and he is one of the most physically gifted people
Loftin, who graduated from CSU last year with a degree in sports
medicine, now works at a kidney center in Longmont, but training
always comes first.
“I train every day and schedule work around training,” Loftin
This season Loftin has continued to travel around the nation to
compete in meets, even though he is no longer a Ram. Loftin
recently took the individual hammer throw title at the CSU-hosted
Jack Christiansen Invitational April 24 and 25.
“I compete every weekend in a different tournament to help
prepare for the trials,” Loftin said.
Big summer plans
The possibility of making the U.S. Olympic Team is one of two
events highlighting Loftin’s summer schedule. The other is
marriage. After being engaged for 13 months, Loftin is getting
married June 19 in Florida.
According to Loftin, he will most likely spend the summer in
Florida and focus on his training. As far as the future goes,
Loftin is awaiting acceptance from various physical therapy schools
around the nation.
“If his training goes well, he should do well, but he has a lot
on his plate right now,” Bedard said. “He is trying to get into
grad school, he is moving and will have a new training environment
and he is getting married. You throw those things into the equation
and not having a coach and it is really going to test his focus and