Casey Malone is a gentleman. He is artistic and soft-spoken.
He’s also the size of a Mack Truck.
At 6-feet-8-inches tall and tipping the scales at 240 pounds,
Malone is not your stereotypical behemoth. He is thankful that his
grandmother and his parents cheer him on during meets. As a student
at Colorado State in the late 90s, he was labeled the “Gentle
Giant” by his track and field coaches.
“I’d definitely agree with (the nickname),” Malone said with a
booming baritone voice. “I’m laid-back and even-tempered.”
Malone, who graduated CSU in 2000 with bachelor’s degree
concentrating in painting, will compete this summer at the U.S.
Olympic Team Trials. The meet, in Sacramento from July 9 to 18,
will be his third attempt to make the U.S. Olympic team.
His easy-going demeanor complements his athletic prowess,
enabling him to be one of the world’s elite discus throwers.
In the frustrating world of track and field, filled with the
constant highs and lows of discus, his type-B attitude “works well
for being a competitive discus thrower,” he said. “It’s a very
frustrating event. It’s hard to stay patient.”
Patience is a virtue frequently extraneous to Malone. He is
often ahead of the learning curve.
Commencing with CSU
The CSU coaching staff recruited Malone out of Arvada West High
School. The homegrown talent was a work in progress.
“He was very athletic, a basketball player,” said throws coach
Brian Bedard. “I saw some things that keyed me in to say, ‘Hey.
There’s an athlete here.'”
The Rams offered him a partial scholarship and set lofty goals
for their recruit. Bedard wanted Malone to surpass his high school
marks within two years after moving to the heavier disc in college.
It didn’t take two years. Malone won conference as a freshman and
qualified to compete in his first Olympic trials.
“It was much more than I ever dreamed or expected,” Malone said.
“It was kind of a star-struck type of event.”
In 2000, after four All-American years at Colorado State and a
1998 NCAA discus championship, Malone qualified for another Olympic
trial. He finished ninth overall, falling short of his goal to make
the U.S. Olympic Team.
Last year, Malone earned a spot on the U.S. World Championship
“I now feel like I belong among the top throwers in the world,”
he said, “whereas before I felt lucky to be there.”
The competitor becomes a coach
Malone’s intense study of the sport has enabled him to make the
leap from competition to coaching. Three years ago he accepted an
assistant-coaching position with interstate rival CU.
“It’s definitely hard to put on black and gold,” Malone said. “I
don’t know if I’ll ever be completely comfortable putting it
He still lives in Fort Collins and is permeating Boulder with
green-and-gold ideals. He has intertwined his insights with the
Bedard’s coaching style.
“I’ll always be a Ram,” Malone said. “I want to see our (CU)
teams do well, but it definitely still feels like home up here. The
atmosphere at CSU fits my personality pretty well.”
Perhaps that of Athens, Greece, can do the same for the “Gentle