- A HISTORY OF SUCCESS
- HIGH-TECH, HIGH-TOUCH
- DATA SHAPES STUDENT SUCCESS
- LOOKING AHEAD
- FACES OF SUCCESS
- COLLEGIAN MARKS 125TH YEAR OF PUBLICATION
- THE SHOTPUT HEARD ’ROUND THE WORLD
- FROM WHEELCHAIR TO WALKING AGAIN
- A MODEL TO ENVY
- LOOKING BEYOND THE NUMBERS
- RINGING IN THE OLD
- CSU: RE-ENVISIONING NATIONAL WESTERN CENTER
- CHANDRASEKAR KNIGHTED
- JOHN MOSLEY AWARDED FOUNDERS DAY MEDAL
- SIX FACULTY EARN CSU’S HIGHEST HONOR
- CSU PIONEER ROBIN BROWN RETIRES
- BOOKSTORE NAMED RETAILER OF THE YEAR
- CONSTRUCTION REACHES CRECENDO
- LORD KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT MUSIC
- MORE THAN STATISTICS
- FROM OSCAR ANXIETY TO VICTORY
- TASTE OF SUCCESS
- DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDS
- RAMS WRITE
- IN MEMORIAM
- CLASS NOTES
- IN MEMORIAM: GORDON NISWENDER
- IN MEMORIAM: GENE MARKLEY
THE SHOTPUT HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD
By Tony Phifer
MOSTAFA HASSAN WINS NCAA TITLE BY FEET, NOT INCHES
The most challenging aspect of winning a national championship in the shot put for Colorado State University’s Mostafa Hassan was trying to explain to his family in Egypt what an NCAA title means.
“They have no idea what the NCAA is or what it means to win an NCAA championship,” he said with a chuckle. “They understand the Olympics and the world championships, but they just don’t understand the NCAA.”
While Hassan failed to explain the magnitude of his feat, that was his only shortcoming. In winning the shotput title March 10 at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas, Hassan became just the fourth Ram to win an NCAA championship.
Even more impressive was the way he won. Hassan, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, simply destroyed a field of the very best collegiate throwers, taking the title by more than 4 feet. In a sport where margins of victory are usually measured in centimeters, it was a titanic accomplishment.
Hassan, who came to CSU in 2015 thanks to a Cairo track club connection with Rams assistant coach Karim Abdel Wahab, was the favorite entering the NCAA meet, but his first two throws were less than impressive.
“I was really nervous,” he said. “That’s the first time I’ve been in a situation where I’m expected to win.”
His third throw was hardly a technical triumph but it was plenty far enough to secure a spot in the three-throw final round.
“He just dug deep and unleashed this really ugly but powerful throw,” said Brian Bedard, CSU track and field coach. “After that he relaxed and his form was much better.”
Remarkably, Hassan had the four longest throws in the competition, with the winning toss measuring 69 feet, 9½ inches. He shattered the CSU and Mountain West Conference records with his final throw, which moved him into fourth place in the world this year and qualified him for the World Outdoor Championships this summer in London.
The best part of this story is that Hassan is still developing the plot and the final chapter. He wants to improve his marks in the indoor weight throw and outdoor discus and hammer in order to score more team points for the Rams in conference meets. The Rams won the 2017 Mountain West indoor title.
“I love my teammates, and I love CSU,” he said. “I want to do what I can to help us win more titles.”
Fortunately for CSU, Hassan – his teammates affectionately call him “Moose” – has three more opportunities to win NCAA shot put titles, one indoor and two outdoor. The only other Ram to win multiple NCAA track and field titles was Bryan Berryhill, who won the indoor mile (2001) and outdoor 1,500 meters (2000).
“There’s no reason he can’t win three more NCAA titles,” Bedard said. “Honestly, he can be one of the best in the world, and a possible Olympic medalist. He’s that good.”