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Where are you now, Katie Hansen

Ram Alumni Athletes Association

By John Hirn
CSU Athletics Historian

She was born to be a Ram.Katie Hansencompeted for the CSU track & field team from 2003 to 2006, continuing a family legacy that would make anybody proud.

Katie Hansencame from Livermore, Colo., and attended Poudre High School, but being a local athlete is not what made her born to be a Ram. Her great athletic lineage and excellent talents are really what made her a Ram and that lineage began with her grandfather, Fum McGraw.

Katie looked back at her athletic career at CSU and spoke of that lineage saying, "There wasn't a day that went by I didn't think of him, there was void there, which remains today. He wasn't Fum McGraw to me; he was my Granddad, my heart and soul, someone who will always hold a special place in my heart."

Katie not only walked the same path from theGlenn MorrisField House to virtually the same location where her legendary grandfather competed in track and football, but she did what no other CSU athlete has done. In 2005,Katie Hansenwon an All-American Award in discus, the exact same event McGraw won in 1949. They are the only grandfather/granddaughter All-Americans in CSU history.

Hansen looked back on the 2005 NCAA Track championships as her fondest memory of any competition during her career at CSU and said, "I came in 26 out of 28 throwers and had nothing to lose at that point. The prelims were held in the pouring down rain and a lot of the top throwers in the nation that year either fouled out or didn't throw very well. I knew I had the opportunity to do something special; I just had to keep my composure and focus on the task at hand. I qualified for finals 11 out of 12, so again I was going into finals with nothing lose. I had a big PR that day, and finished 8th in the country, it was one of the greatest feelings I had and it was so special because my family was there to experience it with me."

Katie came to CSU not just because of her family history, but because she wanted to train under one of the best throws coaches in the nation, current Rams track CoachBrian Bedard. Coach Bedard remembered Katie well saying, "She had some Fum toughness genes passed down to her for sure! Trained and threw on a broken ankle at one point in her career. Had I known I wouldn't have had her throw. Thought it was a mild sprain. That's how tough she is!"

Katie looked back on that broken ankle and said, "As a freshman I hurt my ankle at practice, I didn't think anything of it. I kept training and competing on it, just taped it. It never healed and just kept getting worse, after the season I had it rechecked and had to have it surgically repaired. I had to have both my ankles repaired and reconstructed in my time at CSU and since. I never gave them a chance to heal because I had to get back to training and competing. I never really competed healthy at CSU after that. I remember the last 2 months of my career came down to how much pain I could tolerate... just doing what I had to do, no excuses I knew I had to get it done."

Getting it done is whatKatie Hansendid atJack ChristiansenTrack. In her freshman year she finished 3rd at the Mountain West Championships in the discus earning the first of her four All-Conference honors. In 2004 during her sophomore season, Hansen finished 2nd at the MWC Championships for discus and 11th at the NCAA Regionals along with another All-Conference honor. It was her junior year of 2005 when she not only finished 8th at the NCAA Championships, but she also won four discus events during the regular season along with placing 7th in the weight throw and 9th in the shot at the MWC indoor championships. She concluded her senior year with a conference championship in discus and an academic all-conference honor.

Katie Hansenstill lives in Northern Colorado and after earning her degree in Health and Exercise Science in 2006, she went on to be the throws coach at Poudre High School along with coaching softball and basketball. The spring of 2015 will mark her first year as the throws coach at Rocky Mountain High School. She also works in the Research Department at UC Health with the Healthy Hearts Program doing research and educating students in NOCO about heart health and healthy lifestyles.

Katie also is a member of the Ram Alumni Athletes Association and this year is a board member of that organization. When asked about the importance of alumni athletes she said, "A strong alumni base is a key to strengthening athletic programs. It is a great opportunity to give back to CSU and its current and future athletes in many different ways."

Katie summed up her great career at CSU and said, "There were so many people that were a huge part of my success at CSU. Coach Bedard and Coach Hessel gave me a chance and stuck with me through a lot and I can't thank them enough for who they are and what they did for me. After your career is over, the things that you accomplished fade away and really what remains are the teammates, coaches and people who made you better and what made the experience special. I was blessed!"

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