Finishing his third year at the University of Southern California, track & field standout Nathan Bultman has a lot to be excited about.
Not only did he win the first-place title in the hammer throw at the 2018 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships on May 13, helping the men’s team to a third-place finish, but he’s also excelling in the classroom.
“This year has been great,” Bultman said. “Academically, I got a 3.7 GPA last semester and a 3.4 GPA this semester, so considering the circumstances with classes getting harder I’m very pleased to say that I’m transitioning well and getting the full college experience, academically and athletically.”
For most college students, the end of finals means the end of classes and the beginning of summer. For the West Ranch product, the competition never ends as he prepares for the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds meet held Thursday through Saturday.
“When it comes to college you can’t slack,” Bultman sais. “You have to perfect your craft. It all comes down to who’s more motivated and dedicated.”
Bultman’s craft: the hammer throw.
Since a kid, Bultman’s father, David (who was a track and field star at UCLA), has always seen the potential in his sons and got them involved in track and field at a young age.
“I hated it at first, but then it became a passion and a tool to use for my education at USC,” Bultman said.
From hating it to loving it, Bultman’s preparation is paying dividends, as he showed in the 2018 Pac-12 Track and Field Championships. He captured the school’s 14th conference title in the hammer throw, with a mark of 219 feet, 10 inches (67.01m), for the sixth title in the past nine seasons.
“It just felt like all the hard work that I’ve put in has paid off. And the best part about it is what coach always preaches, ‘the success is only a product of effort,’” Bultman said.
Things weren’t always titles and trophies for Bultman, however. He had to sit out and redshirt the 2017 outdoor season due to wrist tendinitis (an after-effect of an old snowboarding injury).
“I injured it indoor while I threw a personal record, 61-10 in the shot put. I remember a couple days later in the gym, I was doing weight squats and I heard a pop. That’s when I figured something was wrong,” Bultman said.
Breaking records and making his own path, Bultman has since recovered and gained a full year of eligibility thanks to redshirting the 2017 outdoor season and the 2018 indoor season.
”It comes down to believing in yourself. When I was injured coach Dan Lange, my parents, girlfriend and friends always supported me and they were the ones that motivated me and pushed me even further.”