Learning the hammer throw came natural Sarah Loesch who’s had plenty of success in the early stages of her Purdue track and field career.

The redshirt-sophomore from Columbus East already is on three different Boilermakers top-10 lists, including one for her 57-meter, 55-centimeter hammer throw a little more than a month ago. That gave her the eighth-best distance in school history and she doesn’t plan on stopping there.

Purdue throwing coach Keith McBride thinks Loesch has a good chance at chasing a Big Ten title, but said she likely will need to throw a distance that puts her in top three on the school’s all-time list to do so.

The hammer has become Loesch’s favorite event, but it is not the only one in which she is successful. She holds East’s school record in the discus and continued achieving high marks when she got to college.

Loesch ended her freshman year with Purdue’s ninth-best discus throw of 49.73 meters and the eighth-best 20-pound weight throw before bettering that mark this year by throwing 20.27 meters to move up four more spots.

“It honestly was a really big goal of mine for my first year to do those things,” Loesch said. “It’s always a goal to just keep moving up on that list and keep representing the university well.”

Continuing her track and field career in college was not always on Loesch’s radar, but she said she is happy to have received a Boilermaker uniform. Loesch has not taken her opportunity for granted and always is looking to get better. McBride often finds himself picking up the phone with Loesch on the other end wanting tape from the previous weekend’s track meet and asking what can she do better.

Loesch already has assumed the role as one of the team leaders in just her second year, and McBride describes her as the glue that holds the team together. She has high hopes for herself and her teammates for this year’s outdoor season.

Loesch’s fourth-place finish in the weight throw for the Big Ten Indoor Championship almost qualified her for the national meet, and she is looking to qualify for this season’s outdoor nationals in the hammer. She also believes Purdue has a great chance of winning the outdoor conference championship as a team, especially since the Boilermakers were just 2 1/2 points short of winning the indoor title.

“The culture at Purdue is so unique, and there is just good spirit on this team,” Loesch said. “We’re ready to do some really really big things.”

Loesch said she recently has been close to landing a big hammer throw and is gearing up to hit that mark pretty soon. She has her eyes set on breaking the hammer school record before her career is over.

McBride said Loesch’s confidence is gaining each day, and she has even picked up shot put this season. Loesch has not competed in the shot since she set the school record her senior year of high school.

“She’s doing a great job for us, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the season looks like for her,” McBride said.

Sarah Loesch

Name Sarah Loesch

High school: Columbus East

School: Purdue

Year: Redshirt-sophomore

Events: 20-pound weight throw (20.27 meters, fourth all-time); hammer throw (57.63 meters, eighth all-time); discus (49.73 meters, ninth all-time); shot put

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.