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2011-12 West Ranch Male Athlete of the Year: Nick Bultman

Posted: June 30, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 30, 2012 1:55 a.m.

West Ranch track and field athlete Nick Bultman was named the school's Male Athlete of the Year for 2011-12.

Back in November, West Ranch senior Nick Bultman was introduced to the hammer throw — an Olympic sport where athletes throw a heavy metal ball that is attached to a wire and a handle.

Only Rhode Island has the hammer throw as a high school sport, according to a 2011 story by the New York Times.

But Bultman and his father, Dave, learned the nuances of the event together in order to build up the young thrower’s strength and further develop his technique.

Six months later, the hammer throw paid dividends in the shot put and discus for Bultman.

The 5-foot-10-inch, 190-pound senior was the Foothill League champion in the shot put and discus and would later pile up more accolades in the postseason.

“He had a different level of commitment,” said Dave, who is also West Ranch track and field’s throws coach.

Learning the hammer throw displayed Bultman’s commitment to being a student of the game.

Yet, during the 2012 track and field season, he was growing frustrated.

A back injury brought on by weightlifting limited his ability to practice and improve.

The breakthrough came where he put down the weights and focused on technique and used a balance developed at an early age from taekwondo.

By 10 years old, he was a black belt in the martial art and his advanced coordination and dexterity were signs of future success.

That breakthrough/success came when the postseason began.

At the CIF-Southern Section prelims on May 12, Bultman threw a personal record of 55 feet, 10 inches in the shot put and threw 156-7 in the discus.

His previous best on the shot put was 54-7.

At Southern Section finals, he threw the shot put 57-5.

Then at the Masters Meet, he went 59-10 1/2.

All those throws were school records.

The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-bound athlete finished up his season by finishing eighth in the state with a throw of 59-1 1/2 in Clovis on June 2 in the CIF State Track and Field Finals.

In the end, all those accomplishments led to West Ranch High calling Bultman its 2011-12 Male Athlete of the Year.


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