43°F & Rain 7 day forecast Friday, April 25, 2014

Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Hammersmith has big plans for his future beyond college

With plans of enlisting into the military after college, Nate Hammersmith is not your average student athlete. Coming from a small farm town in Ohio, Hammersmith plans on carrying on a family legacy.

“I’ve always felt that part of my calling was to become part of the military,” Hammersmith said. “It’s a way to honor my great uncle.”

Your average college student normally doesn’t have it all figured out. Most students would say they’re more worried about what their plans are for the weekend, not something three to four years down the road. For Hammersmith, his plan is more of a progressive one, as he is focused on the bigger picture.

“I’m using my time here at Grand Valley State University as a stepping stone to my future,” Hammersmith said. “I think that being a part of the track team will prepare me for bigger obstacles further down the road.”

If there’s one thing you need most for the military, or being on a collegiate track team, it’s work ethic. According to Hammersmith’s teammates, he has more than enough.

“You look at Nate and he is always leading workouts,” said freshman Zakry O’brien. “He’s someone that everyone can look up to.”

Hammersmith recently broke his own school record this past weekend in the 300-meter dash with a time of 34.62. As many athletes strive for accolades and records, Hammersmith admits that such things aren’t as important to him.

“I don’t look at records too highly,” Hammersmith said. “It’s more of another step towards an ultimate goal of graduating.”

More humble than most, Hammersmith thinks so little of his accolades that he wants to see his younger teammates surpass him when his time is done as a Laker.

“Another one of my goals is to see the younger guys beat my records that I have established here at Grand Valley State University. If that happens, I know I have succeeded in being a leader, and a teammate,” he said.

As Hammersmith has surpassed his midway point of his career at GVSU, his role on the team has furthermore revolved into an outspoken leader.

“Before, I would simply lead by example,” Hammersmith said. “Now I try to be more vocal. I am always preaching to the younger kids to listen to the coaches. Also, that it’s a grind, and it will pay off in the end.

One person who has had a first hand view at Hammersmith’s progress as a teammate and leader is head coach Jerry Baltes.

“He’s one of our go to guys,” Baltes said. “He’s now front and center for everyone on the team to look up to.”

Whether it’s the 4×400, the 4×100, or any open sprint event, you can see Hammersmith leading his team with the work ethic instilled in him by his family roots.
tbaker@lanthorn.com



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