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Coming full circle: Former ISU track & field athlete returns to Ames for USATF Outdoor Championships



When Nick Hoffman traveled to Ames for the USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Championships in July, it was nearly 50 years to the day since he first set foot on the Iowa State University campus.

As a high school athlete at Shawnee Mission South in Overland Park, Kan., Hoffman was recruited to Iowa State with a track and field scholarship in 1971. He had never seen the campus until he arrived that August and moved into Wallace Hall.

After competing for ISU in the triple jump that year, Hoffman settled in to his science curriculum. He has spent his career teaching science and coaching.

“I coached track forever,” he said from his home in Osburn, a town in northern Idaho, before traveling to Ames for the July 22-25 event. “I always told the kids that track is a lifetime sport.”

And now, he says, he needs to “practice what he preached.” He has competed in the USATF Inland Northwest Area, and when he learned that the Masters Outdoor Championships would be in Ames this summer, he jumped at the chance to “close the circle” and return to the place where he started his collegiate career.

He competed in javelin, shot put, discus, and triple jump at the Cyclone Sports Complex, directly across from his freshman residence hall.

“When I left in 1976, I haven’t been back to town,” he said. “I love following the Cyclones, and I’m excited to see what campus has turned into. I hope to drive by and get a little Hilton magic.”

The USATF Masters Outdoor Championships were hosted by Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Conference Planning and Management, and the Iowa Association USATF.


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