Dropping the hammer

By Coleman Swierc - bio | email

TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - Chris Stonestreet came to UT-Tyler, ready to throw a ball.

"Everyone in high school knew me as a baseball player, and that is what I came to college for," said Stonesteet.

Little did he know, that he would trade the baseball…for an 16 pound ball, otherwise known as the hammer.

"One of my buddies back started doing it at his school, Northwood University, he told me about it, he told me that I would be good at it," said Stonestreet, "I just started doing it, and fell in love with it. Seeing a heavy thing go as far as it does is a rush."

Turns out, he was pretty good.

And the thought of turning a double play…quickly turned to thoughts of turning in the ring.

"I do three turns, and about the 2nd turn I know if it is going to be a good one, and when you let it go, you can tell," said the sophomore.

Stonestreet knew he hit a big one, when a throw at McMurry, landed his mark as the schools all-time best

"It was a pretty good one, but I did not actually think that it was going to be a school record, but whenever it landed, I knew I had it."

"He is one of the hardest workers I have ever been around, and with all of that put together, he is starting to come around," said Stonestreets teammate Rick Still, "I have no doubt in my mind that he will make nationals next year.

Stonestreet doesnt want to wait that long, he wants his next big throw, to put him on the biggest stage.

"I want to get to nationals, and I am getting closer to it, and ultimately the goal is to become an All-American and compete for a national championship."

Stonestreet's school record sits at just over 156 feet, he says he needs between 165 and 170 to qualify for nationals.

Considering between year one and two of his hammer career, he improved more than 40 feet, nationals might be a safe bet.

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