Farin Hickman changed her major three times as a freshman at the University of Indianapolis.

The Whiteland Community High School graduate started out as a business major but elected to switch to exercise science. Then it was experience design and, finally, supply chain management.

“You get to know the admissions office really well,” said Hickman, a record-setter in both the hammer throw and shot put for the Greyhounds’ women’s track and field program, laughing.

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“The first semester here was pretty tough, but I’m glad I stuck it out,” she said. “It’s been the best four years ever.”

As Hickman prepares to graduate May 6, she wouldn’t mind picking up some All-American hardware in her preferred events on her way out the door.

She’s off to a good start, having already been honored twice this season as Great Lakes Valley Conference Field Athlete of the Week.

On April 4, Hickman shattered UIndy women’s standard in the hammer throw with a toss of 58.33 meters at the Miami (Ohio) Invitational.

More recently, she took part in Ball State’s Cardinal Invitational and bested her own hammer throw record with 59.31 meters. The throw was the second-best in  Division II this season and qualifies her for the May 22 to 24 NCAA Championships in Allendale, Michigan.

While in Muncie, she also improved her personal best in the shot put with a top put of 14.19 meters.

Hickman’s next steps into the circle take place in Louisville on Saturday at the Bellarmine Classic.

It’s here she’ll attempt to hammer the competition.


The hammer throw isn’t as mainstream a field event as shot put and discus (Indiana is one of the states that doesn’t offer it as high school event). Nevertheless, it entices athletes because of the blend of speed and power required.

Men use a 16-pound hammer, while the women’s hammer weighs 8.82 pounds.

The women’s hammer throw didn’t make its debut as an Olympic sport until 2000 in Sydney, Australia — a full century after first counted as a men’s Olympic sport.

Hickman, for one, is glad to have mastered the hammer throw having strictly been a shot and discus competitor in high school.

“Before I even started I was told everybody loves hammer. The only people that don’t are the ones who are really good at discus, and that’s what they want to concentrate on,” Hickman said.

“It’s kind of a graceful sport. Some people say like, ‘I feel like a ballerina.’ I’ve never felt that way. I’ve fallen more times than I’m up. It’s a lot of speed, and that’s what I love about it.”

Hickman’s emergence in both events began her sophomore season with the arrival of throws coach Randy Ziraldo.

“That’s when I really started believing that maybe I could go to nationals. It’s probably just the perfect combination of being here at this time with this coach, with this team,” Hickman said.

Ziraldo points to Hickman’s maturity as one of the primary contributors to her success.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Farin for three years and have watched her develop into one of the best hammer throwers in the country,” Ziraldo said.

“Every year her resolve to become an excellent athlete has grown. She’s a bright young woman, witty and resourceful, and we will miss her.”

Farin Hickman sidebar pullout


Name: Farin Hickman

Age: 22

Born: Indianapolis

Family: Parents, Steve and Tammi; sister, Caity, 21

High school: Whiteland H.S. – 2011

College: University of Indianapolis

Major: Supply chain management

Favorite TV show: “New Girl”

Favorite food: I’m a thrower, so I love all food except salad

Favorite movie: “About time”

Favorite athlete: Kathrin Klaas

Favorite team: Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball

Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at