Wisconsin's Steven Hermsen pursues doctorate of PT, Olympic trials

Posted at 9:19 AM, Apr 05, 2024

"This disc has won me two national titles. That disc has won me one national title."

With 3 straight national discus titles, Steven Hermsen is one of the most accomplished athletes in Carroll University history.

"Standing on the top on the podium at a national meet? It means the world obviously," two-time CCIW Men's Student-Athlete of the Year Steven Hermsen says. "And not a lot of people get to say that. But like you said along the way I've been gracious enough to accept like the CCIW Man of the Year award. A couple of different Carroll 'Man of the Year' and 'Athlete of the Year' awards. It feels really really great to be accepted for both your academics and your athletics."

Hermsen isn't just accomplished in sports; he also boasts a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

"Third-year, doctor, doctorate of physical therapy student," Hermsen says. "So I'm in the third year of my doctorate program, just about to graduate."

"We have to be more specific with him, more scientific in the way that we teach him and the words and the drills that we do," Carroll Assistant Track and Field Coach Shawn Thielitz said. "And that's how his brain functions."

All the more amazing, because after high school? Hermsen had a lot of work, to do.

"If you would have told me, out of my senior year where I think I got 12th in the state at shot put. I didn't even qualify for the state meet in the discus right now I'd be talking to a news channel about potentially qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the discus. I would have told you you were crazy," Hermsen says. "So it's just a big heartfelt thank you to my coaches. My Mom. My Dad. My brother. My girlfriend. Everybody who supports me along the way."

Now with six NCAA All-American honors, the two-time College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Men's student-athlete of the year has too many accolades to count. So, the next goal of making the Olympic Trials would be groundbreaking.

"I don't even know if I could put it into words how great it would feel to reach that stage just because I know how many people have sacrificed for me," Hermsen says. "Sixty and above usually will get you a ticket to the Trials. So, I mean I'm within a meter or two of that qualifying mark."

"He'd be the first one, at Carroll," Thielitz says. "It's a proud moment. I guess it's something as coaches we look forward to, to continuing to see the athletes we coach, chase their dreams."

In this era of what percentage is the student and the athlete, there's no doubt Hermsen is one of the best student-athlete combos going today.