At 6-foot-2 1/2 and 265 pounds, Alex Kizirian has been asked on more than one occasion if he'd like to try out for the football team at Colorado.

No thanks, he always says.

"I'm really passionate about throwing and I really like what I'm doing," said Kizirian, a sophomore on the Buffaloes' track and field team. "Plus, I don't have to worry about the idea of not being able to walk when I'm 40."

Nothing against football, but Kizirian is doing just fine in his chosen sport. A native of Bulgaria and a graduate of Mountain Range High School in Thornton, Kizirian already has his sights set on CU school records in the throwing events.

"I'd definitely like to, in years to come, break the hammer and weight school records," he said. "As far as discus and shot put, we'll see how it goes."

At the Husky Classic in Seattle on Feb. 11, Kizirian tossed the weight 62 feet, 1 inch. It shattered his previous best (57-61/4) and was the second best throw in CU history. He's now put himself in position to break the school mark of 63-91/2, set by Zach Hazen in 2007.

Before coming to CU, he had never thrown the hammer or weight, because high school throwers are limited to the shot and discus. Working with Buffs' throwing coach Casey Malone, he has picked it up quickly.

"The first time I tried the hammer, I was horrible at it," Kizirian. "I would cage it all the time. I just kept with it. I trusted coach Casey and I watched more film and I started getting better at it and it started making more sense to me than even discus and shot put.


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"I'm working hard and I've been really trying to figure out the technique of the weight this past year. It started coming together for me recently. I've been having trouble with consistency, but it started to come together."

Kizirian was born with athletic genes. His father, Vasil, was a swimmer for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the 1980s. Vasil still lives in Bulgaria and Alex talks to him frequently.

When Alex was six years old, his parents divorced and he and his mother, Emilia Mileva, moved to Thornton in search of better employment opportunities.

"It was initially difficult for me because I didn't speak the language, but I'm definitely very thankful for what she did and very thankful to have had the opportunity to come to the United States and even go to college here and compete as a track and field athlete in America," said Kizirian, who is fluent in Bulgarian, English and Spanish.

Kizirian has made the most of his opportunity and hopes to keep it going. This weekend, he and the Buffs will compete at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championships in Seattle.

"I'm hoping to do what I did last meet and maybe find the next level," he said.

Rolling along

With a 7-0 win at New Mexico on Saturday, the CU tennis team improved to 4-2, already topping the three wins it had all of last season (3-19).

The Buffs have won two straight, which they hadn't done since April 2010.

Winde Janssens stood out for the Buffs, winning her 11th match of the season at No. 2 singles. She also teamed with Carla Manzi Tenorio to help the Buffs win the doubles point. Janssens and Tenorio are the 55th-ranked duo in the country.

Another Top-10

Emily Talley notched the 17th career top-10 finish of her career with the CU women's golf team, extending her school record. She was 10th in leading the Buffs to a seventh-place finish at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif., on Wednesday.