About BTiell Sports Reports

Dr. Bonnie Tiell writes a monthly column for the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports Department (http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/). This blog archives each column and dates back to the 2008 Olympic Academic Experience in Beijing, China. Check out the Blog Archives to read more. Check out info about the TU Olympic Academic Experience at http://www.tuolympics.blogspot.com/ and contact Dr. Tiell at btiell@tiffin.edu

Friday, August 27, 2010


Not many people wear a Scottish kilt on a golf course, but that was the attire of Tiffin University’s Head Strength and Conditioning Coach [and Assistant Track Coach] Adriane Blewitt, winner of the ‘best dressed” honor during a faculty – staff outing. There was a reason behind her attire. A two-time qualifier for the Olympic trials and the current collegiate national record holder in both the indoor and outdoor shot put, Blewitt traveled to Scotland where she added the title “World Caber Tossing Champion” to her professional resume.

Think of throwing a 20 foot telephone pole end over end and you have the concept behind a Celtic tradition known as the Caber Toss.

Blewitt competed in the Callander Highland Games where she beat out world class competitors from Poland, Iceland, Great Britain, and of course, Scotland. She did more than compete. When it was all said and done, Blewitt won eight events including the 9lb. stone put, 16lb. stone put, 14lb. weight for distance (one hand), 14lb. weight for distance (two hands), 12lb. Scottish hammer throw, 28lb. weight for height, caber toss, and the challenge caber for the title of World Caber Tossing Champion.

She went on to break three more field records at the Braveheart Games in Fort William, Scotland which validates why she has ranked among the US top ten in the shot put over the past eight years. She is also one of only thirteen women in American history to shot put over sixty feet.

Whether Blewitt receives an invitation to the 2012 Olympic trials is unknown, but the down-to-earth coach with the winning smile, toned physique, and genuinely gracious attitude has created quite the excitement on the Tiffin University campus and within the Tiffin community.

Blewitt’s achievements in the professional world of track and field were almost for naught when the aspiring world class athlete was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma disease in 2003. Her plans to graduate from college and make the Olympic team were shattered when she had to quit school and consider a year off from track and field.

Reflecting on the experience, she explained, "Every fall it's a little bit of a mental block for me to push through it. It gets tough because I remember how horrible I felt, trying to figure out why I couldn't train, why I couldn't get through a workout. And then realizing it's because [I] had a huge mass in my chest and its cancer.”

After undergoing surgery and six months of chemotherapy, Blewitt resumed training and finished 4th at the Olympic trials which placed her as an alternate for Athens. She also narrowly missed the 2008 Olympic team bound for Beijing. Now London is calling.

Interestingly, Blewitt appears nothing like the stereotypical husky, bulky, thick female shot putter. GeneX magazine described the Olympic hopeful as a “sleek, toned, muscular machine”. Blewitt even graced the pages of Sports Illustrated as one of the “Faces in the Crowd” selections.
One look at a magazine photo shoot or chance encounter and anyone would be impressed by the beauty, grace, and femininity of a mighty power force. Her friends chuckle that while she does consume a ton of extremely healthy foods, Adriane never fails to miss a meal opportunity!

Meeting Adriane Blewitt personally is inspiring if not uplifting. The opportunity for Adriane to interact and share her inspirational story with college students is beyond fortunate. No doubt her strength and conditioning duties for 300lb lineman on the football team is a classic example of melting gender roles in athletics. But players have responded extremely positively to a female advocating nutritional habits and designing weight room work-outs.

On the TU campus, Assistant Athletic Director and Head Track and Field Coach Jeremy Croy is to be commended for bringing the light and energy of an amazing personality to the Dragon family. The growth and national prominence of the track and field program over recent years can be attributed to Croy’s ability to recruit both talented athletes and a talented coaching staff. Coach Croy isn’t surprised by how easily Adriane has fit into the university’s athletic department.

Meet Blewitt personally and anyone would be impressed by the radiance she reflects for life. After beating cancer and breaking barriers for women in sports, Blewitt ‘s persona can be described through perseverance and purpose – with a dash of fun. Who else would wear a Scottish kilt to a golf outing?

Tiffin University is indeed fortunate to make yet another truly great connection in the athletics industry. Stay tune next month for additional perspectives on interesting events and personalities in the world of sports.

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