The glory is gone but the adrenaline still flows a bit and the competitive enjoyment remains for Andover’s Ralph Bakkensen.
The 64-year-old attorney is a former shot putter and discus thrower from track crazy (Portland) Oregon who was a state high school champion and then threw at Stanford courtesy of a full track and field scholarship.
Back then, track and field was in his blood, thanks largely to his older brother by seven years, John, who was a discus star in high school and later went to Harvard, where he set numerous school records in the throwing events. He had a best throw of 201-1 and just missed making the Olympic team.
“He was my idol, my champion, and I wanted to be like him,” said Bakkensen, who specialized more in the shot put “because my grandmother said we shouldn’t be competing in the same event.”
“I wanted to be like him and, while