There is greatness ready to bust out of Emily Hunsucker's body.

She doesn't know when or where it'll happen, but the Colorado star believes it's there.

"Yeah. You have to believe it to do it," said Hunsucker, the CU school record holder in the hammer throw. "You have to honestly, whole-heartedly believe that there is a chance you could become a national champion. I do. It gives me goosebumps thinking about it.

"I'm facing giants, that's the truth, and it would be an underdog story."

It's already been a good story to this point, and there's no telling how good it'll get for Hunsucker.

On Saturday and Sunday, Hunsucker and the rest of the CU track and field team will compete at the Pac-12 Championships in Los Angeles. Several Buffs, including Emma Coburn, who is ranked No. 1 nationally in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, are seeking Pac-12 titles this week.

Based on national rankings, Hunsucker is unlikely to win the Pac-12. She is ranked 18th nationally in the hammer throw, with four Pac-12 rivals ranked ahead of her. Arizona State's Chelsea Cassulo leads the nation with a throw of 229 feet, while UCLA Ida Storm is third with a best throw of 223 feet, 3 inches.


Then again, there's no telling how high the ceiling is for the Pomona High School graduate, whose best throw is 203-9.

"It all depends on what happens that day, to be completely honest," Hunsucker said. "There's people that have the meet of their life and there's people that are supposed to win it who scratch out."

After four years of hard work, Hunsucker is certainly in the conversation for the Pac-12 title, though.

Prior to her senior season at Pomona in 2009, she started working with strength coach Brian Powers, in Golden. Hunsucker said the physical improvement she made under Powers' direction was off the charts. She won the Class 5A state title in the shot put that season.

That got her noticed by CU and, once she got to Boulder she added the weight (indoor) and hammer throw.

"I picked up the hammer and it seemed to work out and I qualified for junior nationals and that was really awesome," she said.

It didn't take long for Hunsucker to realize the hammer throw was her event. In fact, she doesn't even throw the shot put anymore.

A former dancer, Hunsucker has been able to apply the footwork and other skills obtained through dance, to the hammer throw. This season, Hunsucker said she finally figured out how to use all of that skill to enhance her strength.

"It's been so exciting this year because I feel like I'm finally using my strength," she said. "I feel like (in previous years), I've been able to get away with it because I'm a little stronger, but now I'm actually being able to apply it.

"It's so much fun. I love coming to practice every day. Every day is a new challenge, that's for sure."

So far, Hunsucker has met every challenge in front of her. She has won six meets this season and has broken the CU program record three times. Most recently, she established the new mark of 203-9 at the Cowpoke Open in Laramie, Wyo., on May 3.

She's hoping for even better marks in the coming weeks. After the Pac-12 championships, the Buffs will go to the NCAA West Preliminaries on May 23-25. If she's top 12 in the region, she'll go to nationals in June.

Finding success this season isn't Hunsucker's only goal. With one more season in front of her (Hunsucker redshirted last year), she is aiming for the top spot in nationals and, perhaps, a spot on a future Olympic team.

"It always feels like there's something more," she said.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.