An Oregon tradition continues with the Crouser siblings
PULLMAN, Wash. — When you think of Oregon throws, you think of the Crouser family. Saturday at the 2014 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships, freshman Haley Crouser placed fourth in her first conference javelin championship while her older brother Sam earned his third Pac-12 title in the event.
Their father Dean cheered against the rail while watching his kids carry on the Crouser family tradition.
“I’m really proud of both of them," Dean said. "They work so hard, so to just sit back and watch is so nice. It just couldn’t be better.”
The legacy started with Dean, who made his mark on the Oregon program in the early '80s. Crouser was a three-time NCAA champion, winning the shot put and discus in 1982 and the discus in 1983. He was a five-time All-American, four-time Pac-10 Champion, and he still holds the Oregon school record in the shot put and discus.
Dean's brother Brian also competed for Oregon and is a two-time NCAA javelin champion (1982, 1986) and 1988 and 1992 Olympian.
Saturday started with the youngest Crouser, Haley, who threw 47.92 (157-3) as her best mark in the final round for a fourth-place finish overall. Haley came to Oregon as a three-time All-American as well as a three-time Oregon Track and Field Gatorade Athlete of the Year.
She also set the national prep record in the javelin in 2012 and went on to qualify for the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field where she finished seventh. Although her Saturday wasn’t quite her personal best, the youngest Crouser already is making her presence known in the Pac-12.
“It’s a work in progress. I’m trying to stay positive about it, but it wasn’t how I imagined my first Pac-12 Championships would go or how I wanted it to go,” Haley said. “This whole year has just been adjusting, but hopefully it’ll turn around for regionals.”
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Sam earned his third straight Pac-12 title Saturday with a dominating mark of 74.24m (243-7), four meters ahead of runner-up Quinn Hale from Washington. The junior is a two-time All-American and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials silver medalist. His season’s best of 75.41m is the fourth highest mark in the NCAA this season and will carry him into the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where he finished third last year.
Sam has been battling an injured knee this season, but persevered for the win.
“I was feeling good in warm-ups and everything, but I’ve had a hurt patella in my right knee and on the first throw I aggravated it so it was kinda tough getting through the whole meet,” Sam said. “I’m glad I won and glad I got another Pac-12 title. I just want to help out the team.”
Sam and Haley will continue on to the NCAA West Regional meet May 29-31 for a chance at qualifying for the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and continuing on the Crouser family legacy at Oregon.