We’re highlighting many of Oregon’s top high school track and field athletes.
Our fourth list focuses on the throwers. Here are more than 35 of the state’s best in the shot put, discus and javelin.
All marks through May 10
Aiden Paul photo by Taylor Balkom
Aiden Paul, Sr., West Albany
Personal bests: Shot put, 57 feet, 7½ inches; Discus, 181-10; Hammer, 198-4
Paul’s career has ascended since a sophomore season in which he became the third West Albany boy to win an individual state title (and the first in the past decade) when he won the Class 5A discus to cap an undefeated season. He’s No. 36 on the state’s all-time list in the discus and has added more than three feet to his personal best in the shot put outdoors this season as he prepares to begin his college career at Stanford.
Akseli Mende, Sr., Ida B. Wells (formerly Wilson)
Personal bests: Javelin, 189-10
Mende has exploded onto the scene this spring, throwing an 11-foot personal best in his opening meet and continuing to improve nearly every week. He has made a 28-foot improvement from his previous PR and ranks No. 4 in the state for all classifications.
Andrea Osbon, Sr., Siuslaw
Personal bests: Shot, 41-2; Discus, 126-2
Osbon is a two-time Class 4A state qualifier in the shot and discus, sweeping the Sky-Em district titles in her first two seasons and placing third at state in the shot as a sophomore. She ranks No. 2 in 4A in both events and is fifth in the shot for all classifications after throwing a 20-inch personal best at the Sky-Em League Showcase on April 30.
Asher Krauel, Sr., Sherwood
Personal bests: Javelin, 193-7
Krauel spent his free time at the 2019 Class 6A state meet, which moved to Mt. Hood Community College, fishing at a pond near the campus. He took home the seventh-place medal. The avid fisherman and record-setting basketball player (he scored 30 points in the first quarter of a game against McMinnville last season to set the state record for points in a quarter) is considering Montana and Montana State as college destinations, in part because “he’s heard that the fishing is pretty good in Montana,” Bowmen track coach Terrel Smith quipped.
Austin Strawn, Sr., Eagle Point
Personal bests: Javelin, 198-8
Strawn won the Class 5A state title as a freshman, when he led all ninth-graders nationally, and took second to North Bend’s Ty Hampton (now at Oregon) the following season. He would not have thrown last season after having elbow surgery in January 2020. The Oregon Tech signee threw a season-best 191-7 at the Medford Rotary Relays on April 24. His career best is just over seven feet shy of the school record.
Brayden Tackett, Sr., Oakland
Personal bests: Shot, 37-4; Discus, 110-0
Tackett has ranked among the 2A leaders in the discus this spring and plans to throw for Umpqua Community College next year as he studies forestry with a goal of becoming a forest ranger.
Bryan Cuthbertson, Sr., Sherwood
Personal bests: Shot, 56-9; Discus, 167-9; Javelin, 197-11
Cuthbertson was runner-up at the Class 6A state meet in the shot and discus as a sophomore, so he wasn’t about to give up on the sport just because he injured his right (throwing) elbow during the recently completed football season. He decided to throw left-handed this spring and nearly went 50 feet in the shot at the Friday Night Lights meet May 7 in Newberg.
Casey Moran, So., Lake Oswego
Personal bests: Shot, 30-1; Discus, 106-10; Javelin, 85-1
Lakers coach Vince Kinney had to work to convince Moran, who also plays volleyball, to turn out for track this spring. Not only has Moran moved into the top five on the school’s all-time record board in the discus, “but she has been a great teammate and has been helping Ashley Lewis improve as well,” Kinney said.
Colton McMaster, Jr., Astoria
Personal bests: Shot, 57-1; Discus, 183-7; Javelin, 145-8
McMaster hinted at his potential as a freshman when he placed seventh in the discus at the Class 4A state meet. He’s busted out this spring, improving on his personal bests in the shot by almost 12 feet and the discus by more than 38 feet. His PR in the shot came at a track where the pit was lined with railroad ties. His third throw sailed over the ties at the far end, bounced once on the grass and rolled into a thicket of six-foot-high blackberry bushes covering a steep hillside. As three officials crawled through the brush to retrieve the steel ball, McMaster celebrated, figuring he’d thrown more than 60 feet to clear the pit. His excitement was tempered slightly when he learned it was only 55 feet, “but he still got a PR,” his throws coach, Bob Ellsberg, said. “Big Hoss is a natural athlete who works unnaturally hard.”
Elijah Seamster, Sr., Southridge
Personal bests: Shot, 45-4¾; Discus, 134-4
Seamster has been a four-year competitor for the Skyhawks and a team captain who has come into his own this spring, ranking No. 2 in the Metro League in the shot and discus entering the final two weeks of the season.
Elliott Bush, Jr., Central Catholic
Personal bests: Javelin, 136-0
Bush learned at the feet of former Rams standout Joe Nizich (now at the Air Force Academy), who tutored her on the finer points of the event and helped her qualify for state with a school freshman-record throw of 119-0 — she placed second at district and even as she received congratulations didn’t believe she’d qualified, thinking only district champions advanced. This spring, a bit more savvy about the ins and outs of the sport, she has gone undefeated at five meets and came within four feet of the school record at a three-team Mt. Hood meet May 4 with a throw that leads all juniors statewide and is No. 7 across all classifications. “We are very happy with the progress she’s made and know she is looking to throw even further in the next few weeks,” said Rams throws coach Jordan Miller.
Eric Brown, Sr., Southridge
Personal bests: Shot, 45-2½; Discus 121-0
Brown has pushed his teammate, Elijah Seamster, all spring, ranking just behind him on the Metro League lists in the shot (third) and discus (fourth).
Gabrielle Tata-Rodrigues, Sr., North Salem
Personal bests: Shot, 40-10½; Discus, 122-1; Javelin 113-4
Tata-Rodrigues is better known for her prowess on the wrestling mat, where she was runner-up at 155 pounds at the 2020 state meet and has signed with Corban University, but she contributed key points to the Vikings’ run to the 2019 Class 5A state title with a fifth-place finish in the shot and eighth in the discus. She leads 5A shot putters, improving nearly five feet on her PR, and is No. 2 in the discus, and she credits much of her success to her grandfather, who has trained her since age 9, taking her to the park every day after school to work on agility skills, sprints, body weight mechanics and explosion drills before heading to Jiu Jitsu practice. “Gabby is the complete package in everything she does,” Vikings throws coach Beth Dougherty said. “She is not only a phenomenal athlete, but she brings top-notch attitude, leadership, desire, work ethic and skill to each and every practice, showing new athletes what it means to be a Viking.”
Isabelle Esler, Sr., St. Mary’s Academy
Personal bests: Javelin, 147-6
Esler started high school at Wilson, where she placed at the Class 6A state meet as a freshman, before transferring to St. Mary’s Academy as a sophomore and winning the state title. She threw her personal best in winning the BMW Portland Ultimate Field Invitational on May 1 — one of her five victories this spring — and moved into 38th on the all-time state list. She ranks second in the state and No. 9 nationally in the javelin and will continue her career at Oregon State.
Ismayil Abdoulaye, Sr., Westview
Personal bests: Javelin, 160-3
Wildcats coach Rebecca Martin called Abdoulaye “one of the great surprises of the season.” He leads the Metro League with a 22-foot personal-best throw at a league dual April 29. “He put in a lot of work in the past year to be where he is today,” Martin said. “He is only getting better with plenty of room to grow.”
Izzy Steerman, Sr., Faith Bible Christian
Personal bests: Discus, 114-8; Javelin, 141-0
Steerman is a two-time Class 2A state finalist in the javelin, placing third as a freshman and second as a sophomore. She ranked second in 2A in the discus and led 2A javelin throwers (No. 4 among all classifications) entering the final two weeks of the season.
Jake Moore, Sr., Wilsonville
Personal bests: Shot, 48-8¼; Discus, 151-7
Moore has signed with the College of Idaho football team as a defensive end, but he’s taken big strides on the track this spring, improving by more than five feet in the shot and 10 feet in the discus from his previous personal-best throws. He ranks second among 5A discus throwers and No. 5 across all classifications.
Jayda Lee, Sr., Glencoe
Personal bests: Shot, 41-6; Discus, 149-10; High jump, 5-4
Lee was named Field Athlete of the Meet as a sophomore at the Pacific Conference district meet, when she won the high jump and took second in the discus to qualify for state. She has since focused on the throws with her father, Won, earning a scholarship to BYU and moving into the top 20 on the all-time state list in the discus at a league dual at McMinnville on April 28. She holds school records in the discus and high jump and is less than two feet off the shot put mark. She also was named Pacific Conference player of the year in the recently completed volleyball season. “Jayda has dedicated to all her academics and athletics more than any athlete I have ever worked with,” Crimson Tide coach Ian Reynoso said. “She has set goals and has chased down — pretty much all of them. There are a few more on her list to check off, but she is off to a great start.”
Jewyl Newton, Jr., St. Mary’s Academy
Personal bests: Shot, 43-6; Discus, 127-9; Javelin, 111-2
Newton broke onto the scene late in her freshman season, finishing with a third-place finish in the shot at the Class 6A state meet. As a sophomore, she was invited to attend the USA/Australia Olympic women’s training camp Down Under — the only underclassman invited to the event — and she has continued her upward trajectory this spring, moving into the state’s all-time top 50 in the shot with her school-record shot put at an April 28 Three Rivers dual meet. She ranked No. 2 in the state in the shot and fifth in the discus with two weeks left in the season.
Josephine Krohn, Sr., Benson
Personal bests: Javelin, 139-0
Krohn narrowly missed the medals podium as a sophomore at the 2019 Class 6A state meet, but she’d be among the title contenders this spring. She’s gone over 130 feet three times, including her personal-best throw at a PIL meet April 28 at Jefferson.
Kaiah Fisher, Sr., Hidden Valley
Personal bests: Shot, 45-1½; Discus, 165-3
Fisher broke the 4A state freshman record with a 42-8 shot put at the Skyline district meet, and she’s been among the state’s top throwers since. She finished third at state that year, then took second in the shot and discus at state as a sophomore. She signed with Stanford in the offseason and has celebrated this spring with throws that put her in the state’s top 20 all-time in the shot and No. 2 all-time in the discus behind Sherwood’s Shelby Moran. She also is a two-time 4A all-state goalkeeper in soccer and was Skyline player of the year and first-team all-state in basketball as a junior.
Kitt Rupar, Sr., Summit
Personal bests: Shot, 37-5; Discus, 118-4
Rupar holds the school freshman and sophomore records in the shot and was on track to become the second girl in school history to break 40 feet in the event before suffering a knee injury during her sophomore year, then losing a season to COVID-19. “She’s been close, and she has the ability,” Storm coach Dave Turnbull said. “But now, in the short year, it’s a stretch.”
Kohana Nakato, Sr., Summit
Personal bests: 100, 12.85; Javelin, 157-1; Long jump, 17-6
Nakato enjoyed an amazing May of her sophomore season, when in a span of four meets, she placed fifth at the Jesuit Twilight Relays, won the Bend City Championships and Mountain Valley district titles, and took second at the Class 6A state meet. She didn’t let COVID-19 stall her momentum, taking advantage of Season 2 in the fall to break the school record and become the 12th girl in state history to throw farther than 157 feet. Her best this spring of 151-5 leads the state and is No. 5 nationally.
Kyeese Hollands, So., Benson
Personal bests: Shot, 39-10; Discus, 138-11; Javelin 139-8
Hollands might be the most versatile thrower in the state, ranking among the top 10 in all three events and breaking all three school records. She owns the PIL record in the discus with her throw at the BMW Portland Ultimate Field Invitational on May 1, and she’s two feet off the shot and javelin records as well as two inches from becoming the seventh PIL girl to break 40 feet in the shot.
Laura Young, Jr., Monroe
Personal bests: Shot, 42-10; Discus 116-2; Javelin, 100-8
Young broke the Class 2A junior record at the Dragons’ first meet and later moved into second on the all-time 2A list with her personal-best throw at a Special District 3 home meet May 4 that ranks No. 3 on the state list for all classifications. She won the 2A state title as a freshman and placed fifth in the discus.
Liam Brown, Sr., Sunset
Personal bests: Shot, 51-4½; Discus, 147-5
Brown signed with the University of Montana as an offensive lineman, but his performance this spring on the track could pique the interest of Grizzlies track coaches as well. He threw a 7-foot personal best in the shot at his first meet April 22 and has improved his discus PR by 23 feet. Both throws rank among the top 10 in the state.
Logan Thebiay, Jr., Wilsonville
Personal bests: Shot, 54-6; Javelin, 162-3
Thebiay has shown great improvement from a freshman season in which he made the NWOC district final in the shot and javelin. He leads the NWOC in both events this spring, and his 8-foot PR in the shot ranks No. 2 in 5A and fourth overall.
Mackenzii Phillips, Sr., Douglas
Personal bests: Javelin, 141-9; Triple jump, 33-10¼
Phillips won state javelin titles each of her first two seasons with the Trojans — 4A as a freshman and 3A as a sophomore — and added a USATF Junior Olympic 15-16 national title the summer after her sophomore year. She spoke out about her emotional struggles during the pandemic and how she maintained contact with Princeton coach Michelle Eisenreich during the long layoff. She finally broke through May 5 at a league meet, improving her personal best by two feet and moving into fifth on the all-time Class 3A state list.
Marilyn Ramirez Carmona, So., Southridge
Personal bests: Shot, 34-5½; Discus, 101-11; Javelin, 96-3
Ramirez Carmona recorded her Metro League-leading discus throw in her first high school meet, and the three-sport athlete (soccer, basketball and track) hasn’t slowed down. She ranks No. 2 in the league in the shot and No. 4 in the javelin.
Mia Rust, Sr., Philomath
Personal bests: Shot, 37-7; Discus, 103-0
Rust first turned out for track as a sophomore, when she won the Oregon West district title and threw a personal best to place fifth at the Class 4A state meet. She has won three meets this spring.
Noah Culbertson, Sr., Sherwood
Personal bests: Shot, 62-5; Discus, 175-0
Bowmen coach Terrel Smith called Culbertson “one of the most consistent and durable track athletes we have ever coached,” and the University of Idaho signee has certainly shown that consistency this spring, going undefeated in 13 competitions and moving into 14th on the state’s all-time list in the shot with his throw at an April 17 Pacific Conference meet. “His mark improvement over his high school career is remarkable,” Smith said. “He is another athlete who did not allow the COVID break to dampen his momentum and performance. He found virtual meets to compete in and continued to practice throughout the year.”
Ofeina Pulotu, So., Parkrose
Personal bests: Shot, 37-8¼; Discus, 90-3
Pulotu missed out on her freshman season, but she busted out this season as a sophomore, leading the NWOC and ranking No. 2 among 5A shot putters with her school-record throw at an April 21 league meet. She ranks fourth in the conference in the discus. Broncos throws coach Nick Hobbs praised her commitment to her craft and how well-respected she is by her coaches and teammates.
Samuel Jennings, Jr., Pendleton
Personal bests: Javelin, 198-11
Jennings was a good javelin thrower entering the Class 5A state meet as a freshman, but it was at Mt. Hood Community College that he made a name for himself, throwing a 19-foot personal best to place fourth. A few weeks later, he took fourth at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships, and while the pandemic stalled his momentum, he reignited it this spring. He broke the school record and moved into the state’s all-time top 50 with his winning throw at the Pendleton Triad on April 30, which leads the state this spring and is No. 8 nationally.
Savana Ramirez, Sr., Milwaukie
Personal bests: Shot, 37-1; Discus, 127-1
Ramirez broke through toward the end of her sophomore season, winning the NWOC district and Class 5A state titles in the discus. She worked with her older brother, Noah, a four-time state placer in the shot and discus, during the pandemic, and the work has paid off this spring. She leads 5A discus throwers with a nine-foot personal best and is No. 3 in the shot with a two-foot PR.
Sydney Brewster, So., Sandy
Personal bests: Shot, 40-0; Discus, 130-11
The Pioneers have a long tradition of producing standout throwers going back to the Skipper family in the late 1980s. Brewster is the third sibling to come through the program, and she’s upholding the family name, breaking the school sophomore record in the shot at a three-team Mt. Hood meet April 23 with a throw that ranks fourth on the school’s all-time list. She sits fifth on the discus list with a personal-best throw at Sandy’s meet May 4 that ranks No. 4 in the state.
Tanner Brewster, Sr., Sandy
Personal bests: Shot, 51-1½; Discus, 156-4; Javelin, 186-5
Brewster won the Mt. Hood district title in the discus and placed fifth at the Class 6A state meet as a sophomore, and he’s ranked among the state leaders in all three throws this spring after adding 19 feet to his personal best in the javelin to move into second on the school’s all-time list. Besides younger sister Sydney, he follows in the footsteps of his father, Travis, a Pioneers alum who is in his first year as Sandy’s throws coach, and older brother TJ, who competes at the University of Oregon in the hammer and discus.
Ty Delgado, Sr., Parkrose
Personal bests: Shot, 50-2½; Discus, 132-0
Delgado is one of the top offensive linemen in 5A, but he also was a Northwest Oregon district finalist in the shot and discus as a sophomore and became the third Parkrose thrower to break 50 feet in the shot at an April 28 NWOC meet.