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Oregon star breaks indoor shot put record thrice at same meet

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Ryan Crouser is destined to have a well-chronicled future. The high school senior had already set a striking array of records, including the record mark for scholastic indoor shot put, before his final indoor meet of the season in Pocatello, Idaho, over the weekend. What he did there may have knocked his past accomplishments down a peg on what seems destined to be a future personal Wikipedia page.

At the 2011 Simplot Games, hosted by Idaho State University, Crouser won the indoor shot put with not one, or two, but three indoor record-breaking throws. First, the Barlow (Ore.) High senior broke the 21-year-old mark of Brett Noon -- 74-feet-11 -- with a throw of 75-feet-3.5, and then he followed that up with an astounding toss of 77-feet-2.75.

Amazingly, after the exertions from those earlier tosses, Crouser still had enough energy to break his first mark of the day a second time with his sixth and final throw, tossing 75-feet-11. Add all those amazing throws together, and Crouser beat the previous national mark three times in the span of six throws.

"I felt really solid this last week of practice," Crouser told media at the event. "After I threw over 75 feet, I had nothing holding me back so I went all out.

"I opened up at like 72 and was just feeling good, then got the national record on the second throw. I didn't have anything holding me back so I went after a big one and on my fifth throw got that 77. It surprised me."

While some may have seen Crouser's rise to prominence coming -- the University of Texas recruit is the latest in a long line of throwing legends in the Crouser family -- few could have known such a dominant meet was coming at his last chance of the indoor season. Even Crouser himself, who felt he had a shot at the record, never saw such a huge jump in distance coming.

The senior gave some of the credit for that improvement to the fans at the Simplot meet, the first and only of his high school career.

"It's a great meet," Crouser told the media. "There's a lot of fans and they're really into it, so that makes it a great meet."

There's little doubt that Crouser's record-breaking year is only getting started, too. The Barlow senior still has an outdoor season full of chasing records set by his cousin, Sam Crouser, last year. The elder Crouser set Oregon state records in the javelin, discus and shot put in 2010, earning Gatorade's prestigious National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year honor in the process.

In fact, last spring Sam Crouser became just the second Oregon high school athlete to win all three throwing events at the same state meet, following the lead of -- you guessed it -- both Crouser cousins' uncle, Olympian Brian Crouser.

Whether Ryan Crouser can become the third in his family to sweep the events -- and possibly the second to earn national recognition from Gatorade and others -- remains to be seen. One thing is certain: He's already earned everyone's attention with the most impressive indoor performance possible.

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