Siblings stay in the record book
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? - Bryant Strot is actively involved in his church, while Emilee Strot pursues a teaching career
by David Ball
Bryant Strot competed in his first track meet in sixth grade, checking out a local all-comers meet and testing his skills at various events. It quickly became apparent that Bryant could throw things far, really far. Curious as to what big brother was up to, Emilee Strot followed him out to the track.
'I still have my eighth-place ribbon from the 100-meter dash from that first meet,' Emilee says.
Those early years set in motion a pair of record-breaking careers with Bryant setting the bar high by winning the big-school state title in the discus his senior year in 1999. He still holds the school record (170 feet) in the event at Mt. Hood Community College and remembers first setting the mark like it happened yesterday.
'We were in Eugene and it was getting dark. Most of the events were finished, so the teams were gathering in the stands around the discus ring,' he says. 'I remember being in second place heading into my last throw, and I sent a big one out there. My whole team was going bananas before I even heard the mark.'
Meanwhile, Emilee was making her own name at Gresham High where she was a six-time state champion in the shot put and discus and continues to hold the state-meet record in the discus (152-4).
'Those were my glory days for sure,' Emilee says. 'I'm proud to have been a part of that great Gresham tradition.'
Their throwing prowess earned the siblings college track scholarships.
Bryant landed at Boise State where his spiritual journey took off, and his focus shifted to learning more about his faith.
'I always believed in a god, but I was just doing my own thing back in high school,' Bryant says. 'I was 18 or 19 and for the first time I was actually around people who believed this stuff and lived it - their faith was legit.'
Bryant was active in Campus Crusade for Christ, now Cru, and has since become involved Core Life Church in Gresham where he serves as an elder and hosts a weekly Bible study.
'I grew up seeing the impact coaches can have, and I shared that passion for people. But then the dimension changed. I didn't want to just influence people to stay active and out of trouble, I wanted people to know what I found in Jesus.'
He returned to school and graduated with a business degree from Warner Pacific in 2008 and has spent the last six years working for Comcast. He and his wife of five years Jeannette have two children Faith and Bryant II.
Emilee spent her early college years at Cal-Berkley before a coaching change resulted in her transferring to Kentucky for her final two seasons. She finished third in the discus at the SEC championships her senior year.
She expected to continue competing after college, but repeated knee surgeries derailed those plans and left her with a scar on her right leg.
'My heart and my mind were telling me to keep going, but by body was saying no,' she says.
Emilee returned to Gresham last spring and will enroll in the education program at Concordia this fall. She hopes to one day teach high school English or perhaps work in special education.
She will stay involved with track and field as a graduate assistant coach with the Cavaliers top-level program.