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Crouser wins gold at first Olympics

The Barlow High graduate sets the Olympic record in the shot put on his fifth attempt

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Ryan Crouser shares a moment with Alicia Inns, a Gresham High graduate, who works for the NBC affiliate in Austin, Texas. Ryan Crouser was unstoppable Thursday night hitting the four biggest throws of the shot put competition to take home the gold medal from the Rio Olympics.

Crouser sat third after the opening round of throws, but quickly set the bar with a heave of 72-feet-11-inches on his second attempt. No one came close to matching him.

In fact, Crouser was the only one in the 12-person event to send the 16-pound ball past the last line of the sector — marking 22 meters.

He did it three times.

“He put one out there and told everyone else 'come get me',” said Dave Kilian — Barlow's head track coach when Crouser was a Bruin. “To see him with the American flag was amazing — just pure joy and pride.”

His fifth attempt arced through the air slightly to the right side, landing with a thump in the grass. Crouser's reaction showed that he knew he had done something special.

The throw measured in at 22.52 meters (73-feet-10.5-inches) to break the Olympic record from 1988 by five centimeters — about the width of your hand.

At the conclusion of the event, he shook hands with each of the meet officials then trotted across the stadium track to receive an American flag from his family to celebrate the accomplishment.

Look for expanded coverage in our Tuesday, Aug. 23, print edition.