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Despite injury, Sam Crouser takes javelin aim at U.S. Olympic team

TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Sam Crouser won two NCAA javelin titles while an Oregon Duck.There is an element of both good and bad to Sam Crouser’s bid for a berth on the U.S. Olympic team that will compete at Rio de Janeiro in August.

The good part is the national prep javelin record-holder out of Gresham High holds one of three Olympic qualifying marks among competitors in the competition at the U.S. Olympic trials July 2 and 4 at Eugene’s Hayward Field.

Crouser threw a personal-record 273 feet, 4 inches at a meet last August at the Concordia Throws Center while successfully attempting to meet the qualifying standard for the 2015 World Championships. Athletes can meet the qualifying standard for the Rio Games (272-4) beginning May 1, 2015, so Crouser has his mark, along with fellow former Oregon Duck Cyrus Hostetler (275-0) and Sean Furey (272-7).

The bad part is Crouser is coming off a knee injury that robbed him of four months of crucial offseason training and leaves him at less than top form for Eugene.

“The knee is feeling a lot better,” says Crouser, 24, who won NCAA javelin titles while at Oregon in 2014 and ’15. “I wish I had more time before the trials. I’m beginning to get my strength back. It’s better, because my knee isn’t hurting, but the (training) base isn’t as big as I’d like.”

• There will be another Crouser throwing at the trials. Sam’s sister, Haley, threw the javelin 173-1 in a recent meet at Austin, Texas, and is currently among 24 qualifiers for Eugene.

Haley Crouser is the former national prep record-holder at Gresham High who transferred to Texas from Oregon last year. She redshirted for the Longhorns this season while rehabbing a shoulder injury and has two remaining years of eligibility....

Look for the full story in our Friday, July 1, print edition.

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Twitter: @kerryeggers