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Glencoe multi-sport athlete excels at middle distances

Ryan England has been a jack-of-all-trades in his athletic career at Glencoe High School.

In a time when high school athletes often opt to specialize in one sport, the Crimson Tide senior has participated in football, wrestling, and track and field for Glencoe.

It would be easy to assume that England, who was an honorable mention all-league running back and defensive back on the gridiron, competes in the throws or sprints, as do many football players in track. England is strong and fast, but he uses those strengths to run the middle distance events for Glencoe.

“It’s definitely a change in workouts, going from trying to get as much weight as I can, to then wrestling dropping weight — dropping like 10 or 15 pounds — and then going right into track and just trying to keep lean muscle and not bulk up,” England said about the physical transitions he has made for his high school sports.

Though England has been a key contributor to Glencoe’s football and wrestling teams, the track is probably where he has found the most success.

Two years ago, he finished second in the conference in the 800 meters and 13th in the state meet in Eugene. In 2012, he again placed second in the two-lap event at at districts and then narrowly missed out on the state finals by finishing 10th at state. He also ran a leg on the Tide’s district champion long relay team.

He ran his personal best of 1 minute, 58.51 seconds when he won the 800 at the Elden Kellar Invitational last April.

“He’s very competitive. He does not like to lose, and I think that helps him in his races, because if there’s anybody ahead of him, he’s going to catch them,” said Lisa Powell, Glencoe’s distance coach, who works with England. “He will put everything out there. He will leave nothing on the track.”

England did just that in his season-opener at the Hillsboro Relays last Thursday.

Running the 400-meter leg of Glencoe’s distance medley relay, England took the baton well behind the Liberty runner in first place but closed essentially all of the distance down before Falcons runners stretched the race back out again on the third and fourth legs. In a meet staged in less than optimum conditions — cool temperatures and a considerable breeze blowing down the backstretch — Powell clocked England in an unofficial sub-52-second split, a solid start to his season.

And with this season, England may be on his way to narrowing his focus and finally becoming a master of one of his trades — the 800 meters.

He has been accepted to Western Oregon and has his sights set on possibly continuing his running career at the college level.

But first, he would like go back to state with his relay teammates and break Glencoe’s school record in the 800, which he said is a 1:55.1 by Rob Vermillion — the 1997 state champion in the event.

Said England: “That’s what I’m after.”



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