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Budding javelin star reaches for Father's records

Sawyer Christopher sets Scappoose javelin record at 170 feet

JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Scappoose freshman Sawyer Christopher competes in the javelin during the meet on Wednesday, April 22 at Scappoose High School. Christopher holds the school record in the javelin at 170 feet, with three hopeful years left to break his father's high school marks.Sawyer Christopher's drive toward athletic greatness is a little different than most.

The Scappoose freshman set the school javelin record at 170 feet in Wilsonville on Saturday April 18, and during Wednesday's track meet at home against Valley Catholic and Banks, Christopher said his motivation comes from something fairly close to home — his father.

“What got me into javelin? My dad telling me he threw 208 feet in college, so I wanted to beat him,” Christopher said. “I just started throwing in middle school last year.”

Christopher's background as a soccer player makes him an interesting young athlete for the coaching staff to mold over the next four years. He doesn't carry with him any throwing habits from baseball or football, and with the help of his dad, has quickly picked up javelin's unique technique. It's less of a throw and more of a catapult movement, where the athlete will reach back with their javelin hand as far as they can and whip their arm forward starting from the hips.

Most of the top Olympic javelin competitors are built much like Christopher: somewhat slight of build, but strong. Christopher weighs in at around 150 pounds, and says one of his main goals is to surprise people.

“By the end of my senior career, I want to throw further than my dad, so probably around 230,” Christopher said. “Beat him by a lot so he can't brag about it anymore.”

Christopher's goals are lofty. The current Class 4A state meet record is 204 feet, nine inches, set in 2010 by Tyler Callahan of Estacada. The all-time state meet record was set in 2009 by Gresham's Sam Crowser at 231 feet, one inch.

Head track coach David Harley doesn't see any reason why Christopher couldn't be throwing over 200 feet, which would likely cement him in the school record books for an awfully long time.

“Obviously he's talented, and between having talent and figuring the event out pretty quickly, I'd say he's off to a pretty amazing start,” Harley said.