Ryan Shelton, a 2008 graduate of Soldotna High School, broke the oldest standing men's track and field record at Weber State University on Saturday at the UNLV Open in Nevada.
Shelton, the son of Steven and Sylvia Shelton of Soldotna, won the event with a toss of 55 feet, 9 inches, breaking the 1969 heave of 55--5 1-2 by Frank Reilly.
"That was a tremendous effort by Ryan," said WSU men's coach Dan Walker in a released statement.
Shelton, a sophomore, said he had his eye on the mark, but not at the first outdoor meet of the season.
"I didn't expect it to come that early," he said Thursday via cell phone. "My coach and I were expecting it to come by the end of this year.
"It was a nice, sunny day out and stuff, and I ended up doing a lot better than I had thought. Everything felt smooth. Things just came together."
Weber State is located in Ogden, Utah. It is an NCAA Division I school that competes in the Big Sky Conference.
Shelton attended Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb., as a freshman. Chadron is Division II school.
When Chadron dropped Shelton's major, which is electronic engineering, Shelton transferred to WSU.
Shelton also decided to stop playing football when he transferred.
"Football became more of a job," he said. "I wasn't having fun anymore."
Shelton had thrown 53 feet at Chadron, and threw 53 feet in the indoor season at WSU before popping his big throw on Saturday.
"Part of it is the coaching staff here has done an amazing job with me," he said. "I've been working hard in the offseason. I've put in a lot of work in the weight room."
Shelton also said it has helped being able to concentrate on shot put and hammer throw, now that he doesn't throw the discus and doesn't play football.
Also Saturday, Shelton threw the hammer 162--4 to qualify for the conference meet.
Despite hitting such a big achievement early in the season, Shelton said he still has work to do.
"I had a goal of 60 that I was hoping to get to by the end of the year," he said. "Everything has started sooner than I expected. Hopefully, I'll get to that goal sooner."
SoHi's Jensen excels in bull riding
Colten Jensen, a 2008 graduate of Soldotna High School, is currently in seventh place in bull riding in the Big Sky Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
Jensen is a sophomore at Montana State University in Bozeman. He is majoring in mechanical engineering.
Jensen also participated in the Winter Rodeo Series in Billings, winning the bull-riding championship. Jensen had the highest score of the series, with 85 points on one of his bulls, and made the most qualified rides.
Jensen also is the reigning bull-riding champion for the Peninsula Cowboy Round Up Rodeo Cowboys Association. He will ride bulls for the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association this summer.
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