For Immediate Release
Date: January 20, 2016
Contact: Levi Gribas (208) 220-9604
From Simplot Games to Olympic Games
Simplot is a shared memory for many professional athletes
Pocatello, Idaho- Simplot Games is one of the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field events. It is a place where hundreds of athletes come to compete and develop their skills. On the common ground of the Simplot Games athletes like Allyson Felix and Ryan Crouser began their rise to stardom. These athletes’ careers eventually led them to the worldwide Olympic stage where they competed their way all the way to the podiums. Both athletes have different skill sets, with Felix being a sprinter and Crouser competing in the shot put, yet they will forever share the Simplot Games.
Years before Felix wowed the world on the Olympic stage. She competed in the 2002 Simplot Games as a junior in high school from Los Angeles, placing first in both the 60 meter and 200 meter dash.
“When she registered for Simplot Games, word had been getting around that Allyson was a special talent,” Simplot Games Media Director, Jason Bohne said. “She didn’t disappoint.”
Felix won the Simplot 60 meters in 2001, and went on to be named the 2002 high school athlete of the year by “Track and Field News,” and a five-time California state prep champion in both the 100 and 200 meters.
In 2016 Felix became the most decorated woman in U.S. track and field history after winning three medals in the Rio Olympics participating in the 400-meter dash, 4×100 and 4×400-meter relay, adding to six medals won in three previous Olympics. Felix has also claimed 13 medals in three World Championships.
Only 23 years old and a first-time Olympian, Crouser became a household name as he shattered the Olympic shot put record with a toss of 73’-10-3/4” at the Rio Olympics.
Although the Olympics was a new experience, Crouser wasn’t new to breaking records as he set the national high school record of 75’-3-1/2” at the 2011 Simplot Games, a record that still stands. (Crouser set the Olympic record with a 16-pound shot; his Simplot Games mark was set with the 12-pound ball used in high school.)
“Everyone, including his opponents, were happy to be a part of his success at Simplot Games,” Bohne said, “Besides being an amazing athlete, he was the nicest guy.”
These two athletes have very different stories of stardom and success, but are forever similar in the fact they were both drawn to a premier track and field meet in Pocatello, Idaho.
“Both Allyson and Ryan were special athletes even in high school,” Bohne said. “They brought out the best in themselves and in others because they conducted themselves as competitors, not superiors.”
Their stories show that you never know who will rise as a star following their performance at Simplot Games. Will we meet a future star this year?
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