Oregon men sixth after Elijah Greer's victory at 800 meters

EUGENE -- Ryan Crouser wore a look of dejection as he entered the mixed area after placing eighth in the discus Friday at the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field.

Crouser, the Barlow High grad who is a sophomore at Texas, had a best Friday of 194-3. UCLA's Julian Wruck won with a throw of 213-1.

"Frustrating day," said Crouser, who had won the shot put title on Wednesday. "The competition was wide open. I could have won it. I know I can throw a lot farther.

"I feel like I've underachieved this year a little bit. The shot's been really good. I've had good days in the discus, but a lot of bad days. Today wasn't a very good day."

Crouser, who is coming off problems with injury and illness during and after his redshirt freshman year, fell just short of his season-best of 194-6. He won the shot at 66-7 3/4 despite making only one legal throw in the competition. That was far shy of his seasonal best of 69-2 1/4.

The top eight in each event qualifies for All-America status, so Crouser is a double All-American this season. And he is only going to get better.

"Over the last year, Ryan has gained 30 pounds of muscle," said Dean Crouser, Ryan's uncle and the NCAA shot and discus champion for Oregon in 1982. "That doesn't always translate into distance right away in the discus. You have to find the timing and get used to your new body. He has gotten so much stronger. He is physically capable right now of throwing 220. It's going to happen, whether it's this year or next year or the one after."

Dean Crouser predicts colossal things for his nephew in the shot put.

"I've never seen anybody like him," he said. "The top shot putters are all 300-pounds plus. Here's a 6-7, 260-pound kid who has the best mechanics in the world. (Former Olympic discus champion) Mac Wilkins has said that, and I believe it.

"If Ryan can progress like he should, I could see him breaking the world record in four or five years. I know that's a crazy statement, but look at the progression he's had. The kid threw almost 80 feet in high school. He is doing things that haven't been done before and in a way they haven't been done before. It comes down to whether or not he can groove that technique."

Ryan Crouser is qualified in both the shot and discus for the U.S. Track & Field Championships June 20-23 at Des Moines, Iowa, but said he will probably just compete in the shot. A top-three finish would give him a spot on the U.S. team at the World Championships in Moscow later in the summer.

• Oregon's men entered Saturday's final day of competition in a tie for sixth place with 18 points, 10 of them coming from Elijah Greer's Friday victory in the 800. The senior from Lake Oswego won in 1:46.58, just ahead of runner-up Casimir Loxsom of Penn State in 1:46.88.

Sam Crouser -- Ryan's cousin and Dean's son -- will compete in Saturday's javelin finals. The sophomore from Gresham High goes into the competition with the third-best mark.

• Portland State senior Joenisha Vinson finished 13th in the women's heptathlon with 5,563 points, bettering the school record of 5,488 she set this spring.

• University of Portland senior Jared Bassett placed 10th in the steeplechase at 8:45.33.

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