Oregon first year recruit hurler Cullen Prena has effectively met all requirements for the USA Junior National Championships in the shot put, plate and sledge toss this season. He is indicated contending unattached in the shot put at the Pepsi Dual Meet against Arizona on April 5. (Photograph by Phil Johnson)
EUGENE, Ore. – As the university open air olympic style events season pushes ahead and the IAAF World Junior Championships move close, hurler Cullen Prena is ended up being a competitor to watch out for. At 19 years of age, Prena is qualified to contend at the IAAF World Junior Championships that will happen this late spring, July 22-27, at Hayward Field.
Prena first got the consideration of University of Oregon tosses mentor, Erik Whitsitt, amid his lesser year at Walled Lake Central High School in Walled Lake, Mich.
“Some individual with his ability stood out immediately,” Whitsitt said. “He had demonstrated right off the bat that he would have been someone on our radar and clearly he was our sort of child.”
Prena finished his senior year as the national secondary school pioneer in the disk with a state-record toss of 210 feet, 1 inch. He won individual state titles in the shot put, disk and indoor weight toss. He was additionally named a prep all-American by Track and Field News magazine.
When it came down to picking a school, Prena was attracted to the one of a kind olympic style sports air which exists in Eugene, otherwise called “TrackTown USA.”
“We have a huge number of individuals turning out for only a double meet which is incomprehensible,” Prena said of the neighborhood olympic style sports society. “I think the energy of the fans here is magnificent, and we have a strong mentor.”
Despite the fact that he is currently preparing and rivaling the UO group, Prena arrangements to redshirt this season to encourage build up his quality and ability as a competitor.
“Taking a gander at his advancement, we needed to bring him up the correct way, gradually, so we didn’t need to backtrack and alter things later,” said Whitsitt. “We simply needed to be by the book so he can have a long, sound future for us.”
That doesn’t mean Prena isn’t getting an opportunity to contend at the university level this year.
He as of late contended unattached at the Pepsi double meet against Arizona. Despite the fact that he wasn’t qualified to score any focuses for the UO group, he won the disk rivalry with a toss of 178-2, and completed second in the shot put, behind buddy Ryan Hunter-Simms, at 56-3 1/4.
Tosses like that are making the IAAF World Junior Championships a strong alternative for Prena. At the Oregon Preview a month ago, he met all requirements for USA Junior Nationals in the disk (179-5), shot put (55-0 ¼) and hammer toss (181-0).
“His extremely initially meet he met all requirements for Junior Nationals,” Coach Whitsitt said. “I believe he has generally as great a chance in each of the three occasions to make that world junior group.”
The main two finishers in every occasion procure a spot on Team USA that will contend at the IAAF World Junior Championships the length of they have hit the qualifying principles.
“That (World Juniors) is something that has been on my guide for some time,” Prena said. “I went my to nationals my lesser year in secondary school, and tragically, I came 34th out of 35, so to put a World Juniors on the guide for me is enormous. I’m truly eager to return around here for U.S. Junior Nationals.”
Prena trusts the school preparing and rivalry experience he gets this season is something that will be useful on the world stage.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a high-schooler make it to junior universes in plate or shot put, so I believe it’s a gigantic favorable position being a university competitor,” Prena said.
Whether he at last makes it to World Juniors this mid year or not, Prena will utilize this season to get ready for one year from now when he can wear the Duck uniform interestingly and score focuses for his school.