Brad heads to the big event
The name Brad Osguthorpe may sound familiar to Parkites who closely follow high school sports, but it might be hard to place now. A few years have passed since the athlete sported a Miners uniform, and he was never one to herald his own achievements.
Some might recognize him from the Park City High School record board Osguthorpe’s 800-meter time of 1:55 has stood since 2002.
Now a senior at Weber State University, the mid-distance star may have faded in Park City’s memory, but he continues to break ground for his old high school. Last weekend, he became the first male athlete from Park City to qualify for the national NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He and Chelsea Shapard, a sophomore at the University of Utah, share the honor of becoming their alma mater’s first-ever national-level athlete. Shapard, a 2005 graduate of PCHS, qualified for the first time this year in the 400-meter hurdles.
Osguthorpe earned his spot by placing fourth at the West Region meet in Eugene, Ore. on Saturday. His time of 1:50.72 puts him 25th of 26 competitors, but the good-natured Osguthorpe said the low ranking doesn’t bother him.
"Since I’m near the tail-end, I have no pressure. If I make it out of the preliminary round, I’ll be excited."
Osguthorpe’s positive attitude reinforces Park City coach Jeff Wyant’s memory of him in high school. "He was a dream to coach," said Wyant. "He never complained, and he never debated what I told him to do. It was almost like coaching a robot. Move to move, he executed races exactly as we would plan them."
Osguthorpe’s high school achievements include a second-place finish his senior year at state meet in the 400-meters, followed hours later by a state championship in the 800-meters. He was also the first Miner to break the 800-meter two-minute barrier.
"He’s the best we’ve ever had in Park City," said Wyant, who believes Osguthorpe has not received the recognition in Park City he deserves. "I think because he’s been gone for so long, having graduated in 2002, people here forget about him. But he’s still doing amazing things," he said.
Osguthorpe has not forgotten his high school roots, however, crediting the Miners’ coaching staff with much of his success.
"I really have to thank Wyant and Coach Robbie [now retired] for giving me the confidence to keep running." Osguthorpe, who preferred to play football and basketball during his first three years of high school, focused on track during his final year at Wyant’s encouragement.
"[Wyant] said if I ran a 1:57, I could get a scholarship. I worked hard for that and have been fortunate to compete at the next level in college," he said.
Osguthorpe accepted a full scholarship to Weber State University, where his record-breaking achievements continued. His personal best time of 1:49.48, set in 2003, is the Weber State freshman record and the team’s fourth fastest time to date. Osguthorpe is also the only athlete to win three consecutive 800-meter titles at the Big Sky Conference Championships.
Now that his college career is winding down, he hopes a new generation of Miners will continue to run beyond high school as well. The current Park City team features several who have that potential, including one who might take down Osguthorpe’s record. Junior Brett Ryberg came within a second this year, running 1:56 early in the season and staying consistently around two minutes throughout the year.
"[Ryberg] is going to be a great athlete," Osguthorpe said. "He definitely has what it takes to compete at the next level."
After the national meet, which takes place June 6-9 at Sacramento State University, Osguthorpe plans to spend his two-week recovery period with his wife and his family, who still live in Park City. "They’ve been my biggest supporters," he said.
He will resume training as an independent athlete, focing on the 1500-meter race. His personal best time of 3:46.40 is the ninth fastest in Weber State’s history and seven seconds off the Olympic trials qualifying time of 3:39.0 a long shot, he says, but within reach.
"I think anything’s possible. I’m just looking at it one race at a time," he said.
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