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Ryan Brown makes long jump to Division I

Sophomore transfer Ryan Brown is not only making a jump from a Division II college program at Western Oregon, but making his presence felt in the long jump for Portland State track and field. After finishing a sophomore season at WOU for football, Brown has made his way over to Portland State just in time for track and field.

The 6-foot-2, 200 pound athlete runs a 4.45 40-yard dash and is second in the Big Sky for the long jump. Brown graduated from Tigard High School two years ago where he participated in football and track. His junior year he placed first at state in the short relay and long jump. The next year, Brown won the long jump and the triple jump at state, setting the state record at 24’9″.

Upon graduating, Brown ended up at Western Oregon to play on the football and track teams. He won conference in the long jump and went to nationals in the 100-meter dash. After finishing his football season at Western, he transferred to Portland State.

“This is a good, positive place where I want to be. Growing up in Portland, it’s closer to home and the atmosphere fits me well. For football I have to red shirt next year, but the coaches are helping me by making it a smooth transition,” Brown said.

Brown takes part in three events for the track team: long jump, 100 and short relay. He says he loves his teammates and coaches and feels that the team will only improve as the season progresses. Although he will play football next year for Portland State, he’s concentrating only on track for the spring season.

Head track coach Tony Veney thinks Brown is a great asset for the team and will be someone to watch for in the future.

“He’s had a great work ethic from day one. He makes us better. We knew he had it and that’s why we tried to get him. He’s got the size, the speed, along with his great work ethic. How can you lose?”

This past week Brown was rehabbing from a groin injury. He had to miss action for the Willamette Invitational but will be back next weekend. In his spare time, Brown tries playing other sports like basketball, snowboarding and golfing.

“I’m not good, but it’s fun to play,” Brown said.

Brown senses his team has potential to be very strong in the Big Sky.

“The team is doing well. We’ll all get better with more competition, everyone will PR and perform at the conference meet for the Big Sky. People are always on the verge of having a big jump or their best time,” Brown said.

He has already made nice connections with his teammates and has an encouraging outlook on the new university he has chosen to attend.

“Growing up in Portland I thought I knew so much about Portland. Coming to PSU I’ve learned so much in terms of the area and the people that I didn’t know before. The diversity is great, how people get along and hang out in the park blocks,” Brown said.