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PAUL RODRIGUEZ , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Esperanza junior Bronson Osborn is 6-foot-3, 265 pounds and the son of Tim Osborn, a former CIF champion thrower for Rancho Alamitos.

Esperanza's Osborn back on track going into CIF-SS Finals

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Those who have conversed with Bronson Osborn may find that he is soft-spoken.

That is the only thing about the Esperanza junior that can be described as soft. For three years, the throwing world has marveled at his strength and skills.

The 6-foot-3, 265-pounder is the son of Tim Osborn, a former CIF champion thrower for Rancho Alamitos. He faced a long road back when he fractured his right leg during a football practice his sophomore year.

After a major injury such as that, a thrower’s development would be expected to stagnate. According to Aztecs throws coach Bill Pendleton, it did.

Not for long, though.

A five-foot improvement is considered a good year-to-year progression. But when a thrower goes 60 feet in the shot put as a freshman, few will notice when those marks stay the same the following season.

In his third year, however, Osborn has blown the roof off his personal records. He has added 10 feet to his career-best shot put mark and 20 feet in the discus.

“Just getting the pin out of my leg and getting to 100 percent, I kind of caught up to where my improvement should have been last year,” Osborn said. “I think that this year was a big jump because of that.”

Nearing the end of his junior season, Osborn sits atop the state leaderboard in both of his events.

Today, he returns to Cerritos College for the CIF-Southern Section Finals. It’s the site at which he produced personal bests of 204 feet, 4 inches in the discus and a county record of 71 feet, 71/4 inches in the shot put to win at the Mt. SAC Relays.

There had been only one thrower in state history to reach the 200/70 plateau. That was Brent Noon of Fallbrook in 1990.

Those marks are competitive on a national scale, ranking him third in the discus and second in the shot put.

The planned peak for Osborn’s performance is a couple of weeks away.

“We’re looking to peak at the state meet,” Pendleton said. “Then he has to hold it for two weeks after that for the national outdoor meet, and then there is a national junior meet after that.”

It would seem that the only thing that could stand in the way of Osborn and the road to state is another health setback. The junior made light of that possibility.

“I think I’m good,” Osborn said. “I’m not doing anything risky. No backflips in the pool or anything dangerous outside. I don’t see that as a possible issue.”

After state, Osborn will head to Greensboro, N.C., for the New Balance Outdoor Nationals from June 17-19. The top three shot putters in the nation are all juniors.

Esperanza is also making history as a team. The Aztecs are the only program since Newport Harbor in 1971 to have two 60-foot shot putters in the same season.

Osborn has entered that exclusive club twice. The first occurrence came with William Truong in 2014. This year, he has partnered with Clint Meyer.

Meyer, a senior, has dealt with his own share of injuries. He tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder, but it hasn’t affected his performance. He has thrown 60 feet, 10 inches in the shot put and 185 feet, 9 inches in the discus.

It’s a banner year for the Aztecs throws squad. Osborn, Meyer, and Jordon Ammann have qualified in both throwing events. Amanda Truong has also made it to the CIF-SS Finals in the discus.

“If they could make it and we all go to state, that would be so much fun,” Osborn said.

The top nine performances, regardless of division, will advance to the Masters Meet.

Esperanza keeps things loose with competition throws at practice. Each athlete gets one throw to meet a specified mark. If they don’t, Osborn says they get ‘shamed’ by having to do an up-down.

“It definitely makes you want to perform,” said Meyer, who recently signed with Cal State Northridge. “If you don’t get it … you have the potential to.”

“If you get it, it’s almost like an ‘I showed you’ to your teammates, and then they have to do the up-down.”

***     ***     ***     ***

CIF-SS FINALS

Where/when: At Cerritos College, Saturday

First events: Boys pole vault and girls high jump begin at 10:30 a.m. Running events start at 1 p.m.

Fan info: Gates open at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 for adults. High school students with a valid ID and kids 13 and under are $5. Credit cards will be accepted at Cerritos College. The parking fee is $5.


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