North Bend, Ore. -- "I didn't really pick it up until I was a freshman, I did baseball all the way through middle school and baseball was my main thing," North Bend senior Ty Hampton recalls.
"He broke our school's freshman record," Bulldog track coach Jake Smith continues. "He continued to throw over the summer and had a love for throwing the javelin that was pretty rare."
The first two years of high school was nothing but love for North Bend's Ty Hampton. But things began to change when he entered his junior season in 2018.
"Last year was an example of an extreme low," says Hampton. "I didn't want to quit the sport but it was a thought that crossed my mind when I first hurt myself when I first injured my elbow."
It started with an MRI, that came back fine. But then the pain continued and Hampton along with his family sought out a second opinion from a new doctor.
"As he was reading through his paperwork of the previous doctor handed to me, it looks to be possible tear, is what they wrote in the notes, and I didn't find that out until six months later," the senior says. "I was frustrated but I couldn't do anything about it, you couldn't go back in time to change it but we both decided on that it was a nerve problem because of the popping and pain that I felt. It was kind of a 50-50 guess what it was gonna be and we ended up hitting it spot on."
"When they discovered that that's not what it was and that it was something better, a nerve issue, something he was gonna recover from," Smith mentions. "That was refreshing."
He threw discus in the meantime, but Hampton's heart remained with the javelin. Slowly, but surely, he made his way back and started to feel like himself again.
"When he started this year at the first track meet that we had, you could see he was gonna throw well this year," Smith says.
"When I threw a 198 3 times in a row easy off short approach, I was like 'wow', I was actually really surprised," Hampton remembers. "That's when I knew I was actually back."
After he graduates, Hampton will head into the waiting arms of Robert Johnson and Oregon track and field. An easy choice, not just because it's close to home, but because of how they stuck with him through it all.
"One thing I like the most is that they were able to reach out to me even when I was injured," he says. "Most...a lot of the colleges dropped right off as soon as they seen that. I'm injured but it's not gonna harm me in the future so that's what I really like the most."
As for his long term goals...
"All of the track athletes, they wanna go to the Olympics because it's like such a cool dream of theirs and I think it's really cool," the senior concludes. "I definitely wanna reach that in 2024."
For now, the javelin thrower from North Bend has his sight set on another goal: the state record, which he hopes to break at 5A state championships at the end of May.