Good thing Taylor Barrus left her options open early in her high school career.
“When track came along, it was a blessing in disguise. I always wanted to be a Division I athlete,” she said.
Years ago, she just figured that would happen in volleyball.
She kept improving on those volleyball skills — she was The Columbian’s player of the year in the sport last fall — but she did not grow enough for college coaches. At 5-feet, 10-and-a-half inches, she said she was not getting a lot of looks during the recruiting windows.
But by then, her javelin career was taking flight.
“Going into high school, (volleyball) was a given,” Barrus said. “I went out for track my eighth-grade year. I did it for fun.”
She had the same attitude as a freshman, as a high jumper.
But a coach said she reminded him of former Skyview javelin thrower Kara Patterson. (You know, the Kara Patterson. The Olympian who holds the American record in the event.)
“I loved it. When I started throwing the javelin, oh my gosh, this is so much fun,” Barrus said. “It all started from there.”
Barrus is going to Brigham Young University as a track and field athlete.
She will go there as a state champion. Last month, Barrus won the Class 4A javelin title, capping her senior season.
In the fall, she led Skyview to its fifth consecutive league title. The 4A Greater St. Helens League coaches voted her player of the year.
While she is going to college as a track and field athlete, she enjoys both sports equally.
“I love the team aspect of volleyball, of having someone behind you, supporting you,” she said. “But in track, I love the feeling of having all the pressure on you. I love them both so much.”
Best of the rest all-region multi-sport athletes
Parker Bonife, Union
Senior earned All-Region honors in softball as an outfielder with power and in bowling, where she placed fifth at the 4A state tournament.
Shannon Boyle, Ridgefield
Sophomore was the only Class 1A athlete with All-Region honors in two sports, being selected in volleyball as well as softball for the Spudders.
Jennifer DeBellis, Columbia River
Senior added more state championships on uneven bars and pole vault; was All-Region gymnast of the year and an All-Region pick in track and field.
Lynelle Decker, Mountain View
Senior was an All-Region selection in track and field as a middle distance runner; also a first-team all-league defender in soccer.
Treneisha Doyle, Hudson’s Bay
Senior did it all at Bay, earning All-Region honors in volleyball. She was also an all-league pick in basketball and advanced to state in track and field.
Alexa Efraimson, Camas
Freshman was the All-Region cross country runner of the year and All-Region track and field athlete of the year, posting one of top 800 times in nation.
Alexis Fuller, Union
Freshman was All-Region in cross country as 4A state runner-up; All-Region in track and field as 4A 800-meter state champion and 1,600-meter runner-up.
Delaney Keser, Skyview
Senior was All-Region in basketball, helping Storm to 4A state title; also All-Region in golf as 4A GSHL co-player of the year.
Johna McEllrath, Prairie
Senior earned All-Region honors in volleyball, helping Prairie place at state; All-Region in track and field by placing in two events.
Stephanie Simon, Evergreen
Senior was All-Region girls wrestler of the year after winning state title at 145 pounds; also 4A GSHL field athlete of the year in track and field.
(For photos of all the athletes listed here, pick up a copy of the print edition of the June 17 Columbian)