Tag Archives: athlete

Milk Celebrated as Official Beverage of Oregon, OSAA

Milk is the official beverage of the Oregon School Activities Association

The following was distributed in a news release from the Oregon School Activities Association on September 27, 2017:

Today, the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) recognized Oregon’s dairy farm families for their ongoing support of the state’s schools, coaches and athletes. An open thank you note to dairy farmers was posted on the OSAA’s social media accounts, recognizing the 20th anniversary of milk as Oregon’s state beverage.

Milk has been Oregon’s Official State Beverage since 1997, and a statewide celebration has been recognizing the 20th anniversary with observances statewide including a special proclamation by Governor Kate Brown. Since milk has also been the official beverage of the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) since 2011, it was only natural to join in the celebration.

“Our organization appreciates local dairy farmers,” said Peter Weber, Executive Director for the OSAA. “For the milk and food our coaches and athletes use for fueling and recovery, and for the ongoing support these farmers provide to the OSAA and schools and communities across the state.”

Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council is the second longest running sponsor of the OSAA with a partnership that has been in place for approximately 22 years. Events and activities are supported with funding provided by Oregon dairy farmers and dairy food processors while promoting the healthy benefits of milk to 120,000 student participants across the state.

“It is a good fit, because for peak performance in school activities, students need good nutrition throughout the day, every day,” said Anne Goetze, Sr. Director of Nutrition Affairs for ODNC. “Milk provides the protein and nutrients that students and athletes need in a perfect package.”

About the Oregon School Activities Association:

The Oregon School Activities Association (www.osaa.org) is a private nonprofit, board governed association comprised of 290 member high schools. The OSAA, a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations, annually sponsors 116 state championships in 19 sports and activities. Follow the OSAA at www.facebook.com/osaasports, on Twitter @OSAASports and Instagram @OSAASports.

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Throwing for Tokyo, Driven By Dairy

With the close of the Rio Olympics, the summer games will be out of sight and out of mind for most until the Olympic flame reignites in Japan in 2020. There are some though, whose competitive spirit still burns bright. Melissa Ausman, a national-caliber discus thrower and senior at Concordia University in Oregon, is one such athlete with her sights set on the Tokyo Olympics.melissa-ausman-headshot

It’s a long way to Tokyo from the dairy farm in Nyssa, Oregon, where Melissa grew up – 5,135 miles to be exact. And that dairy farm is where it all began, starting with her relentless work ethic and mental fortitude. Just ask her father, Frank.

“Melissa and all the kids basically started out just like I did as a kid out here; you start with taking care of the baby calves, haying and graining, and you work your way up the ladder,” he said. “Out here, you figure out real quick that it doesn’t matter what day it is or how cold or hot it is or whatever, the work has to be done.”dairy farm in nyssa oregon

Melissa agreed, “There are no days off when you’re on the dairy, or trying to reach your goals.”

Ausman began throwing for sport in seventh grade, when she discovered her drive to become an Olympic athlete. Her throwing career was instigated by her competitive side, urging her to throw better than her older brother. She continued to improve over the years that followed, winning state in high school, setting records at Oregon State University, and now training for that next big step at Concordia University.

Currently, she can throw a discus 53.91 meters (176.87 feet), which is beyond the width of an NFL football field. This distance has Ausman just 40 feet away from qualifying for the Olympics. Within two years, she will achieve this mark if she continues to add distance at her current pace.

Ausman has immersed herself completely into her training. Even on her weekly rest day where she stays home from the gym, she continually trains her mind by learning how to improve. That means keeping current on Olympic medalists and working aspects of their training into her routines. She has also learned the importance of balance. melissa-ausman-training

“I’m a sister, daughter, student, athlete — and each one represents a spoke on a wheel,” said Ausman. “If I spend too much on one spoke, then I have a lumpy, lopsided wheel.” After coming to this realization during her sophomore year, Ausman found her balance and beat her personal discus record by 19 feet.

Ausman also depends on the nutritional benefits of dairy in her training regimen. She shamelessly sports an overstuffed bag full of whey protein powder containers to ensure access to nutrition after workouts. Before bed, Melissa’s favorite snack is cottage cheese with pears and cinnamon. She also enjoys greek yogurt as a replacement for mayonnaise; one of many gems she has gleaned from her avid Pinterest searching. To Ausman, training in the kitchen and fueling her body properly is another vital spoke in her wheel of life.

What advice does Melissa offer to aspiring athletes? “Whatever effort you are willing to put into your sport, the results will come accordingly,” she said. “No one else is going to give you the drive to be the best.” She also warned against dwelling on setbacks, suggesting that you can’t get stuck in the past if you want to be focused on your future.
Speaking of the future, what do mom and dad think of Melissa’s Olympic aspirations?

“Oh, she’ll get there, I’m sure,” said Frank. “Anytime I have ever doubted her, she has proven me wrong.”

“She gets her mind set on what she wants to do, and that’s what she’s going to do,” said Lyndia. “I’m not going to put off getting a passport.”