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Track and Field : Blutreich Lives Up to Big Billing

Times Staff Writer

Brian Blutreich has recorded some impressive numbers during his career, including 69-6 1/2 in the shot put and 210-8 in the discus this season. The latter mark is just shy of the national record of 213-6 set by Kansas’ Clint Johnson in 1980.

Capistrano Valley High School’s Blutreich has been the biggest name in area prep track and field for the past two seasons, and he has more than lived up to a reputation that seems as large as his massive (6-foot 5-inch, 250-pound) frame.

For Blutreich’s consistently superior marks, including state championships in the shotput and discus recently at Sacramento, Blutreich is The Times’ athlete of the year for boys’ track and field.

“My freshman year, I thought there was no way I’d be reaching the marks I have,” Blutreich said. “But year after year, I had improved so much that anything seemed possible.”

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Initially, it would appear that someone as big as Blutreich just overpowers the shotput or discus through brute strength, but that is not the key to his success.

Blutreich is strong--he is on a weightlifting program and even helped the Cougars win a weightlifting meet recently--but his secret is technique.

“Brian’s a total technician,” said Dave Elecciri, his coach. “He knows the sport that well, and that’s why he’s improved as much as he has. When he was a freshman, I told him he could go 70 feet. He thought I was crazy.”

Blutreich videotapes his performances--both meets and practices--and studies the tapes for any flaws in his motion. He also keeps close watch on his diet and uses the weightlifting as the base for his strength and power.

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As massive as Blutreich is, he is as nimble as a gymnast. Stretching and exercise also are part of a training regimen that helped earn him a scholarship to UCLA.

To prove just how agile he is, Blutreich can jump from a standing start and touch a beam on the Capistrano Valley weight room wall--that’s 10-feet 11-inches high.

That works out to a 33-inch vertical leap, meaning he can dunk a basketball from a standing start.

One of Blutreich’s greatest honors may have come when he was being recruited by the University of Nebraska before this season. The Cornhusker coaches were so taken with him that they even introduced him to the Governor of Nebraska.

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Blutreich will be wearing a red shirt this fall, but not the red of Nebraska. He chose to go to school in Westwood, where he’ll sit out his first season as a redshirt in order to adjust to college life at UCLA.


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