Ontario’s Robinson overcomes injury, canceled season for college offer

ONTARIOOntario senior Ryan Robinson’s picture should appear if you Google “perseverance”.

Injured during his sophomore track season, Robinson fought back only to have his junior year disappear due to COVID restrictions. In spite of these hardships, Robinson continued to work on his craft with the reward finally arriving on Wednesday, April 7.

Sitting behind a table on the same track where he was not allowed to run last season, Robinson signed the document making him a preferred walk-on at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.

“Eastern is close to home and really beautiful,” said Robinson before sitting down with his parents, coaches and sister.

His planned educational future at Eastern Oregon stems from his past injury, a time where he was unsure of his track future. During his sophomore year, Robinson injured his Iliotibial Band, a stabilizer structure of the lateral part of the knee. Although surgery was not needed, a year of rehabilitation and recovery was needed. This injury and subsequent healing prompted Robinson’s plan to enter the field of exercise science upon reaching Eastern Oregon University.

“Looking back at what I had to go through, I knew I wanted to help others going through the same thing,” he said.

Robinson said he considers the Tiger track and field team as a second family now. Like any family, a disastrous trip is one of his many memories.

“We went to MacHi and set up our tent in the pouring rain,” he recalled. “We just had the tent set up and they announced the cancellation of the meet. We all had to pile back on the bus for the trip home soaking wet.”

With this season scheduled for a go, Robinson is planning on running the 400-meters, the 4-by-100 relay and in his personal favorite, the 4-by-400 relay. He also has previously competed in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles.

“I am excited to get back on the track,” said Robinson. “I have waited a long time to get back running and competing.”

Robinson visited the Mountaineers track team and, according to Ontario assistant coach Paul Bentz, an immediate call was made offering Robinson the chance to join the team.

“Rebecca Rhodes called and said Ryan was everything they were looking for in a runner,” said Bentz. “I expect him to reach the numbers they have set in a few months.”

“We are just so super proud of everything he has accomplished,” said Robinson’s parents, Erin and Justin. “We were very impressed with Coach Rhodes and the facilities at Eastern.

Like most parents, the Robinson’s are also pleased their son is running close enough to catch a few collegiate meets.

Considering Robinson has failed to take the track officially in two years is a testament to the work this student athlete has put in away from the cheers of the crowd at a meet or having a coach hovering over him. With assistance from coaching staff at Ontario High School and the support of his family and friends, Ryan Robinson is on his way to La Grande.

Related: Ontario Tiger Sports Action Photos