The talented javelin recruit from Newberg High School picks the Cardinal over Oregon and UCLA
Although Trevor Danielsons senior season hasnt unfolded as he envisioned it would, he will attend and compete for what many consider a dream school next fall.
A back injury severely limited the amount the Newberg senior has been able to practice and throw the javelin this year, and his eighth-place finish Saturday at the OSAA 6A state championships was a disappointment, but he couldnt be happier about his choice to attend Stanford come autumn.
They really came after me hard, Danielson said. Their (assistant) coach even flew out to Portland and came to our house for an in-home visit. That was pretty special, I guess, because you see that happening in movies for football and stuff. Thats not really you see much of for track and it really showed me how committed she was to me.
Danielsons recruitment, in that he was able to take his time and make his choice midway through his senior season, was a bit of an anomaly at Newberg, where top track athletes in recent years have been forced to scramble late in the year to attract attention with their performances, find spots or arrange for financial aid.
It was in stark contrast to the route his older brother, Cody, took before winding up at UCLA.
It was actually Trevor who, as a freshman, first took up javelin, let alone track and field, before Cody, who placed fifth earlier this month at the Pac-12 championships with a throw of 219-6.
Before Codys senior year, then-sophomore Trevor got him to give it a try and practice with Newbergs legendary javelin coach, Joe Boutin.
Cody was hooked and the following spring, the elder Danielson brother burst on to the scene, recording the biggest throw in the state during the season, 210-4, and later finishing third at state. At the same meet, Trevor placed fifth with a toss of 177-9.
So while Cody, who was also recruited by Stanford, scrambled to find the best place for himself, eventually choosing to walk on his first year at UCLA with no scholarship money available at that point in the year, Trevor was recruited to participate in the Javelin Gold program.
That first entailed attending special training camps in North Carolina in the fall and winter before his junior season, during which he took a big step forward.
In May 2013, Danielson set his personal best with a throw of 206-0, then threw 199-10 to place fourth at a competitive state meet.
The next and most notable and beneficial aspect of the program came in the summer following his junior season, when he traveled to Finland to work with their national coaches and compete with some of the best junior throwers in the world.
Instead of being one of the top throwers here in the U.S., thats what everyones like there, Danielson said. Its a whole other level of competition and its eye opening to see these kids its one of their biggest sports there so its a whole different experience than here in the U.S.
The biggest thing Danielson has taken away from the experience, which he will repeat again this August, is actually mental.
They just really focus on being confident in your abilities and not focusing just on distance, but getting the technique down, Danielson said. The distance will come later on if youre doing what you need to be done.
By his senior year, Danielson was a known commodity among college coaches and eventually narrowed his choices down to Stanford, Oregon and UCLA.
In addition to the personal touch he got from the Cardinal throws coach, academically Stanford seemed to be the best fit for Danielson, who is considering an engineering major, and the academic scholarship package the northern California school offered, covering most of his cost to attend, was also the best.
When great things happen to great kids, as a coach, it makes you smile, Newberg head coach Brandon Ramey said. There are a lot of people that can achieve in sport and in society they dont do very well. Hes a kid that in academics, in society, in sports, is a great kid. It couldnt have happened to a better kid.