ADRIAN – To become a champion at any sport or skill takes guts, determination, skill and perseverance. To become a master of 10 disciplines takes, well, a mountain of well-orchestrated ability.

There’s no better example of mental and physical skill transformation than former Adrian High School athlete Reagan Shira, who last week recorded six new personal bests as a Corban University decathlete at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championships in Alabama.

He surpassed his previous mark by over 200 points and placed fourth.

“Placing at nationals this May is probably one of my greatest moments in my college sports career,” said Shira, who placed fourth overall in the men’s decathlon event. “I had a big PR – I went from 6,465 points to 6,697 as my personal best. And I PRed in six events.”

The Corban University incoming senior relies on a holistic approach to his strength and conditioning training.

“Usually in training I hit high jump, long jump and pole vault once a week. I’ll throw twice a week in discus and shotput. As for javelin, we practice that every other week,” Shira said. “Then I run two speed days and two endurance days each week. I also hit the weight room three times a week.”

Shira said he usually focuses on two decathlon skills per workout day. During practice, he tries to make the most of each repetition, pushing himself in each workout.

“I always try to make the most of every breath that I put in. On my way to practice, I try to start thinking about what I’m going to be doing. I think about what goals I’m trying to hit, what repetitions to do,” Shira said.

On competition days, Shira follows a routine. 

“I always eat the same breakfast on meet days: three scrambled eggs with a bowl of oatmeal,” Shira said. “I’ll then take a hot shower before I roll out to the meet.”

The Adrian High alum was a track standout and was part of the school’s three-time state championship track and field team along with his twin brother, Bryson. The brothers competed at the state championships all four years of high school. During his senior year, Shira was named OSAA’s all-around track athlete, awarded to the top-scoring individual.

“The state track meet during my senior year at Adrian is still my most memorable moment in my sports career. We won the 4x4 for the first time – something that we’ve been so close to winning before. The atmosphere was just electrifying, and I had great rhythms going into my events, especially in the triple jump,” Shira said. “I remember I was going for the state record in the triple jump. I didn’t get it, but I was close.”

After graduating high school, Shira joined Corban University’s track and field team to compete in the two-day crucible of the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400-meter dash, 110-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1,500-meter run.

“When I was first looking at colleges, a couple schools that accepted me wanted me to just jump or just run,” he said.

Corban, though, offered him a chance to be a decathlete. There, Shira is studying kinesiology.

Decathletes are generalists, and some consider it as an ultimate test of athleticism and ability. 

“I enjoy the decathlon because it’s up to myself as far as how far I want to take it,” Shira said. “It kind of all falls on my shoulders, how badly I want to succeed.”

Shira said competing at the collegiate level differs from his high school days since beating personal records comes harder.

“I think college is really a lot more about perseverance. I feel like in high school PRs just came so easily because you’re growing naturally each year, like you’re getting taller and stronger naturally,” Shira said. “In college, it’s just trusting your work will pay off.”

Amid his decathlon successes, Shira stays humble and always seeks training advice to get better.

For example, Shira approached Stacy Dragila, a Boise resident and Olympic gold medalist, after his freshman year at Corban to help him get better at pole vaulting. 

“Whenever I go home for break, I get a hold of her and we just go pole vaulting. It’s great,” Shira said. 

Shira said, after college, he plans to return to the Treasure Valley to coach collegiate track and field.

Have a news tip? Reporter Kristine de Leon: news@malheurenterprise.com or 541-473-3377.

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