By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– Here’s an interesting fact about Dallas’ Maddy Straus. She was born without subtalar ankle joints. The inside part of your ankles. And not just in one foot, but in both ankles.
Here’s what is more interesting. Straus didn’t know about it until eighth-grade, starting with pain in the ankle, to asking around, eventually finding out after getting an x-ray at the Shriners-branch at OHSU because her ankles were bothering her to the point, it was affecting her playing sports in Middle School.
“I didn’t know how it was possible, but it happened to me,” Straus said about it.
So how did they fix the issue. They created a disc space where you would normally have one, they used some muscle fat as the cartilage spacing which they graft it in to create the ankle joint she presently has now entering her Senior Year.
Straus admits she’s impatient and the mental challenge of the rehab process made it worse as she threw in a boot her freshman year. Coming off one of the surgery’s, throwing surprisingly well with a then-PR of 96-feet-3-inches from just a standing position. Heeding her doctor’s advice of just getting back in there and moving on it.
“I just wanted to get out there and get going again. My doctor said that the more I sit around and do nothing, the harder it’ll be to rehabilitate and get back into sports and athletics,” said Straus, “I’m definitely back to what 100-percent would be, so I’m happy that I haven’t had any issues so far.”
The pandemic her sophomore year added some extra time to heal up and do some work on the side entering her Junior Year. And during her pandemic-shortened season, Straus made her move.
Her first three meets Straus hovered around 111-feet. By the fourth meet on May 13 at Lebanon, Straus cracked the 120-foot mark. Straus would make it to the 5A State Meet at Wilsonville nine days later where she had finished second with a 123-feet throw, four-inches off the State winning throw by Putnam’s Rylee Leamen.
“It was crazy. I know Rylee Leamen, she took her last throw and PR’d by a couple of inches. Her mark was like two-inches farther than mine, but I’m excited for how I did and I’m excited for next year because I feel like it’s going to be a big year,” Straus said.
Straus said Friday as she did a few practice throws that she’s nearing 130-feet in practice. This coming on the heels of winning the AAU Regional 21 javelin throw in Boise, Idaho with a throw of 122-feet, qualifying for the National meet in Humble, Texas.
In between, Straus went to Hayward Field for The Outdoor Nationals where she finished 24th with a throw of 120-feet-11-inches.
“I had a pretty good sequence (in Boise), I think all over 120 and I think that set me up well. I went to Hayward Wednesday, that was crazy,” Straus starts. “That was a good experience. I definitely choked up a little bit, but I was throwing with some of the best girls in the Nation. So, I was super grateful to have that opportunity.
“All of my hard work, I’m beginning to see it pay off and what it has done for me. It’s been making me so happy, I love being able to put in the extra work and go the extra mile because at the end it makes a difference.”
It’s the little things. The weight room, the drills, taking in the advice given to her along the way as she embarks on her summer slate with a few more Track Meets including the one in Texas on August 6. All in preparation for one more run at the State and beyond this upcoming season.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald