A quick look at him crunching an opposing running back or cradling up a foe in wrestling testifies to that. He entered his senior spring as an accomplished thrower too.
But the extent of his power was perhaps never on greater display than this track and field season.
Ross started by winning the Granite Ridge Conference indoor shot put title with a distance of 49-feet, 6-inches.
Then he began adding on. And on. And on.
“Ross was injured during sections his junior year,” Little Falls throwing coach Nick Abbott said. “He didn’t get a chance to throw in that big meet. In the shot put, Ross has put on seven to eight feet in the each of the last two seasons. He works hard on technique, strength training, being a better athlete and he sacrificed a lot to get to the point where he’s at.
“To put on the distance each season that he has, you need to be in the squat rack, on the platforms, sprinting and jumping,” he said. “Ross also wrestled and played football, and those sports helped him a lot for track and field as well.”
By the time the Granite Ridge Conference outdoor meet rolled around a month and a half later, Ross’ rapid improvement would have made a mark around 50-feet roughly the equivalent of a scratch, highly unlikely to count as his top distance.
That mark would ultimately end up being a new conference record and more than 10 feet better than the next competitor: 55-feet, 5-inches.
He very nearly made it a clean sweep of the throwing events, coming up one inch short of the champ with a runner-up distance of 139-feet in the discus.
“For shot or discus you need to be able to move through positions in sequence to throw well,” Abbott said. “To be at the top of the list for both shot and disc is difficult. His frame allows him to apply force to the shot for a long time before he releases it, and when he meshes that with his explosiveness, it’s fun to watch.
“Ross was much like many of the Flyer throwers in that when the shot was going far, the discus didn’t always do what they wanted it to,” he said. “He got hot with the shot and stayed with it.”
At the Section 8AA meet two weeks later, Ross not only overmatched the competition, he overmatched the shot put landing area.
With a powerful throw of 56-feet, 3.5-inches, Ross outshot the end board, clinched the individual crown and qualified for the state meet.
There, Ross polished off his standout three-sport career with a spot on the medal stand, taking sixth place with a throw of 55-feet, 1.25-inches.
“This was my first trip down to the state track and field meet and it was very intense,” Abbott said. “Ross competed well. I am very proud of him – he is a great competitor.
“That is a tight stage to perform on, and the fans are right on top of you while you throw,” he said. “Trysten belonged with the best in the state this year. The field was very tight, and to watch Trysten make the podium was a very good experience for him, and a great showing for Little Falls.”
As well as Ross did, with the improvements he was making, Abbott believes he could have thrown even further had the season not come to an end when it did.
“Trysten is an extremely powerful athlete, and he has the perfect mindset for throwing,” Abbott said. “He was always good at working on his weaknesses as well. Once Trysten broke the 50-foot mark this season, he never looked back. He seemed to add a foot or better each week onto his throw. He had hit 57- and 58-feet in practice as well.
“I believe he was just getting comfortable with his technique toward the end, and if he had another week he would have hit 60-feet, not only in warm-ups, but in a meet.”
MC Record Athletes of the Year:
2014: Trysten Ross, LF
2013: Travis Spillum, LF
2012: Preston Zimny, LF
2011: Dan Borash, Royalton