Greatest Amateur Champion of All Time: Steve Rajeff

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="350"]steve rajeff Steve Rajeff hoists his 41 US Grand All Around Casting Championship trophy.[/caption]

Steve Rajeff (again) won the Grand All Around Casting title at the recent  National Casting Championships in Oakland, California. This brings the number of consecutive national titles to 41, a feat that has likely never been replicated in any national amateur sporting competition from golf to bowling, shot put, or anything else. Rajeff — who has also won 14 World All Around Championships — is likely the greatest amateur sports champion of all time. He won his first US championship in 1972 at the age of 16, and although in some years he has been beaten at some individual events, he has never lost the Grand All Around casting title.

Rajeff won nine gold and three silver medals, and all of the men's combination awards at the Aug. 1-4 events. Henry Mittel placed second in the Grand All-Around with two gold, five silver and three bronze medals. Elaine Gong won in the Senior Women Division, Nicole Kozicki won in the Women Division, and Tony Ramirez won the Senior Men Division.

Rajeff has held the world record for distance casting with a single-hand fly rod since 1973, holding the current record of 243 feet.

Steve Rajeff with a Kispiox River steelhead. Greg McDermid photo

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