Keizer cop is ‘Toughest Competitor Alive’

BY JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Fair warning to Keizer’s bad guys: Don’t run from Sgt. Andrew Copeland. You won’t win. You probably won’t be able to scale a rope faster than him. And even though he considers it his Achilles’ heel, swimming might not be smart either. Maybe it’s just not a good idea to mess with a man who just beat out dozens of physically-fit cops and firefighters to win the Toughest Competitor Alive competition – a grueling grind of eight events that include a 5K cross-country run, obstacle course, rope climb, bench press, pullups, shotput and 100 meters each on land and in water. You won’t be surprised to learn Copeland, 33, has been a competitor since he was a kid. He’s not a big guy, standing only 5’10”, but earned his way onto the Western Oregon University football team after playing a variety of positions in his senior year at McNary High School. The Celt alum played running back, receiver, and all the defensive backfield positions at one point or another during his final year before graduating in 1995. (If his surname sounds familiar it should: Cousin Stephen Copeland quarterbacked the 1997 championship squad.) He also competed in long jump, high jump and javelin. Moving on to WOU, he spent four years on the team playing wide receiver, three of those in the starting lineup....

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