Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – The future for Jared Brinkman lies on the football field.
Judging from his past, the college football future is bright for the Regina senior and Northern Iowa signee.
Brinkman earned first-team all-state honors each of the past two seasons while crafting a reputation as one of the top two-way lineman in the state.
That’s only half the past success for Brinkman who became the first two-time state wrestling champion in Regina history last month with his second consecutive Class 1A title at 285 pounds.
While wrestling is the past and football is in the future, track and field is the present for the 6-foot-1, 275-pound Brinkman and he isn’t letting anything distract him from finishing his high school career on top.
“It’s the last chance to do a high school sport and do it with my teammates so I’m fully focused on trying to make the most of it and get a state championship,” Brinkman said. “That’s my only focus right now is on track.”
The success for Brinkman in football and wrestling have made him one of the most decorated athletes ever at Regina.
Brinkman was a part of three state championship football teams in addition to his two state wrestling titles.
That success overshadowed what has already been a solid career for Brinkman in track and field but make no mistake, Brinkman is among the best in the state at the shot put and this season he wants to cement that status.
“I think he understands what’s at stake and I know that being the competitor that he is he’s not going to let the fact that he has a future in football impact this track season,” Regina coach Chris Murdock said. “He is all in and he’s ready to give it one last shot.”
Brinkman announced himself as one of the state’s best throwers last season with a runner-up finish in the shot put at the Drake Relays.
He built on that reputation as one of the state’s elite in the event with a runner-up finish in the Class 2A state meet, tossing a career-best 61-1.
The throw of 61-1 was the second best effort in the state last season, less than an inch behind Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central sophomore Nick Phelps who edged Brinkman on his last throw for the state title.
“I have never seen Jared care more about shot and discus as he does this year and I think that losing last year really bothered him,” Murdock said. “If you would have told me before the state meet that he would have thrown 61 feet I would have laughed at you. He threw 61 feet on his very last throw when it mattered most and I think it bothered him that it wasn’t good enough when in any other situation that would have been good enough.”
The two runner-up finishes on the state’s biggest stages have provided motivation for Brinkman to end his already stellar prep athletic career on a high note.
Equally importantly, those performances gave Brinkman the assurance he could compete with anyone on any day.
“I know from last year and how I’ve been doing this year I have what it takes,” Brinkman said. “I just need to keep working hard and wait till I can pop off that one throw.”
Brinkman just missed out on earning a pair of medals last season, as he finished 10th in the discus.
He has his sights set on a shot put title but Murdock has been impressed with what Brinkman has done in both events early this season.
His practices have been sharper, he is throwing further in both shot and discus than I have ever seen him throw before,” Murdock said. “I truly believe that he is going to better the 61 mark he set last year in the shot put.”
Brinkman has showed signs that he is well on his way to surpassing his career-best toss.
He shattered the meet record at the River Valley Conference indoor meet last week with a toss of 59-7.
The best indoor mark for Brinkman last season was 53 feet.
“Last year I was throwing about 52 or 53 at this time so to throw it 59 indoors I’m pretty happy with that,” Brinkman said. “I like where I’m at right now. It’s just doing the little things that make you a better throwing and then continuing to get stronger.”
Brinkman is excited for the future.
He said he can’t wait to start his college football career next fall and is excited to see what he can do at the next level while focusing on one sport all year rather than dividing his time between three.
While excited for his college future Brinkman is enjoying every day of his final high school season.
“I am looking forward to college I’m excited to play football at UNI but I do enjoy high school,” Brinkman said. “I’ve had a great time doing all these sports so it’s going to be sad to see it end and I want to end it right but I’m ready for the next chapter.”