By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Jared Brinkman knew he would have to be at his best to dethrone Mount Vernon senior Tristan Wirfs as the Drake Relays shot put champ.
Brinkman was at his best and then some inside Des Moines’ Drake Stadium on Thursday but it still wasn’t enough to knock off Wirfs.
Wirfs edged Brinkman for the Drake Relays title for the second straight year and needed the second-best throw in state history to do it, uncorking a toss of 66-3 ½ to become the 12th back-to-back shot put champion in meet history.
The Regina senior was second for the second year in a row with a career-best mark of 65-2 ½, the longest ever by a Drake Relays runner-up and fifth best all-time.
“You can’t be a disappointed with a two-foot pr and doing it here at Drake is just awesome,” Brinkman said. “I knew I had a good lead but I knew Tristan could pop one and that’s what he did.”
A large crowd gathered in the southeast corner of Drake Stadium to watch a shot put field billed as one of the best ever.
The action inside the throwing circle didn’t disappoint.
For the first time in Drake Relays shot put history four athletes surpassed 60 feet.
William Blaser of Western Dubuque (62-1 ¾) finished third and Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central’s Nick Phelps (60-9) finished fourth both registering throws of 60 feet.
“You know you have to throw your best to beat these guys and that just helps all of us,” Brinkman said. “You saw that today, it’s a crazy year for throwers and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”
For the second straight season the top two spots came down to a dual between Wirfs and Brinkman.
Brinkman put Wirfs in an unfamiliar situation when he became the seventh prep of all-time to register of throw of 65 feet on his first attempt of the finals.
That throw put Brinkman on top and left Wirfs looking up at a competitor for the first time in the finals of a meet this season.
“It was the first time and I’m glad it was with Jared I wanted to go 1-2 with him again,” Wirfs said. “I think he is the only person I would have been o.k. getting second too.”
Wirfs wouldn’t stay second for long.
On his fifth attempt, Wirfs unleased the sixth best throw in the country this season at 66-3 ½. Wirfs mark is second in Drake Relays history while Brinkman’s toss is third best ever by a prep at the Drake Relays.
“I think it’s more of a friendly rivalry,” Wirfs said. “We both push each other and we both hyping each other up for the throws so it’s pretty fun getting to compete against him all the time.”
Last season Brinkman was second at the Drake Relays with a toss of 56-8. He’s added more than six feet to that mark this season and has tacked up better than 13 feet to his own Regina school record the past two years.
“My goal this year was 65 so that now that I have done that who knows what I can do at state,” Brinkman said. “I’m getting more comfortable and getting more throws under me and I just need to pop that one off.”
Solon junior Tyler Linderbaum finished 11th with a mark of 54-0 while West High senior Alex Kleinow was 20th with a toss of 49-8 ¼.