By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
Anyone that has ever crossed paths with Regina senior Jared Brinkman at an athletic event knows he doesn’t have much interest in finishing second.
Maybe make that no interest.
Even the ultra-competitive Brinkman couldn’t find fault in his runner-up finish at the Drake Relay shot put last week.
Brinkman launched a career-best toss of 65-2 ½ but finished second to Mount Vernon senior Tristan Wirfs who record the second longest throw in state history at 66-3 ½.
The mark by Brinkman was the best ever by a Drake Relays’ runner-up and the sixth best in state history.
“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.”
The best toss of Brinkman’s career came on the biggest stage the sport offers in Iowa.
A large crowd gathered in the southeast corner of the Drake Stadium stands to watch a historic performance as four high school boys surpassed 60 feet in the shot put for the first time in Drake Relays history.
Brinkman and Wirfs joined Doug Lane as the only high school boys in state history to break 64 feet in the Drake Relays shot put.
The toss of 65-2 ½ by Brinkman was the third best in Drake Relay history and would have won the event every other year except when Lane threw 67-2 ½ in 1968.
“I don’t really feel like he gets nervous which is a huge benefit for him,” Regina coach Chris Murdock said. “He welcomes the pressure and I think his competition on Thursday showcased that.”
Brinkman’s Drake Relay toss of 65-2 ½ is the eighth best throw in the country this season while Wirfs’s winning throw ranks sixth best among high schoolers in the country.
“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.”
The strong showing at the Drake Relays continued what has been an impressive senior season for Brinkman.
The Northern Iowa football recruit has added more than 13 feet to the Regina school record in the shot put this season and also qualified for the Drake Relays in the discus for the first time.
It was his work in the shot put ring last Thursday that put Brinkman in the conversation as one of the best in state history.
“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.”
Brinkman recorded throws of better than 61-7 on three of his final four attempts at the Drake Relays.
His third throw of 63-11 ¼ was the best of his career and put him second in the competition heading into the finals.
“On the drive up there Thursday morning we talked through a game plan,” Murdock said. “It’s different for him being the first thrower in the field and it was his job to set the pace and our goal was that first or second throw needed to put him in position and I think he accomplished that really well.”
Brinkman led briefly after his toss of 65-2 ½ before Wirfs unleashed his winning throw in his second to last attempt.
“I had the benefit of being able to speak with Tristan about this with Jared and they are best friends and they are great competitors,” Murdock said. “If anybody was going to be beat Jared I think he is the most happy with it being Tristan and I think the same would have gone vice-versa.”
The outcome certainly wasn’t a disappointment to Brinkman but that doesn’t mean a runner-up finish won’t serve as motivation.
“I honestly think that this is going to motivate him further at the state meet,” Murdock said. “I don’t want to put a number on how far he can go but I know that he can throw further. If it all comes together we have the potential to see something we haven’t seen be thrown in a long time. He has that level of ability in him I really believe that.”