By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – This time it was Jared Brinkman who got the final attempt in the shot put at the Class 2A state track and field meet.
Brinkman didn’t need his final attempt to secure the first state title of his career but the Regina senior wasn’t about to let it go to waste.
A year after being edged by less than an inch on the final throw of the competition, Brinkman launched a 2A state meet record toss of 63-4 on his final attempt on his way to becoming the first shot put champion in Regina history on Thursday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
“I kept that in the back of my head all year,” Brinkman said of his runner-up finish a year ago. “It just made me want to work harder and come out here and get it done.”
The throw of 63-4 on his final attempt was more than a foot and a half better than the runner-up effort by Western Christian senior Caden Fenchel (61-8 ¼).
Defending 2A champion Nick Phelps of Kinsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central finished third with a mark of 60-11 ¼ as three 2A competitors eclipsed 60 for the first time in state meet history.
“It is amazing to me the quality of talent that 2A Iowa has,” Regina coach Chris Murdock said. “To win this is a big deal.”
Brinkman entered with the sixth-best throw in state history under his belt and a pair of disappointing memories from his last two trips to Drake Stadium in his head.
Phelps edged Brinkman for the 2A title last year and Mount Vernon senior Tristan Wirfs bested Brinkman’s career-best toss of at 65-2 ¼ earlier this season at the Drake Relays.
It was the loss at last year’s state meet that stuck with Brinkman.
“That was absolutely motivation because Jared is one of those athletes that always believes if he gives his best he is going to end up on top,” Murdock said. “I think that really got to him last year and I think that drive was really what put him over the hump this year. He was going to do whatever it took to make sure he didn’t have that feeling at the end of the meet.”
Brinkman wouldn’t let his final shot put competition come down to the final attempt.
After a scratch on his first attempt on Thursday he unleashed a 2A meet record toss of 62-2 on his second attempt.
“My first throw was a scratch so I just wanted to get one in,” Brinkman said. “The whole time I was nervous because any one of these guys could have popped one off so I had to keep coming out and throwing my best.”
He added to that record with his throw of 63-4 on his final attempt as a prep.
The mark breaks the previous 2A meet record of 61-11 ¼ set by Jeff Devilder of BGM in 1977.
“I was just hoping to pop one off and it just happened to be the last one,” Brinkman said. “I’m just happy I could come out and compete today and set a record.”
It was a fitting end for Brinkman who has rewritten the throwing record books at Regina.
The Regina school record in the shot put was 51-10 when Brinkman first broke it as a sophomore and has added more than 13 feet since.
His throw of 65-2 ¼ at the Drake Relays ranks sixth in state history and ninth in the country this season.
“I’ve had great coaches and I got my technique better,” Brinkman said. “I was just able to get bigger, faster and stronger.”
Brinkman became the first boys track athlete in Regina history with a state meet record.
He joins Leah Elbert and Carly DuCharme who set girls meet records.
“I’m still in shock really,” Brinkman said. “It was a fun meet it was a great year of throwers and I’m definitely going to miss it but it’s great to go out on top.”
A Northern Iowa football recruit who won his second consecutive Class 1A heavyweight wrestling title in February, Brinkman will close his throwing career on Friday when he competes in the Class 2A discus.
At least for now that will be the end of his throwing career.
“I’d like to keep doing it but I don’t know,” Brinkman said. “We will see what happens.”
Jack Jensen capped a strong opening day for Regina with a seventh place finish in the 400 in a time of 50.94.