Sean Burns: the Quick Learner


Sean Burns spins in his delivery of the hammerthrow in a meet earlier this season. Burns has 13 career victories, including seven in the hammer throw. Submitted Photo

Dustin Veurink

Sean Burns’ senior season has boosted SDSU track and field.

By Dustin Veurink


Senior weight thrower Sean Burns dominated the indoor weight throw competition this year, but the amazing thing is that he hasn’t been competing in the event long.

Burns, a Rapid City native, didn’t know the weight throw was an event until he arrived on campus.

As a kid, Burns was influenced by his older sister to compete in throwing events after watching her in middle school.

“I thought it was the coolest thing in the world,” Burns said.

“I knew out of all the events in track and field that was the one I wanted to do.”

Going into the indoor season track season, Burns held the SDSU weight throw record with a throw of 58 feet, 10.75 inches, a record throw he set in 2009.

In December, Burns started the 2010-2011 indoor season off by breaking his record in the weight throw with a throw of 61 feet, 10.25 inches in Fargo. That throw also broke the South Dakota state collegiate record.

“It’s pretty exciting. I’ve met the last two record holders before I broke it,” Burns said. “I feel like they are good company to be mentioned with.”

With a month off between the next meet, Burns broke his record with a throw of 64 feet, 8.75 inches in Vermillion.

On Jan. 29, Burns broke his record for the third time this season with a throw of 65 feet, 7.5 inches in Ames, Iowa. Burns tied his record two weeks later in Ames again.

Burns won the weight throw at the Summit League Championships with a throw of 62 feet, 11.50 inches and helped the Jacks to a second place performance, the program’s highest conference finish since joining the Summit League.

He also finished second in the ashot put with a personal best of 54 feet, 4.25 inches, which ranks sixth all-time in school history.

Burns wrapped up his indoor season with a sixth-place finish in the weight throw at the NCAA Qualifier with a throw of 58-08.75.

“He put in a ton of work to get himself in this position and it is great to see it pay off,” said head coach Rod DeHaven.

Burns was ranked in the Division I United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association weight throw rankings all year and finished the season ranked 29th.

“As far as being ranked, I’m excited, because I would have never thought I would be,” Burns said.

Burns has 13 career wins, including seven in the hammer throw, four in the weight throw and two in the shot put.

Burns’ success carried over into the hammer throw discipline, where he had a similar hot streak.

He broke the hammer throw record five times last year in the outdoor season. His record throw is 188 feet, 9 inches and will look to continue his success in the outdoor track and field season.