Track goals set high

Dustin Veurink

Dustin VeurinkSportswriter

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams go into the season ranked third in the Summit League preseason polls.

All seven of the men’s all-league selections return this year for the Jackrabbits. Long jump champion Jared Vlastuin and weight throw Jake Brinkmann are among the seven for the Jacks.

Jared Ailts, Jared Foote, Marshall Kambestad, Luke Leischner and Greg Vollmer also return for the Jacks.

Ben Jasinski and Sean Burns are both ranked in the Division I United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association preseason rankings. Jasinski ranks 15th in the heptathlon and Burns ranks 32nd in the weight throw.

Last year, the men finished sixth at the indoor Summit League Championships.

The women also had seven all-league selections last year, but only five return. Brooke Garner, Brittany Garner, Rachel Hakk, Jennifer Mack and Lora Shearer return for the Jackrabbits.

Danielle Burke and Krista Creager also return for the Jacks who were part of last year’s distance medley relay championship team.

The women finished fourth at the indoor Summit League Championships last year.

The track and field teams started their 2011 season at the Graphic Edge Alumni Invite at Vermillion on January 15.

The national ranked duo of Burns and Jasinski each broke their own school records at Vermillion.

Burns’ season is off to a great start. He broke his record in the weight throw that he set in December. Burns’ first place throw of 64 foot, 8.75 inches also broke his state record which broke in December also.

“His goals are very high and he is getting closer to making the NCAA championships,” DeHaven said.

Burns also placed second in the shot put with a throw of 49 feet, 6.25 inches.

Jasinski broke his high jump record with a winning jump of 6 foot and 11 inches. He also won the triple jump with a jump of 48 feet.

“For Sean and Ben to break school records after the holiday break is a testament to their drive and focus,” said head coach Rod DeHaven.

Jake Brinkmann finished second in the weight throw with a throw of 53-11.25.

Jared Vlastuin finished second in high jump, long jump and triple jump. His jumps were 6-06, 22-07.25 and 45-05.25 inches.

Senior Ashley Lange was the women’s top performer at the meet. She placed first in triple jump with a jump of 37 feet, 8.50 inches.

Lange redshirted last year and DeHaven is glad to have her back.

“Ashley is a solid performer that missed last year,” DeHaven said. “Having her back healthy should mean that she will be picking up points for us at the conference meet in both the triple jump and the long jump.”

Rachel Hakk placed second in high jump with a jump of 5 feet, 6 inches.

Freshman Ashley Odegaard placed second in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.90 seconds. Odegaard’s time is 6th in school history.

The women’s throwers had a great day. Jennifer Mack, Michelle Schuch and Brooke Garner placed second through fourth in the weight throw. Their throws were 53-06.25, 53-05.50 and 53-05.

Brooke Garner also finished second in the shot put with a throw of 42 feet, 11 inches.

The teams will be in Minneapolis, Minn. next for the Jack Johnson Invitational on January 21 and 22.