Silver and bronze for Jensen at state
It was a historic weekend for Geneseo High School and the boys’ track and field program as senior Curt Jensen, in his first IHSA State Final appearance, medaled in both of the events he qualified for May 29 and 30 at the state meet in Charleston.
Jensen is the first boys’ track and field athlete to place in two events at the state level since 1927 and is the first Geneseo thrower to place in a throws event since 1944.
“It was a storybook ending for him,” said head coach Don?Fredericks. “His performance speaks for itself. Wow.”
“You see a lot of good people down there and obviously it is a really cool experience,” said Jensen. “But you have to get over that and focus on what you have to do and not focus on the stellar athletes.”
In the discus, Jensen captured runner-up honors with a second-place throw of 164-05. He also threw 164-05 in the preliminaries May 29 for a first-place finish in Flight 1.
He capped off the weekend with a third-place finish in the shot put with a toss of 56-1 3/4. He ended the preliminary round in third place with a throw of 56-1 3/4 in flight 1.
“My goals were obviously to win, but I wanted to compete at the level I did this season,” said Jensen. “I had a PR in the discus and didn’t do too bad in the shot put, so I can’t complain.
“I wasn’t nervous in the finals because I had seen all the kids the day before. I was more nervous in the prelims, but you have to stay relaxed because if you tense up you are not going to do your best at all.”
“It was an incredible, phenomenal weekend of competition,” said Fredericks. “It was the best of the best and is what every athlete dreams of, which most don’t get a chance to experience.
“What makes it even more impressive is that this was Curt’s first chance to compete at state and for him to perform at the level he did that usually doesn’t happen. And for him to place second and third his first time there is very rare.”
With his performance Jensen earned All-State honors in both events.
“I was pretty happy because there are a lot of good people (at state) and to know I was at the top is something good,” said Jensen. “I?wasn’t really surprised by how I finished, I thought I could do that well, it was just going to be a matter of how I?responded to the competition.”
“He was in the hunt, he was only 8 inches out of first and wanted to win,” said Fredericks. “But his best throws are ahead of him. Whatever school signs him will have a special kid. He has a tremendous amount of God-given talent and he is working hard at it. It is a special combination to have that talent and his work ethic. He had a phenomenal senior season and I am very proud of him.”
Next year, Jensen plans to compete in track at the collegiate level, but is unsure at what university. Some schools in the running are Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Illinois State University, Western Illinois University and Eastern?Illinois University.
“This was definitely a great way to cap things off,” said Jensen. “It was a good season, breaking the school record in the shot put.”