Jurgens wins state shot put again
OMAHA — Cameron Jurgens was pleased to hear that he’s one up on his future football coach at Nebraska.
The Husker recruit from Beatrice had just won his third straight Class B boys shot put title at the state track and field meet Friday at Omaha Burke, uncoiling a throw of 59 feet, 3¾ inches in the preliminaries to win the competition by almost 6 feet over runner-up Wade Blue of Gering.
The victory came with just five practices this season after sitting out 6½ months because of a broken leg/dislocated ankle suffered in the Orangemen’s final regular-season football game, an injury that required surgery, a plate and nine screws to repair.
Nebraska head football coach Scott Frost won the 1993 Class C state shot put title and all-class gold medal as a senior at Wood River with a throw of 58-9½.
“I’ll have to call him (Frost) up and tell him I beat him by 6 inches with a bad ankle,” Jurgens said, smiling. Jurgens is seventh on the all-time shot put charts with a 63-3.
Of course, Frost’s response might be to ask how the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Jurgens did in the hurdles on Friday. Frost was the Class C 110-meter high hurdle state champion his senior year as well.
Jurgens soaked in the victory with his coaches, teammates, family and friends, getting numerous photos with them after the competition. It was something that seemed remote when he was still on crutches in late February, and the slow, tedious and sometimes painful rehabilitation process this spring had its ups and downs.
The urging of his teammates and the possibility of a Beatrice team title with his points in the throws convinced Jurgens to start practice on May 7 and compete at districts three days later. Jurgens won the district meet with a 59-4.
“It was good to get back out here and finish my high school career where it all started,” said Jurgens, who has already graduated and will move to Lincoln on Tuesday to begin football workouts and eventually start summer school at NU.
“I had some nerves and adrenaline early, and that helped get some good throws off (in the preliminaries),” Jurgens added. “Fortunately, that was good enough.”
His mother, Beth Jurgens, who coaches her son in the discus, was able to watch as a spectator and proudly wore a booster button with her son’s picture on it. The former state champion thrower at Holdrege who later became an All-American at Kearney State was happy her son’s high school career didn’t end on the football field at Norris.
“I’m so glad he decided to do this, so glad,” she said.
The discus at 1 p.m. Saturday might be a little more of a challenge for Jurgens, the three-time defending state champion in that event who won his district title last week with a throw of 156-8. That’s well off his personal-best of 196-8, which is eighth on the all-time charts.
“The discus puts a lot more stress on my ankle, there’s a lot more spinning and torque on it,” Jurgens said. “I was feeling pretty good today, but I have a lot more rehab to do.”