Jensen Shatters MVC Shot Put Record at Early Bird
Kevin Fisch

Kevin Fisch

Dec. 6, 2013


CHARLESTON, Ill.Curt Jensen shattered the current Missouri Valley Conference, Illinois State and Eastern Illinois Early Bird meet shot put records with a final heave of 66-07 (20.29m), breaking the former Valley record set by John Smith of Southern Illinois in 1984, when Smith threw for a mark of 62-09.75.

The senior continued to throw farther with each attempt, notching his record-breaking mark on his final toss. Prior to Jensen’s remarkable throw, the Colona, Ill., native tossed a personal-best mark of 61-09.00 (18.82m) in the weight throw to finish third in a competitive field.

“It was the first meet of the year, and some very good things happened today,” head coach Elvis Forde said. “Curt had a huge mark that will probably put him on the national list. He earned the school record, facility record and everything that comes with a throw of that magnitude. This should make him a contender for the NCAA Championships. He has paid his dues the past few years, after sitting out last year in the expectation that he will get stronger in the weight room. He has prepared himself well because this is something that he wants to do. Not only did he do well in the shot put, but he did solid in the weight throw as well.”

Chase Pavelonis vaulted to a personal-best 16-00.75, finishing second in a field that featured All-American Mick Viken of Eastern Illinois who hit 17-00.75.

“The person that I have the greatest respect for on the day is Chase Pavelonis,” Forde said. “His grandmother passed away a few days ago, and he came here in his first meet of the year and jumped over 16 feet, earning a personal-best mark. His family would have wanted him to come.”



Akil Mills won the weight throw competition with a throw of 64-03.75 (19.60m). Following his victory, Mills captured a fourth-place finish in the shot put with a personal-best mark of 52-03.25.

Defending 800-meter MVC champion, CJ Hamilton, cruised to a first-place victory in the 800-meter race, picking up a time of 1:55.76. Kevin Fisch had a strong day on the track and field, hitting a personal-best mark in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.72 and finishing third in the pole vault with a leap of 15-07.00 (4.75m)

On the women’s side, Jianna Williams captured two first-place finishes for the night, as she threw a personal-best mark of 61-07.75 (18.79m) in the weight throw and tossed a career-high mark of 47-01.50 (14.36m) in the shot put.

Julia Ott placed second in the pole vault, clearing 12-06.25 (3.80m), nearly vaulting to 13 feet, but missing just shy in her final three attempts.

“Julia did not get a PR today, but the things that she is learning is going to help her soar as we go through the season. The others (pole vaulters) are working on getting some things together, but we are excited to see where they go,” Forde said.

Haley Becker also captured a personal-best mark of 5-05.00 to finish fifth in the high jump.

The Redbirds will return to the track Jan. 17, after the holiday break, as they take on Indiana State in the annual dual meet.