Brandenburg shatters ACU’s indoor shot put record

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COLLEGE STATION – Junior and 2019 outdoor All-America Annina Brandenburg Saturday added her name to another corner of the Abilene Christian Track and Field records book after winning the shot put competition at Texas A&M’s Ted Nelson Invitational.

A native of Dusseldorf, Germany, Brandenburg’s winning throw landed at 15.94 meters (52 feet – 3 inches) on her second of six attempts to defeat competitors from Kentucky, UTSA, SFA, UT Arlington, Sam Houston State and host Aggies.

Her mark not only was the best among 14 competitors at Gilliam Stadium, but it also eclipsed Marlene Lewis’ previous school record of 15.46m (50-9) that was recorded in Lubbock in December 1987. Last spring Brandenburg set the school’s record in the discus throw at the Sacramento State-hosted NCAA West Prelims, hitting a distance of 56.86m (186-6) that propelled her to the national meet in Austin.

This victory for Brandenburg was her seventh as a Wildcat and first in the indoor shot put since last January’s Texas Tech Classic (14.88m / 48-10).

One of the more interesting aspects about yesterday’s record-breaking performance is that all six of ACU’s women’s school throwing records belong to student-athletes coached by associate head coach Jerrod Cook. In addition to Brandenburg’s efforts in the indoor shot put and discus, Lonnie Smith registered ACU’s hammer record (61.35 // 201-3) in May 2019 and its top weight throw (19.55m // 64-01.75) last February at Texas Tech, while 2019 NCAA qualifier and Southland Conference MVP Kayla Melgar tossed the shot put 55-01.0 (16.80) at NCAA West Prelims.

Cook’s success on the women’s side started with Linda Brivule. In the midst of winning three consecutive NCAA DII javelin titles from 2008-10, she broke the school and NCAA DII record in this event at the 2009 Texas Relays behind a launch of 184-6 (56.25).

Within the men’s throwing events, three of the school’s six record holders have been mentored by Cook: shot putters Nick Jones (64-2.5 // 19.57) and Kai Schmidt (63-05.00 // 19.33), and hammer thrower Baptiste Kerjean (218-00 // 66.45).

ACU’s longest throws records on the books are Mike Marsh’s 1988 javelin toss of 218-5 (66.57m) followed by Andy Kokhanovsky’s 211-5 (64.44m) discus throw and Glenn Griffin’s 1997 weight throw of 65-0 (19.81).

Four additional Wildcats Saturday joined Brandenburg on the school’s top-10 lists. Distance runners Briahna Gerlach and Irene Rono clocked second and eighth-place 3K times of 9:53.10 and 10:22.29 to land at fourth and 10th in the school rankings. Freshman sprint hurdler Jeremy King and first-year weight thrower Jacob Melcher also slid into the 10th spot of their respective events with marks of 8.28 seconds and 17.45 meters.

Overall, ACU student-athletes recorded 11 personal records.

Next up for the Wildcats is a trip to Lubbock the weekend of Jan. 30 for the Texas Tech Invitational.

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