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Senior Breaks Javelin Record

By Sam Stremlau

When Brigg Ernstrom, senior, started throwing javelin during his sophomore year track season, he said he never predicted breaking a school record two years later. 

There was a record set last year of 43.89 meters, and Ernstrom threw for 49.87 meters at Sectionals on Saturday, May 20, at Poplar Bluff High School, setting the new record.

“I wasn’t expecting to break the record so early in the season,” Ernstrom said. “That was definitely not my goal coming into this season.” 

Ernstrom said he never thought he would enjoy javelin as much as he does now. When he started two years ago, he was having a lot of fun with it, so he decided to keep with it and work on improving each season. 

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“Breaking this record makes me want to throw even further than that for the rest of the season,” Ernstrom said. 

Breaking this record makes me want to throw even further than that for the rest of the season

— Brigg Ernstrom

Ernstrom is currently placed ninth in the State for javelin, and to help Ernstrom get better this season, his teammate Nate McKay, senior, would critique his throws before going into any meets. 

“He just really helped me get better,” Ernstrom said. 

Nate McKay, senior, threw with Sean Van Rens, the previous record holder before Ernstrom, his junior year. McKay said he learned a lot that season by watching Van Rens, so he was happy to help Ernstrom.

“I just helped Brigg perfect his form at the beginning of the season,” McKay said. “And come the second meet of the year, he breaks Sean’s record.”

McKay said Ernstrom has really soared this season after taking his corrections about the little stuff, and it makes him happy to see him so successful. 

“I’m super proud of him,” McKay said. “I hope I get to join him at state so we can go together and continue doing well.”

Matt Nienhaus, track and field coach, said that he was pleasantly surprised with how quickly Ernstrom became so successful in javelin.

Javelin is a combination of natural ability and hard work, and Nienhaus said Ernstrom has the perfect mix of both. 

“Brigg is committed to success,” Nienhaus said. “He is the type of athlete that would probably just keep going if we didn’t shut him down.”

Nienhaus said he is thrilled for Ernstrom, and he believes he can be successful at State this Friday and Saturday.

“However, we make no assumptions,” Nienhaus said. “We will continue to tweak things to find that next best throw.”

This story was originally published on Marquette Messenger on May 25, 2023.