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Kearney native breaks UNK high jump record at nationals

Brayden Sorensen sets school-record in high jump at NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships
Brayden Sorensen (Jordan Menard)
Brayden Sorensen (Jordan Menard)(Jordan Menard)
Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Nebraska-Kearney redshirt freshman Brayden Sorensen capped off a memorable 2020-21 season by clearing a school-record 7-1.50 to place third in the high jump at the NCAA Division II Championships Friday afternoon in Allendale, Mich.

This was the second of the three-day meet. On Thursday McCook redshirt junior thrower Tiara Schmidt earned second-team All-American honors by placing ninth in the hammer.

Sorensen (Kearney H.S.), the 2021 NCAA D2 indoor runner up in as well as the MIAA indoor and outdoor champion, was part of a 13-man field. He passed on the first three heights (6-6.75, 6-8.75 and 6-9.75) and thus was an All-American before his first attempt.

On a day with temperatures in the high 40′s and winds howling at 20 miles per hour, Sorensen got past 6-11 on his second attempt but need three tries to clear 7-0.25. He and junior Montrez Jackson (Trenton, Fla.) both shared the school-record at 7-0.50. Sorensen needed to beat 7-1.50 in order to stay alive and once again did so on his third and final attempt.

The 2021 indoor national champion, Texas A&M-Commerce freshman Ushan Perera, and the 2019 indoor national champion, Carson-Newman (Tenn.) senior Isaiah Kyle, also cleared 7-1.50. None of the three could get past the next height (7-2.50) with Perera claiming the national as he got 7-1.50 on his first try with Kyle being the national runner up as he got past the height on try two.

Sorensen joins Josh Long (‘98) and Derek Bailey (’04) as Loper men to have earned D2 All-American honors (indoors or outdoors) in the high jump at least twice in a career.

Also on Friday afternoon Colorado Springs redshirt junior Logan Prater competed in the discus. She had efforts of 135-3, 142-1 and 136-0 to placed 15th out of 17. On Thursday she was 17th in the hammer. West Texas A&M junior Zada Swoopes won the discus national title thanks to a toss of 175-6 with throwers from Missouri Southern and Central Missouri coming in third and fourth, respectively.

Schmidt tosses the shot Saturday at 4 p.m. Central with York High graduate Luke Stuckey running in the 1,500 at 12:20 and O’Neill freshman Abby Everitt taking part in the women’s high jump at 4:15 p.m.

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