Jonas, Rands Earn Pan Am Junior Wins

A pair of Nebraska track and field athletes claimed wins at the Pan American Junior Championships during the past weekend. Dusty Jonas and future Husker Robert Rands earned two of the United States' 57 medals. Six hundred athletes ages 19-and-under from more than 45 countries from the Pan American region competed in the three-day event.

Jonas won the men's high jump with a clearance of 7-3. The U.S. junior champion had the bar set at 7-5 3/4, which would have been a meet record, but narrowly missed on his final three attempts.

"I made (7-3) on my first attempt," Jonas said. "I was really feeling good out there and wanted the meet record. The runway was pretty fast so I had to adjust and I got my approach together at 7-1 1/2. I just clipped (7-5 3/4) on my last attempt."

Jonas is entering his sophomore season following a spectacular freshman campaign in 2005. The La Vernia, Texas, native earned a pair of NCAA All-America honors in the high jump last season, including a runner-up finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Robert Rands, a two-time Nebraska Class A high school long jump champ at Bellevue West, inched out a win in the Pan Am men's long jump competition Friday. He notched a leap of 24-11 3/4 on his fifth jump of six attempts to move up from third place and defeat Jamaica's Jermaine Jackson by one centimeter.

"I was way off the board on my first jumps," Rands said. "I moved up a foot and a half and everything felt right after that. I was feeling a little pressure after Jackson jumped his big one, but I made the adjustment and it worked."

Rands will compete for the Cornhusker football team this fall before hitting the runway for the NU track team next winter.

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