BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Helena native Justin Jenks became an NCAA Division II All-American last week.
Jenks, who graduated from Capital High School in 2019, is a sophomore on the Colorado State University Pueblo men's track and field team. He finished fourth in the shot put at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Friday.
Jenks marked a best throw of 18.16 meters, finishing behind teammate Nathaniel Miller (18.78 meters) in the final event standings. With their respective third- and fourth-place finishes, Miller and Jenks became the first All-American throwers in CSU Pueblo history. Both throwers recorded their best marks on their final attempts of the event.
Ralph Casper of Tiffin (Ohio) won the event with a mark of 19.18 meters.
Jenks' 18.16-meter throw, which converts to 59 feet, 7 inches, is a new college personal-best for the former Montana high school state champion. Jenks won the Class AA state shot put title with a throw of 64 feet, 3.5 inches as a senior in 2018. He also won the discus crown with a throw of 172-03 in 2018. Jenks was the State AA shot put runner-up in 2017 when he marked a 60-foot throw to finish behind Billings West's Bryson Deming, who won the event with a throw of 60-01.5.
"These guys have been standouts on the men's side all season," CSU Pueblo assistant coach Scott Murray said of Jenks and Miller in a media release. "All of their hard work from the offseason paid of this weekend in their first NCAA Championship appearance. I'm so excited to continue working with these guys while building a men's throws squad around them."