German sophomore sets sights for success


Photo: Huiling Wu/ Iowa State Daily

Jan Jeuschede, sophomore in biology, prepares to throw the shot put. Jeuschede, who is from Germany, is preparing for the 2013 track and field season with hopes to throw farther than 60 feet.

Isaac Hunt

Jan Jeuschede, a sophomore from Germany, speaks perfect English with little accent to be heard. It is not his first time in the states, as he came to the United States as a foreign exchange student.

In Germany, schools do not combine athletics with academics. As an aspiring student-athlete, Jeuschede chose to come where he could do both.

“It’s hard in Germany to combine college and [athletics] since all of them are club-based,” Jeuschede said. “I knew about the American system, so I wanted to try it out.”

Jeuschede took the steps necessary to get his name out there using a German organization that promotes German athletes.

“I applied there and they promoted me and sent my promotional video to all kinds of universities,” Jeuschede said. “Iowa State was one of them that emailed me back.”

Assistant coach Grant Wall had only spoken to Jeuschede once on the phone before his arrival to Ames, but he took other steps as well.

“One of our other assistants was going to Germany to recruit some distance runners, so he met up with [Jeuschede] to talk about our program,” Wall said.

Jeuschede is studying biology at Iowa State. Wall said his SAT scores were “through the roof” and he will not have problems adjusting to college.

Jeuschede said Iowa State was his best offer in athletics and academics, but not only is he studying in a foreign country, he is also facing a foreign training regimen.

“I started a new way of training here,” Jeuschede said. “I lift a lot heavier than I did at home. What’s really new for me was that we throw heavy. I came off of junior weight, which is 6 kilograms (13.2277 pounds) to a 16-pound ball.

“[In practice] I throw 18 and 20 pounds. I think that has helped me develop specific strength for my shot; I’ve never done that before. I have gotten a lot stronger and more mature body-wise.”

Jeuschede isn’t the only one noticing his improvement. Coach Corey Ihmels said he will have a good year.

“He’s got tremendous potential not only athletically, but he has potential in the way he goes about his work,” Ihmels said. 

“He comes to work every day and gets his work done. When you see an athlete come in as a freshman and go about his business the way he does, you know there are big things ahead in his future.”

One of Jeuschede’s goals this season is to throw farther than 60 feet, which will land another one of Wall’s five athletes in the record books.

The current record for shot put is 64-feet-1-inch, which was set by Jamie Beyer in 1999. But the top three are listed in Iowa State’s history books. In third is Josh Hagedorn, set in 1997 with a throw of 60-feet-5 3/4 inches.

If Jeuschede can complete his goal of more than 60 feet, he could land his name in ISU history. He may not have been at Iowa State for long, but he has worked for it.

“He seems excited about what we do,” Wall said. “It’s nothing flashy, just downright hard work.”