Jenna Gleason to pursue athletic career at Dordt University


Kya Dixon

Jenna Gleason makes on her three attempts in discus

Zach Stransky, Writer

After considering multiple schools that included Dordt University, Northwestern College, University of Sioux Falls and Bethel University, OHS senior Jenna Gleason ultimately decided to continue her academic career and sign her collegiate letter of intent to Dordt University. Gleason decided on Dordt because she loved the small college atmosphere and that she will be able to grow in her faith as well as getting an education.

Gleason was around four years old when her parents took her and her brother to their first track meet in Rochester. Gleason said, “I have been doing track literally as long as I can remember.” Gleason continued going to summer track meets as a family for several years until joining the Owatonna Junior High Track team in seventh grade where Gleason participated in some sprints, long and triple jump and high jump. She started throwing in eighth grade. Gleason did several other events, but tried both shot put and discus in a few different meets. Once she hit high school she quickly became a dedicated thrower. Gleason said, “Everyone is so nice there.” Dordt also has a very good nursing program which is what Gleason will be majoring in.

Gleason gives a lot of credit to her parents for getting her to where she is today. Her parents, Debby and Joey Gleason, both had extremely impressive track careers. Joey was a state champion long jumper and runner up in the 100m and 200m events. Debby was a three time state champion high jumper and then went on to become a three time NCAA Division II National High Jump Champion. But more importantly they introduced Gleason to the sport and made her love it. They also coached her in junior high and still do whatever they can to help her to be her best today. Gleason said, “They are my biggest supporters.”

Gleason is excited to see how far she has come since her sophomore season since she did not get a junior season. She has attended a couple different throwing clinics to learn a few tricks and keep her technique fresh in her head. On the social side of things, Gleason is looking forward to building relationships with her teammates creating memories of her last high school track season. First year throwing Coach Amy Lageson said, “While this is my first year coaching Jenna, her hard-work and dedication to throwing is so apparent. She has an important position in our throwing team as a positive role model for the younger throwers. I am excited to see what the rest of the season has in store for her and then onto the next chapter of throwing at the college level!”

Gleason’s sophomore year she was awarded the team’s most improved field event athlete of the year. As well as lettering every year since her freshman year. Gleason has personal records to beat just like every other track athlete but her goal for the season isn’t about that. Gleason’s goal is to become the best athlete she can so she is ready for her future in collegiate athletics.