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Aurelia's Bruce runs for BVU track

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jared Bruce is shown here running for Aurelia High School in 2008. File Photo by Dan Whitney
STORM LAKE - The men's and women's track and field teams get set to open the 2011 season under new head coach, Jeff Brennan.

This season will be a homecoming for Brennan, who graduated from Buena Vista University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology Education. During his time at BVU, Brennan was a dual-sport athlete in football and track.

While playing football, he was a two-time First Team All-Iowa Conference defensive back. On the track, he was a standout middle distance runner, earning two IIAC Indoor Championships in both the 600 and 1000 meter runs. He was also a four-time national qualifier in the 800, placing fifth indoors in 2001. Brennan holds six school records, including the indoor and outdoor 800 meter runs.

Since graduating, Brennan has been a teacher and coach at the Storm Lake High School for multiple years. In his time there, he has helped coach the Tornado boys to four Lakes Conference Titles, as well as three top-eight team finishes at the State Track Meet. In that span, Brennan has coached 26 state medalists, including three individual state championships, and four runner-up accolades. He was Northwest Iowa Regional and Lakes Conference Coach of the Year in both 2005 and 2006.

Brennan hopes to take the success he's had early on in his coaching career to the next level, while looking to lead the Beavers up in the Iowa Conference standings.

"I am excited about the upcoming indoor and outdoor seasons," he states. "The athletes have done a great job of working and adapting to the new coaching philosophy. We are all [coaches and athletes] focusing on building a team atmosphere geared toward winning championships."

Leading the way on the men's side will be senior sprinter Kenneth Nichols (Killeen, Texas), as well as juniors Jared Bruce (Aurelia) and Stefan Petersen (Audubon). After an injury-plagued junior season, Nichols looks to get back to form for his senior season. In 2009, Nichols was a part of the program's record-breaking and NCAA Division III national qualifying 4x100 meter relay team.

In the distance department, Bruce returns after a successful cross country season for the blue and gold. At the 2010 IIAC Indoor Conference Championship, he was a part of both the 4x800 Meter Relay and the Distance Medley Relay teams which scored points for the BVU.

Back for his junior season, Petersen is hoping to make a big impact for the team. He has found success in the long jump during his first two seasons of outdoor track, but this will be his first campaign indoors after playing for the Beaver basketball team the last two years.

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